NRA Lawsuit, New York Attorney General Dissolve NRA, Wayne LaPierre, Letitia James
Photo by Michael Vadon/Matthew Choen (WikiMedia Commons)
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INew York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit Thursday morning seeking to completely dissolve the NRA (National Rifle Association).

The lawsuit claims that four top executives of the NRA—two whom are no longer with the group— mismanaged funds. It also claims they violated state and federal laws. Named in the lawsuit are Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, NRA General Counsel John Frazer, former Chief of Staff Josh Powell, and former Treasurer Woody Phillips. The suit comes in New York since the NRA is incorporated in the state.

NRA Lawsuit Details

The suit alleges that those four failed to uphold their fiduciary duty to the NRA. It specifically alleges that they used “millions upon millions from NRA reserves for personal use including trips for them and their families to the Bahamas, private jets, expensive meals, and other private travel.”

“The NRA’s influence has been so powerful that the organization went unchecked for decades while top executives funneled millions into their own pockets,” James said in a statement. “The NRA is fraught with fraud and abuse, which is why, today, we seek to dissolve the NRA; because no organization is above the law.”

NRA President Carolyn Meadows responded quickly to James’ announcement. She vowed the NRA would fight the lawsuit.

“This was a baseless, premeditated attack on our organization and the Second Amendment freedoms it fights to defend,” she said in a statement. “You could have set your watch by it. The investigation was going to reach its crescendo as we move into the 2020 election cycle. It’s a transparent attempt to score political points and attack the leading voice in opposition to the leftist agenda. This has been a power grab by a political opportunist—a desperate move that is part of a rank political vendetta. Our members won’t be intimidated or bullied in their defense of political and constitutional freedom.”

Hurting the Wrong People?

The lawsuit makes it appear as if James has her crosshairs on the NRA’s higher-ups. But is that really the case? The long-time anti-gun AG seems just as focused on the nearly four million law-abiding Americans who are NRA members.

During the press conference, a reporter asked James if she isn’t further victimizing members by trying to dissolve the group.

“The issue is the following: A number of donors have contributed to the NRA because they believe in their mission,” James answered. “… One would think donors would like for an organization to have some governance, some standards of behavior and that they would recognize their fiduciary duty to a not-for-profit and/or its mission as opposed to looting assets and using it for their own personal benefit.”

Interestingly, despite that statement, James didn’t call for better governance, improved standards of behavior or expanded fiduciary care. Instead, she is, indeed, punishing NRA members and the important cause they support by trying to shutter the struggling organization.

James claims her previous advocacy for more restrictive gun laws has nothing to do with trying to dissolve the group.

“This has nothing to do with my personal opinions with regards to gun violence,” she said. “This has to do with the fact that four individual defendants and the NRA as a corporation did not follow not-for-profit law in the state of New York.”

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) also spoke out against James. It cited her “agenda to silence the strongest voice in support of the Second Amendment ahead of the November election.”

“The lawsuit filed today by Attorney General James seeks to punish the over five million members of the NRA based on mere allegations of possible wrongdoing by a few individuals,” part of the statement reads.

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