WASHINGTON | The powerful American arms lobby, National Rifle Association (NRA), announced on Friday that it had declared bankruptcy in order to freeze lawsuits in New York State.
The NRA and one of its affiliates have opened so-called “Chapter 11” proceedings in Texas bankruptcy court to secure its future “free from the toxic political environment of New York,” its influential boss Wayne wrote. LaPierre in a letter to its members.
The State of New York had filed a complaint in August against the NRA, Mr. LaPierre and three other senior officials, accused of having used the contributions of their members as “their own piggy bank”.
New York Attorney General Democrat Letitia James had denied any political motivation, while acknowledging that the complaint could lead to the dissolution of the NRA.
For decades, the lobby has championed the views of millions of gun owners in the United States, staunchly opposing any regulation of the gun market.
Its influence is considerable and the organization does not skimp on the means to support candidates defending the same positions in local and national elections.
In the United States, going under Chapter 11 results in the stay of proceedings and prevents creditors from taking action to obtain payment of their debts.
“No major changes in operations and in personnel are expected,” assured Wayne LaPierre. “The NRA is not bankrupt, does not stop its activities and is not insolvent,” he continued.