LaPierre Responds to Dismissal of Bankruptcy Filing, ‘NRA Will Keep Fighting’

Despite a ruling this week from a federal judge in Texas that found the NRA’s attempt to file bankruptcy was “to gain an unfair litigation advantage” and “to avoid a state regulatory scheme,” the nation’s gun lobby is optimistic that it will be able to right the ship in the near future. (Photo: LaPierre/NRA)

By NRA

Fairfax, VA (May 11, 2021) — In response to today’s dismissal of a prior bankruptcy filing, the National Rifle Association of America (“NRA”) announced that it will continue to fight on all fronts in the interests of its mission and its members.   

The New York Attorney General and others had aligned against the NRA in opposition to the NRA’s reorganization plan announced on January 15, 2021. They sought to dismiss the NRA’s bankruptcy filing with prejudice or, in the alternative, appointment of a court-appointed trustee, to take control of the Association’s business and financial affairs. Importantly, a United States Bankruptcy Court in Dallas did not appoint a Trustee or examiner, even as it ruled the Association may not proceed with the chapter 11 case. The court dismissed the bankruptcy filing without prejudice, meaning the NRA does have the option to file a new bankruptcy case. 

During a 12-day hearing that occurred over approximately four weeks, the NRA established that it had adopted new policies and accounting controls, displaced many “insiders” who had allegedly abused the Association, and accepted reparations for costs voluntarily determined to be excess benefits. The hearing proceedings focused on the NRA’s compliance efforts, and the organization’s renewed commitment to good governance. 

In an opinion, dated May 11, 2021, the Hon. Harlin D. Hale, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Northern District of Texas, wrote, “In short, the testimony…suggests that the NRA now understands the importance of compliance. Outside of bankruptcy, the NRA can pay its creditors, continue to fulfill its mission, continue to improve its governance and internal controls, contest dissolution in the NYAG Enforcement Action, and pursue the legal steps necessary to leave New York.”

Underscoring the importance of the proceedings, Judge Hale previously said the NYAG motion contesting the NRA’s Chapter 11 filing was “the most important motion I’ve ever heard as a judge.”  

The NRA remains determined to further streamline its legal and business affairs in the best interests of its constituents and members.  

NRA CEO & EVP Wayne LaPierre said today’s decision – and the ongoing independence of the NRA – empowers the Association’s approximately 5 million members. 

SEE ALSO: Shannon Watts on NRA Bankruptcy Hearing: Gun Lobby Is ‘Broken’

“The NRA remains committed to its members and our plan for the future,” says NRA CEO & EVP Wayne LaPierre. “Although we are disappointed in some aspects of the decision, there is no change in the overall direction of our Association, its programs, or its Second Amendment advocacy. Today is ultimately about our members – those who stand courageously with the NRA in defense of constitutional freedom. We remain an independent organization that can chart its own course, even as we remain in New York to confront our adversaries. The NRA will keep fighting, as we’ve done for 150 years.” 

The NRA remains determined to confront NYAG Letitia James in her attempt to dissolve NRA. The NYAG seeks such remedies as part of a lawsuit she filed on August 6, 2020. In summer 2018, then NYAG candidate James called the NRA a “criminal enterprise” and “terrorist organization.” Her subsequent pursuit of the NRA has been characterized by many legal experts and constitutional scholars as a gross weaponization of legal and regulatory power.

“The NRA will continue to defend the interests of the Association in New York,” says William A. Brewer III, counsel to the NRA. “Our client has faith in its leadership, and its demonstrated commitment to good governance.” 

“The record reflects the NRA undertook a ‘course correction’ with respect to its management,” says NRA President Carolyn Meadows. “The Association is strong and secure – once again moving forward above the objections of its adversaries and those who oppose Second Amendment freedoms.”

The NRA can still pursue establishing business operations in Texas, and the organization will continue to explore moving its headquarters there from Virginia. Texas is home to more than 400,000 NRA members. 

The bankruptcy hearing became the nation’s highest -profile legal proceeding of its kind. The virtual proceedings, involving more than 20 witnesses, explored novel issues that define the roles and responsibilities of legal defendants subjected to the threat of dissolution. The NRA has maintained it is financially viable, following its current pathway, in part, to escape a toxic political environment in New York. The NRA was incorporated in New York in 1871. 

The legal proceedings revealed the NRA’s commitment to good governance and efforts to follow the “principled path” with respect to its management practices, board oversight, and member obligations under Mr. LaPierre’s leadership. Mr. LaPierre remains at the helm of the organization, directing political affairs, grassroots activities and other functions essential to the defense of the Second Amendment. 

“The record establishes that NRA members can have great confidence in this institution and its plans for the future,” says NRA First Vice President Charles Cotton. “The Association will work with members, vendors, and other constituents to continue the fight for freedom.” 

“Our NRA is pressing forward with its plans, and remains determined to promote constitutional freedoms,” says NRA Second Vice President Lt. Col. Willes K. Lee, USA (Ret). “We will never shrink from the tough and principled stands we take on behalf of our law-abiding 5 million members.” 

Read Judge Hale’s Order Granting Motions To Dismiss here.

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{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Kane May 15, 2021, 10:58 am

    Could NOT help noticing that out of 10 responses so far 9 were critical of La Pierre and only one mentioned NY ATG James, There were no specific details in the 9 responses of what La Pierre had actually done wrong and of course no sources could then be checked. Fine, La Pierre and many board members have failed the cause.

    I guess no one here has a problem with James making inflammatory and yet vague accusations against all NRA members and no one questions whether this ATG and the people aligned with her should be trusted.

    Not too long ago one of the those aligned with James was a guy named Cuomo but James has fallen silent on that issue. Cuomo sure seems to be a more immanent dangerous to the population of NY then La Pierre but NOT a word from James. Maybe this NY ATG should NOT command so much trust or whatever it is for the silence among people who are supposedly strong 2A supporters and even former or current NRA members.

    How about a little more healthy skepticism towards those who want to destroy the 2A?

  • steve hammill May 15, 2021, 2:29 am

    Never liked him.
    Give him the boot now!

  • Thom May 14, 2021, 10:17 am

    Who/what is Wayne “fighting for”? I’m in the same boat as “Ed”…as long as Wayne in “in charge”, I’ll not send a cent to the NRA, for Wayne to spend! There are plenty of other worthy organizations out there, especially those organizations that help repair our Warriors from the Mesopotamian debacle!

  • Lawrence Campuirciani May 14, 2021, 9:49 am

    Change is inevitable in all things. Its time for a change. As a 40 year plus member I have done my part with pride to save the 2nd Amendment from those that would destroy this great nation. I cant say the currant executive board of the NRA has done the same. This is an embarrassment to all the LOYAL members. It is time for a fresh start with a new group of loyal patriot’s.

  • Kane May 14, 2021, 9:48 am

    Someone like LaPierre has to NOT only avoid wrong doing but he has to avoid the appearance of wrong doing. Giving LaPierre all the benefit of doubt, he has failed to maintain the most basic level of trust and should step down for the good of the association.

    At the same time, NY ATG Letitia James has made statements that about the NRA that prove she has an inappropriate agenda to continue prosecuting this case. The ATG has made reckless public statements about the NRA and has failed to support those statements with any charges. If the NRA is an “criminal enterprise” and “terrorist organization” then she had a legal obligation to provide supporting evidence. Instead the NY ATG seeks to destroy the whole association based on the questionable conduct of just a few members.

    If every organization could be destroyed by the actions of a few members then what vestige of the US government could continue with that same standard? This is another ATG that is a puppet of George Soros and they should all be removed. James operates under the phony auspice of protecting the financial interests of NRA members and her lack of goodwill should be grounds for her removal and perhaps dismissal of the case.

    I will still back the NRA regardless of certain individuals like James or even LaPierre.

    BNLIFE 5850868

  • JohnL May 14, 2021, 9:43 am

    So the NRA got rid of the “insiders” looting the organization, but left the biggest crook, ole’ Wayne Boy, in place?

  • Shardale May 14, 2021, 8:36 am

    If Wayne LaPierre would just resign, and go away without raiding the treasury I expect things would improve dramatically.

  • Big John May 14, 2021, 7:40 am

    I agree with the previous two Posters, the NRA will never again be a force until “Dirty Wayne” and others are at the helm. They haven’t had a major victory in years. Until they clean house they will remain a weak and feckless organization. NRA= No Real Action. Not one thin dime from me…a 40 year Benefactor Life Member. All my cash now goes to GOA!

  • Dr Motown May 14, 2021, 7:18 am

    How much did this sham bankruptcy strategy cost? Another million into Brewer’s pocket? I wish the judge had appointed a trustee to oversee WLP and the incompetent Board…..nothing will change under current leadership

  • Ed May 14, 2021, 5:36 am

    I am an ardent supporter of Second Amendment rights. I have been a Lifetime Member of the NRA for 20 years. I feel Wayne has abused the trust of the membership and as long as Wayne is still there abuses will continue. The NRA will not get a dime from me as long as he is still involved.

  • John May 12, 2021, 1:37 pm

    How can there be any changes of consequence when the main culprit Wayne is still running the show? Step down Wayne and change his position to an elected one with term limits. I hope NY finds him and his cronies guilty of theft.

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