Following the New York attorney general’s announcement of a lawsuit against the National Rifle Association with the intent to dissolve the group, some pro-gun media outlets and individuals refused to defend the organization’s alleged financial abuse and said the NRA ultimately did this to itself.
On August 6, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against the NRA that asks the court to dissolve the organization after a nearly two-year-long investigation into allegations of financial impropriety and abuse by the group’s management, led by Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. The 169-page lawsuit alleges that LaPierre “spent millions of dollars of the NRA’s charitable assets for private plane trips for himself and his family.” He also “repeatedly directed private aircraft to make additional stops” to pick up or drop off family members, “expensed over a hundred thousand dollars” on golf club membership fees, and reportedly attempted to purchase a $6.5 million mansion in Dallas, all allegedly funded by the NRA.
In response, the NRA tweeted that James’ lawsuit is an “affront to democracy and freedom” that amounts to an “unconstitutional, premeditated attack” against the organization. The group launched a countersuit on August 6, claiming that James is infringing on the NRA’s right to free speech.
Several pro-gun media outlets suggested that the lawsuit is at least in part politically motivated, but that leaders at the NRA ultimately did this to themselves by rallying around LaPierre and refusing to institute any of the reforms that both members and big-ticket donors called for after financial abuse allegations first came out.
Immediately following the lawsuit announcement, pro-gun blog The Truth About Guns tweeted that the “creaking, sclerotic” NRA remained chartered in one of the most “anti-gun states” and proceeded to wave “corruption and infighting” under James’ nose. The tweet argued that the group’s leaders have “no one to blame but themselves.”
On the August 6 edition of pro-gun radio show Armed American Radio, host Mark Walters called the lawsuit “really depressing” and “politically motivated,” before saying that “the National Rifle Association, in my estimation, did this to themselves by not getting rid of Wayne LaPierre when they could have.”
Rob Pincus, NRA member and director of media relations for the reform group Save the Second, called the lawsuit “the shoe that was going to drop eventually if the NRA -- and especially if the NRA didn’t clean themselves up internally” during the August 6 edition of pro-gun podcast Polite Society. Pincus went on to say he believes the lawsuit was the result of a few “bad actors” who “opened the door for the New York attorney general’s office to walk in and potentially shut the NRA down.”
Pro-gun writer David Codrea posted a piece in Ammoland saying that while he believes the lawsuit was politically motivated, “in many ways NRA has brought this down upon itself.” Condrea concluded that if the NRA continues to circle the wagons around LaPierre, the group is going to have a difficult time getting donations to fight this lawsuit.