NRA says bankruptcy shows why New York attorney general can’t shut it down

New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks at a press conference to announce a lawsuit to dissolve the National Rifle Association, in New York, August 6, 2020. REUTERS / Brendan McDermid

  • NRA: judge found no persistent fraud or illegal action
  • New York calls for dissolution of NRA over alleged corruption

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The National Rifle Association, which unsuccessfully filed for bankruptcy to evade New York’s attempt to shut it down, said the dismissal of the case nevertheless established that the state attorney general could not not dissolve it for alleged corruption.

In a court case filed Tuesday, the gun rights group also renewed its request for an injunction against the shutdown and impeachment of longtime chief executive Wayne LaPierre by Letitia James, the state’s Democratic attorney general. .

He said that despite the dismissal of his Chapter 11 case in May, US bankruptcy judge Harlin Hale’s ruling “comprehensively undermines James’ false narrative of a corrupt organization that it is incapable of. reform ”.

James’ office had no immediate comment.

The NRA filed for bankruptcy in January and said it would move to Texas after 150 years in New York, accusing James of pursuing its disbandment last August because she didn’t like his policies.

James accused the NRA of diverting millions of dollars to LaPierre and other leaders, in part to support lavish lifestyles.

Hale, who is based in Dallas, dismissed the bankruptcy case after a 12-day trial.

Citing testimony that the NRA’s finances were the strongest in years, he called the case an inappropriate end to the race around James, and said LaPierre’s decision to sue without notifying many senior officials of the NRA “nothing short of shocking”.

But he also concluded that the NRA “now understands the importance of compliance” and that it can pay creditors, continue its mission and improve governance and internal controls.

The NRA said this was “operative” of James’ claim that he was operating in a “persistent fraudulent or illegal manner” that harmed or threatened public welfare, and could be dissolved under New York law. York governing nonprofit organizations.

The NRA counterattacked James in February and is seeking unspecified damages.

The case is New York v. The National Rifle Association of America Inc et al, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 451625/2020.

For the NRA: William Brewer, at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors

For the Attorney General of New York: James Sheehan, Chief Charities Bureau

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