ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — New York Attorney General Letitia James is trying to take down the biggest “pro-gun” organization in the country, the National Rifle Association, with a lawsuit to dissolve the organization.
It comes as a challenge to the NRA’s non-profit status. James is charging the NRA with “illegal conduct.” She alleges current and former NRA leaders diverted “millions of dollars from the charitable mission” for personal use.
“We have filed our complaint today. There are 18 causes of action. They include but are not limited to the dissolution of the NRA in its entirety,” James said.
The lawsuit alleges that some of the organization’s current and former leaders contributed to its $64 million loss in three years.
“A number of donors have contributed to the NRA because they believe in their mission. At this point in time, the NRA, right now, financially, is in a deficit. And it is the result of four individual defendants who have basically looted its assets,” James said.
The New York Attorney General’s office said NRA Executive-Vice President Wayne LaPierre, “Spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of the NRA’s charitable assets for private plane trips for himself and his family, including extended family when he was not present.”
They also allege that he “handpicked individuals in senior staff positions at the NRA that have shown themselves to be loyal to [him] as an individual, rather than to the organization.”
In a statement, the NRA has responded to the lawsuit calling it a “baseless, premeditated attack.” NRA President Carolyn Meadows said, “You could have set your watch by it: the investigation was going to reach its crescendo as we move into the 2020 election cycle. It’s a transparent attempt to score political points and attack the leading voice in opposition to the leftist agenda.”
“The NRA is well governed, financially solvent, and committed to good governance. We’re ready for the fight. Bring it on,” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.
The NRA also filed a counter lawsuit against the New York Attorney General’s Office Thursday.