The National Rifle Association (NRA) has filed for bankruptcy, according to court files filed in the Northern District of Texas on Friday. The organization plans to reintegrate in Texas amid the New York attorney general prosecuting a fraud case against the nation’s leading gun lobby group, NPR reported.
Since its inception in New York State in 1871, the NRA has presented itself as the defender of the rights of the Second Amendment. The move to Texas was due to a “corrupt political and regulatory environment” in New York, reported NPR.
The January 15, chapter 11 announcement comes amid leadership upheaval and allegations of financial mismanagement in the country’s leading gun lobby group in recent years, CNN reported.
New York attorney general Letitia James filed a lawsuit in August to disband the National Rifle Association. James told NPR during a radio interview that “top NRA executives have been involved in fraud for decades, raiding the organization’s bank accounts for personal gain.”
James claimed that the current and past leadership of the NRA had “instituted a culture of proprietary trading mismanagement” that benefited themselves, their family, friends and preferred vendors, and resulted in the organization generating more than $ 63 million in three years. Lost dollars, reported CNN.
James accused the NRA CEO and chief executive vice president Wayne LaPierre and other NRA officers of breaking laws governing nonprofit groups and using millions of dollars from the organization’s reserves for personal use and tax fraud, including luxury vacations , Private jets and more. James called for the funds to be returned and management of New York executives, the New York Times reported.
The NRA called the filed lawsuit a “political move,” NPR reported. In response, the NRA filed a counterclaim alleging that the attorney general interfered with the group’s initial adjustment rights, CNN reported.
In a statement on Friday, LaPierre called it a “moment of transformation in the history of the NRA”. “Obviously, an important part of that plan is ‘dumping New York,'” he added. “This strategic plan represents a path to opportunity, growth and progress. The NRA seeks to reintegrate the values of the NRA’s contributions into a state, celebrate our law-abiding members and will join us as partners in upholding constitutional freedom,” reported the New York Times.
Since 2019, James has been conducting an investigation into alleged corruption at the gun group, which currently has its headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, the New York Times reported.
On January 15, James posted on Twitter that she was campaigning for the NRAs to be held accountable for their alleged actions. “The NRA’s claimed financial status has finally reached its moral status: bankrupt,” said James. “While we are reviewing the bankruptcy filing, we will not allow @NRA to use this or any other tactic to evade the accountability and oversight of my office.”
The NRA said Friday it was in “the toughest financial position in years,” but the restructuring will help “streamline costs and spending,” CNN reported.
According to the NPR, the NRA had legal issues that cost the organization $ 100 million. This emerges from a recording of the group’s board meeting that NPR received in January 2020. The NRA’s 2019 tax return (990) received by CNN in November shows that the NRA has a deficit of $ 12.2 million.
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