The Texas chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statements as the NRA announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and reincorporating in Texas. The move comes as the NRA faces steep financial consequences and potential dissolution stemming from a New York Attorney General lawsuit, which alleged years of illegal self dealing and fraud by the NRA and its top executives.
“Texas is not interested in hosting a corrupt, bankrupt organization that is hiding from the law,” said Tanya Rhoades, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Texans believe in a culture of responsibility and gun safety, and the NRA represents the opposite.”
“The NRA’s self-dealing leadership resembles an incompetent criminal enterprise, and they’ve lost touch with reality as well as with any concept of responsible gun ownership,” said Ade Osadolor-Hernandez, a volunteer with Texas Students Demand Action and a member of the SDA National Advisory Board. “Why on earth Governor Abbott would roll out the red carpet for them, I couldn’t tell you – their extremist ideology has no place in Texas.”
This decision comes at a time when the NRA is already mired in immense legal, financial, and internal turmoil.
- Legal: Earlier this month, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed suit seeking to dissolve the NRA for violating New York charities law. On the same day, DC Attorney General Karl Racine sued the NRA for allegedly exerting undue influence over the NRA Foundation. Additionally, the NRA was recently hit with a class action lawsuit, and it was already facing charges by New York State’s Department of Financial Services, and locked in various lawsuits with former business partner Ackerman McQueen. As a result of these legal troubles, the Trace reported allegations that the NRA paid its top lawyer an estimated $54 million in the last two years alone.
- Financial: The NRA is $57 million in debt, recently reportedly laid off and furloughed over 200 employees, and in 2019, its revenue from member dues declined by 34% while its “legal, audit, and tax costs” increased by 39%. Additionally, earlier this year, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said that the NRA suffered “about a $100 million hit” in 2018 and 2019, and that for the NRA “to survive,” he took “about $80 million” out of the budget. This follows years of alleged financial mismanagement, during which NRA executive pay has skyrocketed, money has flowed to “unpaid” board members, and the NRA’s own board members and accountants have called into question lavish, legally suspect personal spending by its leadership.
- Internal: Experts believe that Wayne LaPierre’s removal is “a foregone conclusion” due to the NRA’s legal troubles. Additionally, according to The Guardian, the NRA’s “drop in revenues accelerated in 2019 when several large NRA donors began a drive to oust LaPierre over allegations of mismanagement and self-dealing, and to promote reforms.” These donors have boasted that “$165 million in donations and planned gifts had been withheld.”
A detailed history of the NRA’s finances and litigation can be found on NRAWatch.org.