Jan 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

NRA declares bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association (NRA), speaks during the annual

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) speaks during CPAC in 2016. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will seek to reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment."

The big picture: The move comes just months after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.

  • The NRA then sued James in federal court, accusing her of violating its right to free speech.
  • Karl Racine, attorney general for Washington, D.C., filed a separate lawsuit in August against the gun lobby and its foundation "for misusing charitable funds to support wasteful spending by the NRA and its executives."

What they're saying: "Today, the NRA announced a restructuring plan that positions us for the long-term and ensures our continued success as the nation’s leading advocate for constitutional freedom – free from the toxic political environment of New York," the NRA's Wayne LaPierre said in letter to members and supporters Friday.

  • "The plan can be summed up quite simply: We are DUMPING New York, and we are pursuing plans to reincorporate the NRA in Texas," LaPierre added.
  • "Under the plan, the NRA will continue what we’ve always done – confronting anti-gun, anti-self-defense and anti-hunting activities and promoting constitutional advocacy that helps law-abiding Americans."
  • "Our work will continue as it always has. No major changes are expected to the NRA’s operations or workforce. "

LaPierre also claimed Friday that the NRA is "as financially strong as we have been in years," despite the organization laying off or furloughing dozens of employees, canceling its national convention and cutting salaries last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, per AP.

  • A spokesperson for the NRA said in May that like "every other business and nonprofit, we are forced to make tough choices in this new economic environment," per AP.
  • In its bankruptcy petition filed in Texas, the NRA listed assets and liabilities of as much as $500 million each, Bloomberg reported.

Go deeper: The NRA's dwindling political influence

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

Go deeper