New York State Attorney General Letitia James is suing the NRA out of existence, and it couldn't be happening to a more deserving criminal enterprise.
The Attorney General of New York took action today to dissolve the National Rifle Association, following an 18-month investigation that found evidence the powerful gun rights group is "fraught with fraud and abuse."
Attorney General Letitia James claims in a lawsuit filed Thursday that she found financial misconduct in the millions of dollars, and that it contributed to a loss of more than $64 million over a three year period.
The suit alleges that top NRA executives misused charitable funds for personal gain, awarded contracts to friends and family members, and provided contracts to former employees to ensure loyalty.
Seeking to dissolve the NRA is the most aggressive sanction James could have sought against the not-for-profit organization, which James has jurisdiction over because it is registered in New York. James has a wide range of authorities relating to nonprofits in the state, including the authority to force organizations to cease operations or dissolve. The NRA is all but certain to contest it.
NPR has reached out to the NRA for comment, but has not received a response.
"The NRA's influence has been so powerful that the organization went unchecked for decades while top executives funneled millions into their own pockets," James said in a statement. "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."
James' complaint names the National Rifle Association as a whole, but also names four current and former NRA executives: Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, general counsel John Frazer, former CFO Woody Phillips, and former chief of staff Joshua Powell.
It lists dozens of examples of alleged financial malfeasance, including the use of NRA funds for vacations, private jets, and expensive meals. In a statement, her office said that the charitable organization's executives "instituted a culture of self-dealing, mismanagement and negligent oversight" that contributed to "the waste and loss of millions in assets."
The lawsuit seeks to dissolve the NRA in its entirety and asks the court to order LaPierre and other current and former executives to pay back unlawful profits. It also seeks to remove LaPierre and Frazer from the organization's leadership and prevent the four named individuals from ever serving again on the board of a charity in New York.
My question though is "What's stopping the NRA from setting up shop in Texas or North Dakota?"
We'll find out.