The gun industry’s chief advocate, the National Rifle Association, said that on Friday he was departing New York for Texas and would seek protection from bankruptcy.
The state has a “toxic political environment”, the NRA said in a statement to New York’s government and justice system. Based in Fairfax, Virginia, the organization has operated as a New York registered non-profit since its founding in 1871.
The NRA said the group would explore a growing portion of its operations in Texas.
The planned actions, including the filing of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Texas, come five months after the state of New York filed a civil lawsuit by Attorney General Letitia James for allegedly using millions of NRA dollars for private use. An attempt was made to dissolve the association to use the dollar to travel to places including the Bahamas and pricey food.
The NRA allegedly attempted to “blacklist” the group with its own suit against the Attorney General, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others.
James said in a statement on Friday, “The NRA’s claimed financial position has finally gone to its moral position: bankruptcy.” When we review this filing, we will not allow the NRA to use this or any other strategy to avoid accountability and monitoring of my office. “
Shannon Watts, founder of gun-safety group Moms Demand Action, said in a statement, “The NRA may try to run from its years of deception, collapse, and self-dealing, but it cannot hide.”
NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre named in the attorney general’s lawsuit, blaming New York State for the organization’s crisis.
“Obviously, an important part of the plan is’ New York dumping,” LaPierre said in a statement. “The NRA is reborn in a state that values the contribution of the NRA, celebrates our law abiding members, and will join us as our partners in maintaining constitutional independence.”
The statement said, “The NRA abandons a state where elected officials have armed legal and regulatory powers.
Retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, who became president of the NRA in 2018, stepped down in 2019 after being accused of financial constraints in the association.
His departure revealed an internal power struggle between North and Lapeyre.
Saying that it is in its strongest financial shape in years, the NRA said Friday it would have to seek court approval to be included as a non-beneficiary in Texas where, according to the NRA, its claimed 5 400,000 out of a million members live.
The organization’s plan is to undergo restructuring “to streamline costs and expenses according to the statement”.