NRA Escapes ‘Corporate Death Sentence’ But Faces Lawsuit

HARBOR COUNTRY, MD - MARCH 15: Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, speaks during the second day of the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Conference (CPAC) ) March 15, 2013 at National Harbor, Maryland. The American Conservative Union holds its annual conference in suburban Washington, DC, to rally conservatives and pitch ideas.

The National Rifle Association avoided a “corporate death penalty” on Wednesday, as a judge elevated the New York Attorney General. By Letitia James (D) sue without a request for dissolution.

Unless appeal is denied, the ruling means that the powerful gun corporation that marked its 150th birthday late last year has escaped one of the most formidable threats to its continued operations.

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Joel Cohen called the attorney general’s case “a grim tale of greed, self-dealing, and lax financial oversight at the highest levels of the National Rifle Association,” if she can testify. prove those statements. But Cohen found that the accusations did not deserve the ultimate punishment.

“Her allegations primarily concern personal harm to the NRA and its members and sponsors, which, if proven can be addressed with targeted, minimally invasive relief. than she sought through other statements in her complaint,” Cohen wrote in a Decisions and orders are 42 pages long. “The complaint does not allege that any financial misconduct has benefited the NRA, or that the NRA exists primarily to carry out such activity, or that the NRA is incapable of continuing its lawful activities. its law on behalf of its millions of members. In short, the complaint does not allege the kind of public harm that is the legal basis for applying the ‘corporate death penalty’. Furthermore, the dissolution of the NRA could affect, at least indirectly, the freedoms of speech and assembly for millions of its members. Although that alone would not preclude statutory dissolution if other circumstances warrant it, the Court believes it is relevant. “

Attorney General James said her team was reviewing their legal options.

“Today, the court affirmed my office has the authority to pursue longstanding claims that fraud, abuse and greed pervade the NRA and its senior leadership,” she wrote in a statement. “While we are told that the judge rejected the NRA’s attempt to block most of the claims in our case against the NRA, we are disappointed that the judge has ruled. reject the dissolution part of the case.”

NRA and its executive vice president Wayne LaPierre Tried counterattacks in various jurisdictions to try to stop the lawsuit. The organization protested in state and federal courts in New York, and LaPierre secretly arranged for the group to file for bankruptcy in Texas, which a judge dismissed in an opinion that outraged LaPierre. for covering up the top officials of the organization.

“What interests the Court most, however, is the stealthy manner in which Mr. LaPierre obtained and exercised his right to file for bankruptcy with the NRA,” said U.S. Bankruptcy Judge. Harlin Hale Written in the ruling in May last year. “The exclusion of so many people from the bankruptcy decision process, including the vast majority of the board of directors, the chief financial officer and the general counsel, is equally shocking.”

LaPierre’s erroneous decision to file for bankruptcy brought the gun company under public scrutiny. His bankruptcy trial The testimony gave evidence of his purchase of $300,000 worth of Italian suits from Beverly Hills Zegna, private jet tours for him and his family, and Hollywood production excursions. Stanton McKenzie’s The 108-foot yacht, “The Illusion.”

The attorney general argued during proceedings in Texas that the NRA’s bankruptcy was falsely assumed that they could not get a fair shake in New York and that dissolution was inevitable.

Shannon Wattsfounder of gun control group Moms Demand Action, argues that the NRA’s view of continued existence as a victory shows how far it has dropped.

“The NRA’s bar is so low that they are turning the continuation of more than a dozen claims against them and their executives as a victory, but the rest of us know this case is far from over. end,” wrote Watts. “Legal bills continue to reach new heights for the NRA, and combined with reports of declining revenue, the NRA may one day find itself having to file for bankruptcy again, just once more. This is real.”

Attorneys for the NRA did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

This is an evolving story.

Read the verdict, below:

(Photo by Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Is there a trick we should know? [email protected] NRA Escapes ‘Corporate Death Sentence’ But Faces Lawsuit

James Brien

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