On Wednesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James’ request to put the National Rifle Association out of business has been rejected by a Manhattan judge. However, he advised James that she could still file a lawsuit against the NRA’s longtime Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre.
It was in 2020 when the lawsuit was filed by Attorney General Letitia James claiming its top executives flouted nonprofit rules by diverting millions of agency dollars to fund their lavish lifestyle, including trips to the Bahamas, safaris in Africa, and jaunts on yachts.
Here’s an excerpt from the AP report:
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 impinge 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.
James expressed her disappointment after the rejection of her claim and said “heartened that the judge rejected the NRA’s attempts to thwart most of the claims in our case.”
“We are considering our legal options with respect to this ruling,” James said in a statement. “We remain committed to enforcing New York law regardless of how powerful any individual or organization maybe.”
According to Letitia James, Wayne LaPierre allegedly “spent more than $3.6 million on luxury black car services and travel consultants in the last two years.”
NRA also responded to James’ claim by filing a lawsuit against her.