National Rifle Association Files Bankruptcy Petition in US Court

Gun-rights advocacy group, The National Rifle Association, has filed a bankruptcy petition in a United states court. In a letter to members and supporters, NRA CEO and executive vice president Wayne LaPierre stated, "Today, the NRA announced a restructuring plan that positions us for the long-term and ensures our continued success as the nation’s leading advocate for constitutional freedom – free from the toxic political environment of New York." He added, "The plan can be summed up quite simply: We are DUMPING New York, and we are pursuing plans to reincorporate the NRA in Texas."

LaPierre explained the organization's ultimate goal by sharing, "To facilitate the strategic plan and restructuring, the NRA and one of its subsidiaries have filed voluntary chapter 11 petitions in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. As you may know, chapter 11 proceedings are often utilized by businesses, nonprofits and organizations of all kinds to streamline legal and financial affairs." He then stated, "Under the plan, the NRA will continue what we’ve always done – confronting anti-gun, anti-self-defense and anti-hunting activities and promoting constitutional advocacy that helps law-abiding Americans. Our work will continue as it always has. No major changes are expected to the NRA’s operations or workforce."

The NRA's bankruptcy filing comes several months after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the nearly 150-year-old organization. "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 in a statement at the time. "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."

James' lawsuit accuses the NRA of "illegal conduct," and states that the organization created and perpetuated "a culture of self-dealing, mismanagement and negligent oversight." She alleges that the NRA moved millions of dollars "from the charitable mission of the organization for personal use by senior leadership." Allegedly, these funds went towards "awarding contracts to the financial gain of close associates and family, and appearing to dole out lucrative no- show contracts to former employees in order to buy their silence and continued loyalty."

James also has accused the NRA leadership of putting organiztion money towards "personal use, including trips for them and their families to the Bahamas, private jets, expensive meals, and other private travel." Notably, LaPierre is specifically named in the suit, as are NRA executives John Frazier, Woody Phillips, and Joshua Powell. James claims these men "failed to fulfill their fiduciary duty to the NRA." The NRA has denied the allegations.