New York Attorney General Seeks to Shut Down NRA
In a bold election year move, the New York attorney general has filed a lawsuit that, if successful, could dismantle the National Rifle Association, the nation’s oldest pro-2A organization.
Attorney General Letitia James filed a petition in New York state court alleging financial misdeeds within the NRA. The suit alleges that NRA Executive President Wayne LaPierre has abused his access to NRA finances and illegally leveraged his position for personal gain, including hair and makeup for his wife up to millions of dollars in a post-employment contract.
Before initiating the suit, James, who is a Democrat. led an 18-month investigation into the alleged NRA misconduct. This is the third action James has taken during this election season, including dismantling President Trump’s charitable foundation and fining Trump $2 million for misuse of charitable funds for business and political purposes.
In addition to LaPierre, James also named three other current and former executives as defendants: corporate secretary and general counsel John Frazer; retired treasurer and chief financial officer Wilson Phillips; and LaPierre’s former chief of staff, Joshua Powell. It is important to note that while the lawsuit alleges financial wrongdoing, nobody has been charged with any crimes.
This is not the first time the NRA has had a run-in with NY law. The now defunct CarryGuard program ceased operations when the state pointed out that the NRA’s insurance coverage did not allow for their concealed carry insurance program to operate under the organization’s charter. The NRA, formed in 1871, has been a NY-based organization since its inception even though the headquarters is in Fairfax, Virginia.
According to Fox News, the NRA on Thursday filed its own countersuit, alleging James has been out to get the organization since she was elected in 2018. NRA President Carolyn Meadows called the lawsuit "a baseless, premeditated attack," claiming it targeted not just the NRA, but the constitutional rights it defends.
"You could have set your watch by it: the investigation was going to reach its crescendo as we move into the 2020 election cycle," Meadows said in a statement. "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.”
The Washington, D.C. Attorney General's office also sued the NRA on Thursday based on similar allegations.
"Charitable organizations function as public trusts — and District law requires them to use their funds to benefit the public, not to support political campaigns, lobbying, or private interests," Attorney General Karl Racine said.
Whatever the outcome of these lawsuits, it is abundantly clear that America’s 2nd Amendment rights will once again be a major issue this election cycle. ~ David
David is an avid gun guy and a contributing writer to several major gun publications. In addition to being an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor and RSO, David trains new shooters on basic handgun skills and CCW requirements and is a strong advocate for training as much as you possibly can. "Real life shootouts don't happen at a box range."