New York State Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit on Thursday (06.08.2020) calling for disbanding the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) and accusing several of its leaders of diverting millions of dollars for personal use.
«The influence of the NRA has been so powerful that it has prevented our nation from taking action against gun violence. But he’s been abusing his power, and under the guise, the NRA is rotten with fraud and abuse,» James said.
At a press conference, the prosecutor said it seeks to «dissolve the NRA,» arguing that no organization, no matter how much influence it has, may be above the law.
For decades, the NRA has represented millions of gun owners and advocates across the United States, struggling with substantial success to weaken and eliminate laws that imposed controls, using the Second Amendment of the Constitution as a pretext.
In politics, the NRA supported candidates who aligned themselves with their views and hit those who supported gun regulation.
The lawsuit directly targets the NRA as an entity, but also its historic leader, Wayne LaPierre, and three other managers, who are accused of violating several state and federal laws and contributing to the loss of more than $64 million from the organization in just three years.
The New York prosecutor denounces dozens of instances in which those executives used millions of NRA dollars, which is a non-profit organization, for personal use, including trips with their families to the Bahamas, private flights and meals in restaurants, among others.
According to James, these four people «basically looted» the organization’s assets, which is going through significant financial problems.
In addition to recovering the money defrauded, James said it seeks to prevent the four individual defendants from being back on the board of any other nonprofit in New York State.
The four are accused of instituting in the NRA a culture of self-management, mismanagement and negligent supervision illegal, oppressive and fraudulent, as well as of evading all internal controls for their own benefit.
In addition, it alleges that the organization violated multiple laws, including those governing the operation of such entities, filing false reports on tax returns, and giving inadequate wage reports.
The National Rifle Association was founded in 1871 and for decades has been a very influential force in American politics. In the last election, the organization spent millions of dollars to support the election of Donald Trump, although in the run-up to the November presidential election it is keeping a much lower profile.