July 7, 2022

OUTGUNNED: NRA DEFEATED in court battle with New York AG Letitia James

OUTGUNNED: NRA DEFEATED in court battle with New York AG Letitia James

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The NRA just took another “L” with a judge ruling against the pro-gun rights group. The attempt by the lobbying organization for gun manufacturers to shut down New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into their alleged fraud and financial improprieties was rejected by Judge Harlin Hale, and the state’s investigation will now move forward.

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In 2021, the NRA tried – and failed – to claim bankruptcy and avoid accountability for allegations of fraud and the funneling of millions into the pockets of NRA leader Wayne LaPierre and others. James was also at the helm of that suit, taking to Twitter to praise the court’s decision:

As Attorney General James reiterated, no one is above the law. Judge Harlin Hale obviously agreed, ruling that the bankruptcy filing by the NRA was indeed in bad faith. In 2020 Attorney General James released a statement that accused NRA leadership of an extraordinary amount of self-dealing.

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“The NRA’s influence has been so powerful that the organization went unchecked for decades while top executives funneled millions of dollars into their own pockets.”

Though James’ initial attempts to dissolve the disingenuous group failed, she was allowed to continue her efforts to hold them accountable for the offenses that James enumerated:

“Illegal conduct because of their diversion of millions of dollars away from the charitable mission of the organization for personal use by senior leadership, awarding contracts to the financial gain of close associates and family, and appearing to dole out lucrative no-show contracts to former employees in order to buy their silence and continued loyalty.”

In 2020, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre repaid close to $300,000 in what was considered “ill-gotten” gains. The Washington Post reported the group’s admission to using the organization’s money for “personal benefit and enrichment,” stemming from a 2019 tax return confirming a “diversion of assets.”

Besides the financial improprieties, the NRA is under intense scrutiny in the wake of the May 24th school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, when 19 children and two adults were slaughtered in one of the country’s worst massacres. Just three days later, the gun rights organization would hold its annual convention just a few hundred miles away from where almost 20 children were killed.

But for now, at least, accountability seems to be coming. With New York Attorney General Letitia James – who is also in hot pursuit of Donald Trump and his fraudulent organization – at the forefront of the investigation, maybe those thirsting for justice in this country will see what many believe to be a domestic terrorist organization brought to its proverbial knees.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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