The National Rifle Association announced last week its intention to file voluntary chapter 11 bankruptcy to escape what it believes are politically motivated attacks by New York’s attorney general.
NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said in a letter to board members that the Association is planning to move its charter to Texas.
“The NRA announced it will reorganize the Association as a Texas nonprofit to abandon the corrupt political and regulatory environment in New York. This action will ensure our continued success as the nation’s leading advocate for constitutional freedom,” LaPierre said in the letter obtained by GunsAmerica.
“As many of you have observed, New York is no longer a welcome home to our Association, as its leaders have demonstrated their hostility to the constitutional freedoms in which we believe. Our filing today allows us to wisely seek protection from New York officials who illegally weaponized the powers they wield against the NRA and its members,” LaPierre continued (bold in original).
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LaPierre insists that the move wasn’t motivated by financial problems at the NRA.
“The NRA is not financially insolvent. In fact, this move comes at a time when the NRA is in its strongest financial condition in years,” he said.
The NRA has struggled financially in recent years following alleged mismanagement of donor funds by LaPierre and other executives. New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit alleging that mismanagement has cost the NRA $64 million over the last three years, and LaPierre admitted that the scandal has cost the NRA about $100 million.
In its bankruptcy filing with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, the NRA lists both assets and liabilities of $100 million to $500 million and more than 200 creditors, according to the Wall Street Journal.
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It’s unclear whether the gambit will succeed. Courts will only accept bankruptcy plans if they are proposed in “good faith,” according to the Federal Judiciary. The NRA has not said how it plans to justify its chapter 11 filing even while insisting that the Association is on strong financial footing.
James vowed on Twitter that the NRA would not be permitted “to use this or any other tactic to evade accountability.”
“The @NRA’s claimed financial status has finally met its moral status: bankrupt,” she said.
The @NRA‘s claimed financial status has finally met its moral status: bankrupt.— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) January 15, 2021
While we review its bankruptcy filing, we will not allow the @NRA to use this or any other tactic to evade accountability and my office’s oversight.
At the conclusion of his letter to board members, LaPierre reiterated that the NRA is “financially strong and well-positioned on all fronts” and encouraged members not to believe what they read in the media.
“Do not believe everything you hear in the media. We fully expect our adversaries to try to gain some sort of perceived advantage over the NRA by mischaracterizing this strategic plan. They will portray a so-called “bankruptcy” as a negative and, once again, predict our demise,” he said. “The liberal media, anti-gun gadflies, and left-wing politicians will desperately try to advance another distorted truth about the NRA.”
While the bankruptcy case plays out, the NRA will continue its normal operations from its headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia.