NEW YORK (WWNY) - New York’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit aimed at ending the NRA.
It cites financial fraud from some high-ranking executives, but a local NRA member isn't buying it.
For more than a year, Attorney General Letitia James has been investigating the NRA, all leading to a lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court Thursday.
James says the investigation has uncovered years of financial fraud by four current and former executives.
“They used millions upon millions of dollars from the NRA for personal use,” she said.
NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre is one defendant named.
The lawsuit claims LaPierre used the organization to financially benefit himself and some staff, board members, and vendors.
LaPierre allegedly used his position to “intimidate, punish, and expel anyone at a senior level who raised concerns about his conduct.”
James says a potential outcome of the suit is the end of the NRA.
“There are 18 causes of action,” James said. “They include, but are not limited to, the dissolution of the NRA in its entirety.”
But north country NRA Member Patrick Morse says the lawsuit is a way for the attorney general to fulfill a campaign promise.
“She ran on this, when she was running for office, saying she would take down the NRA,” Morse said, “so she just bided her time, waited for something she thought was plausible.”
On James’s campaign website from 2018, she promised that as attorney general she would “investigate the legitimacy of the NRA as a charitable institution.”
Morse says James is going against the Second Amendment.
“It’s a constitutional crisis,” he said. “It is an attack on the Second Amendment.”
James says her investigation has no hidden motives.
“We followed the facts and the law and we come to conclusions of law,” she said. “And as a result of that, we’ve come to the conclusion that the NRA, unfortunately, was serving as a personal piggy bank to four individual defendants.”
The suit also claims the NRA mismanaged its money, which led to a loss of more than $63 million between 2015 and 2018.