NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre
A Manhattan judge on Wednesday blocked New York Attorney General Letitia James’ bid to shut down the National Rifle Association (NRA).
The judge however allowed James’ lawsuit accusing Wayne LaPierre and other top executives for funneling millions of dollars from the NRA to continue.
Manhattan Judge Joel M. Cohen said allegations of NRA officials misspending on personal trips, no-show contracts and other questionable expenditures can be addressed by other remedies, such as fines and restitution, and do not warrant the “corporate death penalty” that Attorney General Letitia James had sought.
James’ lawsuit, filed in August 2020, tells “a grim story of greed, self-dealing, and lax financial oversight” at the NRA’s highest levels, but it does not allege any financial misconduct benefited the organization or harmed the public, or that the NRA is incapable of “continuing its legitimate activities on behalf of its millions of members,” Cohen wrote in a 42-page decision.
The judge also raised concerns that shutting down the NRA could challenge the free speech and assembly rights of its millions of members. Nevertheless, he said, James’ lawsuit can continue against the NRA, its longtime leader Wayne LaPierre, and three men who have served as executives with the organization.
In August 2020 New York AG Letitia James said her office was seeking an order to dissolve the NRA in its entirety during a press conference.
The investigation into the NRA began in 2019.
Letitia James said the NRA was serving as a personal piggy bank for Wayne LaPierre, the Chief Executive of the NRA.
Wayne LaPierre allegedly “spent more than $ 3.6 million on luxury black car services and travel consultants in the last two years,” according to Letitia James.
The NRA responded by filing a lawsuit against Letitia James