NRA files for bankruptcy, seeks to escape lawsuit

The National Rifle Association filed for bankruptcy on Friday.

It's an unexpected development that could help the gun rights group break free from a lawsuit by New York's attorney general seeking its dissolution.

The NRA - currently incorporated in New York - filed for Chapter 11 protection in federal bankruptcy court in Dallas, and said it plans to reincorporate in Texas to escape "a corrupt political and regulatory environment."

Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre, in a letter to members wrote, "Texas values the contributions of the NRA," adding "We seek protection from New York officials who illegally abused and weaponized the powers they wield against the NRA and its members."

The NRA was sued in August by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who accused LaPierre and other senior leaders of self-dealing and mismanagement, and said the group's activities violated state laws governing nonprofits.

James said NRA officials diverted millions of dollars to fund luxury lifestyles, including vacations and private jets, and buy the silence and loyalty of former employees.

In her lawsuit, James added that the NRA's incorporation in New York gave her authority to seek its dissolution.

The NRA filed a countersuit in federal court in Albany, New York, accusing her of violating its free speech rights because she disliked its politics.

They also accused James, a Democrat, of seeking a "corporate death sentence" in a partisan push to fulfill a "career goal."

Sixteen Republican attorneys general filed a brief supporting the NRA's case.

Friday's move will likely put the New York lawsuit on hold, and a reincorporation in Texas could strip James of her power to dissolve the group.

Video Transcript

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- The National Rifle Association filed for bankruptcy on Friday. It's an unexpected development that could help the gun rights group break free from a lawsuit by New York's attorney general seeking its dissolution. The NRA-- currently incorporated in New York-- filed for Chapter 11 protection in federal bankruptcy court in Dallas, and said it plans to reincorporate in Texas to escape, quote, "a corrupt political and regulatory environment."

Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre, in a letter to members wrote, quote, "Texas values the contributions of the NRA," adding that, "We seek protection from New York officials who illegally abused and weaponized the powers they wield against the NRA and its members." The NRA was sued in August by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who accused LaPierre and other senior leaders of self-dealing and mismanagement, and said the group's activities violated state laws governing nonprofits.

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James said NRA officials diverted millions of dollars to fund luxury lifestyles, including vacations and private Jets, and buy the silence and loyalty of former employees. In her lawsuit, James added that the NRA's incorporation in New York gave her authority to seek its dissolution. The NRA filed a countersuit in federal court in Albany, New York, accusing her of violating its free speech rights because she disliked its politics.

They also accused James, a Democrat, of seeking a "corporate death sentence" in a partisan push to fulfill a "career goal." 16 Republican attorneys general filed a brief supporting the NRA's case. Friday's move will likely put the New York lawsuit on hold, and a reincorporation in Texas could strip James of her power to dissolve the group.

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