The National Rifle Association announced Friday it has filed for bankruptcy and will seek to incorporate the nation’s most politically influential gun-rights group in Texas instead of New York.
The announcement made on the NRA's website comes months after New York’s attorney general sued the organization over claims that top executives illegally diverted tens of millions of dollars for lavish personal trips, no-show contracts for associates and other questionable expenditures.
The coronavirus pandemic has also upended the NRA, which last year laid off dozens of employees, canceled its national convention and scuttled fundraising. Still, the NRA claimed in announcing the move that the organization was “in its strongest financial condition in years.”
The NRA said it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Dallas federal court.
“The move will enable long-term, sustainable growth and ensure the NRA’s continued success as the nation’s leading advocate for constitutional freedom – free from the toxic political environment of New York,” the NRA said in a statement.
“The plan can be summed up quite simply: We are DUMPING New York, and we are pursuing plans to reincorporate the NRA in Texas,” wrote NRA CEO and executive vice president Wayne LaPierre.
He stressed in his note to members that “no major changes are expected to the NRA’s operations or workforce.”
The gun-rights group boasts about 5 million members. Though headquartered in Virginia, the NRA was chartered as a nonprofit in New York in 1871 and is incorporated in the state.
Last year, New York Attorney General Letitia James said that her state was seeking to dissolve the NRA altogether. A suit contended that its leadership had shifted around some $64 million for personal use.
“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 August, as recounted by CNBC in its report on the voluntary bankruptcy filing. “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."
In addition to dissolving the gun group, James wants the court to order past and current execs to pay restitution, the business news network noted.
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