James sues to dissolve National Rifle Association

New York Attorney General Letitia James.
New York Attorney General Letitia James.
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New York Attorney General Letitia James is pursuing a lawsuit against the gun rights organization for allegedly using charitable dollars inappropriately.

James sues to dissolve National Rifle Association

The lawsuit alleges that leaders of the gun rights organization diverted charitable dollars for personal use and illegal self-dealing.
August 7, 2020

New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit aiming to dissolve the National Rifle Association for allegedly diverting millions of dollars from its charitable mission on illegal self-dealing and lavish spending.

The lawsuit also targets four top figures affiliated with the national gun-rights advocacy group, including CEO Wayne LaPierre, for neglecting to “fulfill their fiduciary duty” and using the nonprofit’s funds for personal use such as trips to the Bahamas. James also charged that leadership gave out contracts to favored associates and family members. 

“The NRA is fraught with fraud and abuse, which is why, today, we seek to dissolve the NRA, because no organization is above the law,” she said in a statement.

The NRA charged that the decision was politically motivated, calling it “a baseless, premeditated attack on our organization and the Second Amendment freedoms it fights to defend.”

James had been investigating the organization’s tax-exempt status since last year, the latest in the office’s interest in nonprofits affiliated with prominent conservatives. The previous attorney general of New York pursued litigation against President Donald Trump’s foundation that led it to its dissolution in 2019.  

Generally, despite New York’s comparatively robust enforcement of charity law, major investigations of nonprofits aren’t terribly common, and rarely do they see consequences as harsh as what happened to the Trump Foundation.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.