The National Rifle Association (NRA) has filed for bankruptcy and will reincorporate in Texas, the gun rights advocacy group announced Friday.
The NRA, which is based in New York, said it’s exiting “what it believes is a corrupt political and regulatory environment in New York” and will restructure as a Texas nonprofit. Its plan, it said, “involves utilizing the protection of the bankruptcy court.”
“The move will enable long-term, sustainable growth and ensure the NRA’s continued success as the nation’s leading advocate for constitutional freedom – free from the toxic political environment of New York,” the NRA said in a statement.
The NRA also claims it is in its “strongest financial condition in years” and said there will be no immediate changes to its operations or workforce. Texas is home to more than 400,000 NRA members and the group is holding its annual meeting in Houston in 2021.
“This strategic plan represents a pathway to opportunity, growth and progress,” NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said in a statement. “Obviously an important part of this plan is ‘dumping New York.’ The NRA is pursuing reincorporating in a state that values the contributions of the NRA, celebrates our law-abiding members, and will join us as a partner in upholding constitutional freedom. This is a transformational moment in the history of the NRA.”
The news follows a lawsuit from New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) in August that alleges the NRA violated state law governing nonprofit organizations, contributing to a loss of more $64 million over three years.
The civil suit also claimed that the group and four of its top officials, including LaPierre, diverted millions of dollars away from its charitable mission.
James in a statement on Friday called the NRA both morally and financially bankrupt.
“The NRA’s claimed financial status has finally met its moral status: bankrupt. While we review this filing, we will not allow the NRA to use this or any other tactic to evade accountability and my office’s oversight,” she said.
Following the civil suit announcement, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee called on the IRS to review the tax-exempt status of the NRA and NRA Foundation.