At an online press conference this morning, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced legal action to dissolve the National Rifle Association, which she said has defrauded tens of millions of dollars from its donors, corruptly enriched leaders including longtime president Wayne LaPierre, and is riven by fraud and "brazen illegality."
"The four defendants failed to fulfill their fiduciary duty to the NRA and used millions upon millions from NRA reserves for personal use," James said, listing "trips for them and their families to the Bahamas and safaris in Africa, private jets, expensive meals and other private travel."
The NRA was founded in 1871 in New York and is a registered nonprofit in that state.
Asked why she is seeking to dissolve the organization rather than charge individual offials, James said that the misconduct was such that "they've destroyed the assets of the corporation" and that it effectively served no purpose other than to support the abuses.
"Donors donate to the NRA beacuse they believe in its mission, James said in response to a reporter's question about gun rights advocates' right to organize. "Four individual members have looted its assets."
She nonetheless confirmed that her office was moving forward only with civil, not criminal enforcement, against LaPierre and the other officials named.
#BREAKING: I filed a lawsuit to dissolve the National Rifle Association for years of self-dealing and illegal conduct.
The @NRA is fraught with fraud and abuse.
No organization is above the law.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) August 6, 2020