On Friday, the National Rifle Association (NRA) — which is currently facing a legal battle in New York state — released a statement announcing that it intends to restructure as a nonprofit based in Texas and has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections.
The announcement came months after New York Attorney General Letitia James sued the NRA, seeking its dissolution 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. New York Attorney General Letitia James released a statement, saying “we will not allow the NRA to use this or any other tactic to evade accountability and my office’s oversight.”
In its filing, the NRA said longtime leader, Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, made the decision to file for bankruptcy protection in consultation with a committee of three NRA officials formed in September to oversee its legal strategies. The NRA board voted Jan. 7 to clarify LaPierre’s employment agreement, giving him the power to “reorganize or restructure the affairs” of the organization.
“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.
In an interview, NRA board member Charles Cotton made clear that the bankruptcy filing was motivated by litigation and regulatory scrutiny in what he called “corrupt New York” — not financial concerns.