National Rifle Association petitions for bankruptcy and reincorporation in Texas

‘The NRA’s claimed financial status has finally met its moral status: bankrupt,’ says New York AG

 National Rifle Association executive vice-president and CEO Wayne LaPierre. Photograph: Jose Luis Magana/AP

National Rifle Association executive vice-president and CEO Wayne LaPierre. Photograph: Jose Luis Magana/AP

 

Seeking an end-run around an investigation by the New York attorney general, the National Rifle Association said Friday that it was declaring bankruptcy and would reincorporate in Texas.

The gun group was set up in New York after the US Civil War.

The plan raised immediate questions from Letitia James, the New York attorney general and a Democrat, who is seeking to use her regulatory authority to dissolve the NRA.

She has been conducting an investigation into corruption at the gun group since 2019 that has led to infighting and discontent as well as some departures from the group’s board.

“The NRA’s claimed financial status has finally met its moral status: bankrupt,” James said in a statement Friday. “While we review this filing, we will not allow the NRA to use this or any other tactic to evade accountability and my office’s oversight.”

Typically, no-profit groups that are chartered in New York and under investigation are prohibited from relocating during an inquiry; in recent years, the attorney general’s office prevented the Trump Foundation from closing before it had reached the conclusion of an investigation into that organisation.

The NRA and a subsidiary filed Chapter 11 petitions in the US Bankruptcy Court in Dallas. The group said Friday that it had also formed a committee to examine moving its headquarters out of Fairfax, Virginia, and that it would study “opportunities for relocating segments of its business operations to Texas or other states”.

Wayne LaPierre, longtime chief executive of the NRA, said in a statement that “this strategic plan represents a pathway to opportunity, growth and progress”. “Obviously, an important part of this plan is ‘dumping New York’,” he added. “The NRA is pursuing reincorporating in a state that values the contributions of the NRA, celebrates our law-abiding members, and will join us as a partner in upholding constitutional freedom.”

The NRA has weathered years of revelations about its spending and oversight practices, including hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on LaPierre’s Zegna suits and travel.

The NRA conceded in recent tax filings that LaPierre and other executives had received hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of improper benefits from the group, which were reimbursed. – New York Times