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NRA declares bankruptcy – here’s what’s happening

President Donald J. Trump addresses his remarks Friday, April 26, 2019, at the National Rifle Association annual convention in Indianapolis, Ind. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)
January 15, 2021

The National Rifle Association has filed bankruptcy in New York in an effort to restructure the organization and move to Texas, the organization announced Friday.

The NRA said the move “involves utilizing the protection of the bankruptcy court” via voluntary Chapter 11 filing in federal bankruptcy court, despite the organization being “in its strongest financial condition in years.”

The organization assured stakeholders that there would be no changes to operations or the group’s mission, and they instead plan to grow in Texas where 400,000 of its members are located.

“This strategic plan represents a pathway to opportunity, growth and progress,” says NRA CEO & EVP Wayne LaPierre. “Obviously, an important part of this plan is ‘dumping New York.’ 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. This is a transformational moment in the history of the NRA.”

The NRA cited then incoming New York Attorney General Letitia James, who vowed in 2018 to investigate the organization, calling them a “terrorist organization.” After an 18-month investigation, James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the organization in August 2020, citing illegal conduct and misuse of funds.

Additionally, the NY Department of Financial Services announced the NRA would pay a $2.5 million fine for violating the state’s insurance law, and the organization would also be banned from doing insurance business in the state for five ears.

“By exiting New York, where the NRA has been incorporated for approximately 150 years, the NRA abandons a state where elected officials have weaponized the legal and regulatory powers they wield to penalize the Association and its members for purely political purposes,” the NRA said.

The NRA vowed to continue its current lawsuits against James, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the NY State Department of Financial Services, for “attempting to ‘blacklist’ the organization and its financial partners in violation of their First Amendment rights.”

“Under this plan, the Association wisely seeks protection from New York officials who it believes have illegally weaponized their powers against the NRA and its members,” says William A. Brewer III, counsel to the NRA in those cases. “The NRA will continue the fight to protect the interests of its members in New York – and all forums where the NRA is unlawfully singled out for its Second Amendment advocacy.”