New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the following statement after New York State Supreme Court Judge Joel Cohen rejected the latest attempt from the National Rifle Association (NRA) to evade the law:
“Once again, a judge has dismissed attempts by the NRA and its senior management to evade the law and avoid the consequences of their actions. As Attorney General, I will always hold individuals and institutions accountable for their misconduct, no matter how wealthy, powerful, or privileged they may be.”
Yesterday’s ruling enables the case to move forward and allows Attorney General James to seek an independent monitor to oversee the NRA’s finances as part of her lawsuit against the institution.
Attorney General James first filed the lawsuit against the NRA and its senior management in August 2020, for failing to manage the NRA’s funds; violating numerous state and federal laws, and even the NRA’s own bylaws and policies; and contributing to the loss of more than $64 million in just three years.
The NRA then tried to dismiss Attorney General James’ complaint and change the venue to an Albany court, which was rejected in January 2021.
In March 2022, the New York County State Supreme Court denied a second round of motions brought forward by the NRA, Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre, and Corporate Secretary and General Counsel John Frazer as they tried to dismiss the lawsuit.
Trying to avoid accountability altogether, the NRA even filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy despite the organization’s claims to have healthy financial reserves.
In May 2021, a federal bankruptcy court in Texas rejected the organization’s bankruptcy declaration after the NRA sought to reorganize in Texas, stating that the NRA had filed for bankruptcy to avoid regulators and stating, “that the NRA did not file the bankruptcy petition in good faith.”
In June 2022, the State Supreme Court rejected the NRA’s accusation that the investigation against it was politically motivated, and found that Attorney General James’ claims against the organization’s wrongdoing are serious and viable, and are well within her office’s jurisdiction to investigate.