NRA

Is New York's Attack on the NRA Meant To Punish the Gun Rights Cause for Executive Malfeasance?

Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan Gottlieb insists "the strength of the NRA is not only in its leadership but in its members," who can do their work outside the NRA's aegis.

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As reported earlier today at Reason, New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking the complete legal destruction of the National Rifle Association (NRA) because of lengthy accusations of financial malfeasance on the part of some of its longtime officers, including current CEO and executive vice president Wayne LaPierre. The NRA's board is similarly accused of being grossly negligent or complicit in the officers' alleged misuse of donor funds.

Is this extreme response—dissolving it as a legal nonprofit entity—to misbehavior on the part of a nonprofit's officers possibly motivated by disdain toward the gun rights movement on the part of the Democratic attorney general?

The New York attorney general's office has not, as of posting time, replied to a question about how often they have previously sought the total destruction of a nonprofit organization over financial malfeasance on the part of officers, and how such past attempts have fared in court. (One such effort in 2018 did lead to the death of the Donald J. Trump Foundation.)

But absent a clear record of annihilating nonprofits, across ideological lines, being a regular practice, it would not be unreasonable to guess that New York's legal action today is motivated in part by politics. You can be sure that many citizens and voters who consider themselves gun rights activists will see this as a political hit—whether or not they admire or support the NRA itself.

Any NRA donor of normal American income would likely get hot under the collar reading all the details in the NYAG's 164-page filing against the NRA, which is rife with detailed accusations that NRA bigwigs used the organization's money to help out relatives, close pals, and themselves. Often, just one of these suspicious-seeming deals (and dozens are detailed) involved amounts larger than a typical NRA donor's likely annual income.

That said, even such donors might justly wonder: why should all the momentum, resources, reputation, and relationships the NRA has built be tossed out the window entirely for these reasons? While many in the Second Amendment community have in the recent past seen rivals such as the Gun Owners of America (GOA) as a more reliable ally, the NRA still has more money and reputation to throw around lobbying for the gun rights cause than any other entity. According to OpenSecrets.org, the NRA has lately been outspending GOA in lobbying by millions a year.

Whatever the financial sins of the NRA's leaders, the politics of this move against them will doubtless make many continue to see partisan control of government power as a near life-or-death issue, irrespective of whether one loves the NRA per se. That is simply not healthy or prudent for a country as on edge as America. One could legally attempt to punish LaPierre and other alleged malfeasant actors without literally dissolving the NRA.

One of the statutes New York accuses the NRA of violating indeed grants that the "attorney-general may bring an action for the dissolution of a corporation" if "the corporation…has violated any provision of law whereby it has forfeited its charter, or carried on, conducted or transacted its business in a persistently fraudulent or illegal manner." According to that statute, "An action under this section is triable by jury as a matter or [sic] right."

Were the NYAG's office to succeed, their move could, in theory, benefit others in the gun-rights movement. The office's filing says that should it succeed in dissolving the NRA, it would request that "its remaining assets and any future assets be applied to charitable uses consistent with the mission set forth in the NRA's certificate of incorporation."

Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, weighed in on the filing. "I firmly believe that you're innocent until proven guilty," he says in an email today. "But it is also my belief that the NRA board of directors should have taken action when these allegations were first raised and preempted any action that could be taken by the New York State attorney general and the attorney general for the District of Columbia."

Gottlieb grants that "there is no doubt both of these attorney generals are opponents of Second Amendment rights, and have an axe to grind." But he also believes "these are serious allegations that have not been put to bed by the leadership of the NRA over the last several years."

Gottlieb notes that the cause of gun rights does not stand or fall with the current organizational structure of the NRA. His own group has a record of fights and victories in court to expand gun owners' rights, and he says that "Fortunately, for the gun rights movement, the strength of the NRA is not only in its leadership but in its members. Its members will not abandon the fight to protect Second Amendment rights."

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  1. “ You can be sure that many citizens and voters who consider themselves gun rights activists will see this as a political hit—whether or not they admire or support the NRA itself.”

    Ding ding ding!

    I’m not particularly fond of the NRA because of how annoying their marketing is, the fact that other organizations stay focused, and that the NRA is a cop-sucking organization that goes far beyond gun rights.

    But I’d bet real money the ONLY reason behind this action is political through and through.

    1. I would point out the NRA conducts police firearms courses and some of its defense of cops is it’s long term argument that criminals abuse guns, not lawful gun owners. That gun control only punishes law abiding citizens while doing nothing about criminals.

      1. “gun control only punishes law abiding citizens while doing nothing about criminals.”

        Which is utter nonsense, as anyone who lives in Europe knows. In Austria I, a law abiding citizen, own guns. Anyone in the countryside who hunts has a gun. Cops have guns. Criminals do not have guns. Same is true in other sane countries like Switzerland and Finland. Seems like a better system than handing guns over to anyone.

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        2. The US is not Switzerland, Finland, or Austria.

          Come over and take a ride through South Chicago, if you dare.

          Take out a few urban pockets in cities like “Chiraq,” St. Louis, Baltimore [all strong Democrat by the way] and our gun crime stats would indeed resemble the countries you mention.

          “Just do it like us” is absurdly pedantic.

        3. Sarcasm? If so, it’s poorly done. If not, your facts are rather wildly wrong. The only true statement in that post is that “cops have guns.”

        4. “Authorities arrested 22 people, including a father and son team of Austrian gunsmiths, who illegally supplied the Naples-based syndicate with weapons that had their serial numbers removed, officials said on Tuesday.”

          Austrian criminals not only have guns, they supply them to other criminals in other countries.

        5. yeah, criminals do not have guns. sure, if you say so.

    2. Well. The AG explicitly campaigned against the NRA calling it a terrorist organization in 2018…

      1. San Francisco has it officially classified as one.

    3. Is this extreme response—dissolving it as a legal nonprofit entity—to misbehavior on the part of a nonprofit’s officers possibly motivated by disdain toward the gun rights movement on the part of the Democratic attorney general?

      Um, duh?

      1. Open wider, clinger. Your betters will shove plenty more progress down your bigoted, whimpering throat.

        All-talk, stomped-down right-wingers are among my favorite culture war casualties.

        1. It is interesting that even r/conservative, which is basically r/the_donald 2.0 and full of Trump worshippers, was full of anger at the NRA leadership for all this corruption. Only here, in this comment section, do you find nothing but fuming at the Attorney General and defense of the corrupt NRA, with no anger or outrage at the moral bankruptcy of its leadership. Draw your own conclusions from this.

          1. Who here is defending the NRA?

          2. The NRA officers may be corrupt and the NYS and DC AGs may be abusing their power to remove and ideological opponent organization. Both these things can be true at at the same time.

            1. And one of them is much worse than the other. A private organization’s leadership being scummy might suck, but law enforcement arms of government using their powers specifically to attack political enemies is society-destabilizing stuff.

              1. Indeed.

              2. nearly every large charity or political organization has corrupt leadership. but there’s no pattern of targeting the executives on an ideologically blind basis.

          3. .000000000023/10

          4. Another hot take from the guy not so quietly cheering on the AG.

          5. This comment is in a thread responding to a comment that criticized the NRA. What does that tell you?

        2. Your betters

          As ever, that’s still a null set, Artshole.

          Also, your oral rape fetish is pretty gross. Maybe you should go to therapy about that.

          1. All the lefties on this site have a gay oral sex obsession.

        3. Nobody wants to hear about your clingers, Rev. That’s a personal problem. Eat more fiber and try wetting the toilet paper before you wipe. Or better yet, shave your crack.

    4. The progs are looking at how much of their shit they’re getting away with and seeing it as an opportunity t take down a political opponent.

      The progressives have to go. How much more are we going to take?

      1. Well, they’re essentially double-fisting the proletariat already and getting away with it, so who knows.

      2. Open wider, clinger. Your betters will shove plenty more progress down your bigoted, whimpering throat.

        All-talk, stomped-down right-wingers are among my favorite culture war casualties.

        1. And you can’t even be original about it. You really are a moped engined mind in an F1 field, Artshole.

          1. We have bots that do better.

        2. Fuck you bugger.

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    6. A lot of people think that it was the NRA and their ad buying that helped Trump win in 2016
      This is politically motivated in that it is meant to prevent the NRA from spending millions of dollars promoting their preferred candidates, including DJT.
      Now they will have to hold back a lot of that money to defend themselves against this lawsuit.
      It’s meaningless with the New York wins or loses this case.
      The NRA is now out of play in the election

  2. *Writing check to the NRA*

    DEFUND REASON

    1. Well said.

  3. “Whatever the financial sins of the NRA’s leaders, the politics of this move against them will doubtless make many continue to see partisan control of government power as a near life-or-death issue, irrespective of whether one loves the NRA per se.”

    Right again, old chap!

  4. Gee, no mention that the AG stated in her campaign in 2018 that one of her primary goals was to destroy them and that they were a terrorist organization? I wonder why we would see this as politically motivated?

    1. Right. Why pretend you have to guess the motivation, when she came right out and bragged about it?

    2. Don’t worry blm doesn’t count as a terrorist organization… For reason…

  5. Did the AG ever investigate the Clinton Foundation?

    Thought not.

    1. Her office pointed to 3 dissolution requests on their past. Trump foundation, NRA, and one they wouldn’t disclose.

      1. No trend there. /Sarc off

        1. Keep whining. It is entertaining.

          1. The only one here who has to whine is you, bigot.

          2. Bigots for fascism!

  6. Is New York’s Attack on the NRA Meant To Punish the Gun Rights Cause for Executive Malfeasance?

    Hell, no!
    It is meant to punish the gun rights cause for thinking they have gun rights.

    1. That would be a rhetorical question outside of Reason, but the writer probably had to think about it a little.

    1. Tasteful.

  7. The progressives and social justice warriors are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overplaying their hand.

    I keep linking to the same statistics showing that gun sales are through the roof. The FBI said that they’re setting records on the number of background checks, more than twice as many as they usually do per month. Meanwhile, 40% of those new gun sales were to new gun buyers–most likely women and Millennials.

    Anyone who thinks going big on the gun grabbing is likely to play well for progressives and social justice warriors in the upcoming election, the actual sales data suggests they’re wrong. This is worse than going big against the police when 80% of African-Americans (according to Gallup) want the same or more of a police presence in their neighborhoods.

    To see the progressives and social justice warriors overplay their hand like this is both expected and surprising. It’s expected because everyone expects them to overplay their hand IF IF IF and when they take the White House and the senate. It’s surprising because I thought they’d wait to go way beyond their mandate until sometimes after November.

    They’re shooting themselves in the foot with gun control.

    1. And not sure, but the NRA reports that since April new membership has averages over 1000 new members a day.

      1. I believe that’s only 100, but that’s still a hell of a lot of growth.

        1. No it is was 1000, but I was wrong about the month, it has been since June, not April.

          1. Who would have thought rioting and people calling for the police to be defunded would result in people worrying about the 2A?

            1. Exactly.

              The progressives and social justice warriors see themselves on television, and it makes them think they’re popular.

              That isn’t average Americans they’re watching on the news. They’re really just looking in the mirror and think they’re seeing America.

              Do they really think average Americans like seeing professional athletes disrespect the national anthem and the flag? They’re delusional if they do.

              1. Another thing that occurred in June, besides renewed lockdowns, was Biden taking a commanding lead in the polling. If Biden wins, I expect the gun store shelves will be empty again on November 4th, (if we know the results) just like in 2008. And NRA membership will go up even more.

                1. If the NRA still exists.

                  How is the Trump Foundation doing?

                  1. See, this is always the most hilarious thing about you shit gargling dumpster fires over on the left. You seem to be under the impression that if the NRA gets forcibly disbanded, or firearms get banned, that the firearms will all just magically sublimate off into nothingness.

                    Also, that the military will be on your side.

                    Because, I mean, after all, why wouldn’t they side with the people who continually denigrate them?

                    Keep fiddling with the pin on that grenade, Artshole. You just might get the opportunity to learn the lesson the Japanese did exactly 75 years ago. Namely, “Don’t pick a fight you can’t afford to badly lose.”

                    1. Right. The NRA may be the largest gun rights organization in the country, but they’re hardly the most effective, they punch way, way below their weight.

                      NY manages to shut down the NRA, do you imagine all those gun owners are just going to say, “oh well, might as well roll over and play dead.”?

                      No, the gun control movement is going to really enjoy life when the 2nd Amendment Foundation and Gun Owners of America have a couple million pissed off new members each.

                    2. Or NRA members reincorporate in Texas.

                      The only reason the NRA is incorporated in New York is because NYC was a sane place to do business in 1871. The NRA actually had its premier shooting range, Creedmoor, on Long Island, a trolley-ride from downtown NYC.

              2. Ask Kirkland.

          2. I stand corrected. That’s a hell of a lot of new members.

    2. And polling shows much more enthusiasm on the right and Trump’s approvals are increasing and the polling advantage Biden had is shrinking rapidly. Some on the left have started worrying that Biden peaked to early and others are admitting polling may not be accurate, because only 27% of Trump supporters feel comfortable telling strangers that they support Trump (compared to 83% of Biden supporters). A left leaning polling firm is even now showing Trump leading in national polls and in swing states and predict Trump will winning 309 electoral votes compared to Biden’s 229. Polling also show 63% of voters think Biden is to old to be President and 58% believe he is showing cognitive declines. 61 percent favor Trump’s action in dealing with the rioting, while 60% feel Biden has been to quiet on condemning the violence. 69% see Trump as a strong leader but only 24% see Biden as a strong leader. Of course this is one poll and could be an outlier, but almost all polls agree voters prefer Trump over Biden to recover the economy.

      1. If anything, it’s that Biden may have swerved too far to the left.

        The difference between the candidates was bound to get smaller as people started thinking about what it would be like to have Biden in the White House. As we get closer to the election, the question stops being how we feel about Trump and starts being more how we feel about Biden. In the end, it will be 5% of the vote in a handful of swing states–just like it was last time. The advantage may still be with Biden just because when the economy is bad, people tend to vote against the incumbent regardless of whether it as anything to do with the incumbent. The same thing happened to Bush Sr. I know a lot of people want to blame that on Perot, but the real question is why Perot found so much support in that election cycle, and just like Bill Clinton said, it was the economy.

        If anything will buck that trend, it will be the progressives and the social justice warriors overplaying their hand–and that’s exactly what they’re doing. I’ve already talked about how unpopular going after the police is in the aftermath of riots and how unpopular going after guns is when people who’ve never owned a gun before are buying them like hotcakes. How popular do you think keeping the schools closed is with working mothers everywhere? It’s like they’re staying up late at night trying to think of new and better ways to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. The only time Joe Biden bothers to stick his head up out of his bomb shelter is to announce his version of the Green New Deal–in the middle of a devastating recession?!

        They may win despite themselves, but it’s like they’re trying to lose.

        1. Polling suggests people don’t blame Trump for the economy but COVID, and we’ll they agree Trump’s response hasn’t been great, they favor him over Biden to make things better. And the Green New Deals doesn’t help him.

        2. Bush Sr. was not a hapless bystander in the 1990s recession. He signed a tax increase after his famous “Read my lips, no new taxes” pledge.

          1. I doubt many people voted for Perot or Clinton rather than Bush Sr. because they thought either of them were less likely to raise taxes than Bush–although many Republicans might have stayed home after Bush broke his tax pledge.

            The oil shock in response to Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait and Operation Desert Storm may have done more damage to the economy than raising taxes. And just like today, most people aren’t rational about the cause of recessions and an incumbent’s legitimate responsibility for them anyway. They get angry because they lose their job or they’re scared of losing their job, and they look for a convenient excuse to rationalize their anger.

            President Trump is dealing with the same thing right now. George Floyd isn’t the first case of police brutality caught on camera; those kinds of videos have shown up regularly for years. The reason people latched onto it this time is because of the economy. 35 million Americans lost their jobs over a period of six weeks, mostly in the service economy, and if the George Floyd case hadn’t sparked civil unrest under those circumstances, it would have been something else eventually.

            Most people act first and rationalize it later. Most people are like ChemJeff telling us how they feel as if that’s what really matters and maybe adding on some facts as an afterthought. Even then, they only latch onto the facts after the facts have been somehow transformed in their minds into supporting however they happen to feel. We shouldn’t get distracted by those kinds of rationalizations.

            Even IF IF IF the American people handed the White House to Bill Clinton because Bush Sr. broke his tax pledge, that was irrational–and Bill Clinton predictably raised our taxes. And if the American people hand the White House to Biden and we end up with an economy crushing program like his version of the Green New Deal–because we’re angry about the economy tanking in the wake of the virus? We’ll be making the same kind of mistake.

            1. I voted for Perot. He seemed honest and genuinely concerned about the budget deficit and the national debt, back when it was about a tenth of what it is now.

      2. fortunately they’ll still be counting the votes in December so we’ll have a month of media tears

    3. Ken, they’re not counting on legitimate votes.
      They don’t respect the American people, and they’re betting we’ll roll over without a real fight.
      They really can’t make it more obvious

    4. Once again, rightwing nuts have no agency whatsoever. It’s liberals’ fault they’re buying more guns! The consequent increase in suicide and murder is their fault! Guns don’t kill people, SJWs kill people!!!

      1. Go read Juice’s link above. Then come back and say with a straight face that SJWs don’t kill people.

        Also, you’re a fucktard, (which we already knew) because Ken’s point wasn’t that it’s just “rightwing nuts” buying more guns. It’s quite a broad selection of the country.

        And I bet they’re not going to just hand them all back in even if Biden does win.

        1. Just for the record, here are the kinds of numbers we’ve been seeing.

          Not surprisingly, retailers reported an increased number of first-time gun buyers, estimating that 40 percent of their sales were to this group. This is an increase of 67 percent over the annual average of 24-percent first-time gun buyers that retailers have reported in the past. Semiautomatic handguns were the primary firearm being purchased by first-time buyers, outpacing the second-most purchased firearm, shotguns, by a 2 to 1 margin. Modern sporting rifles, revolvers and traditional rifles rounded out the top five types of firearms purchased by first-time gun buyers.

          Retailers noted that these new customers were spending $595 on an average sale and that 40 percent of first-time gun buyers in the first four months of 2020 were female.

          https://www.nssf.org/millions-of-first-time-gun-buyers-during-covid-19/

          That was from June. We’ve seen the number of background checks go even higher in the time period since then, with July 2020 numbers more than twice what they were in July 2019.

          In the past, surges in gun sales like this are usually dominated by AR-15 sales–but these sales are mostly about handguns and shotgun sales. They say 40% of all sales are to first time gun buyers, which means that, if sales are double what they usually are, then 80% of the difference is being driven by first time gun buyers–who we’d expect to see buying handguns rather than AR-15s.

          They say 40% of the first time buyers are women, and that also underscores that this isn’t about traditional gun buyers. There are millions of female head of households in this country, and it shouldn’t be unexpected to see them take responsibility for protecting themselves and their families from criminals in the aftermath of progressives calling for the defunding of the police in the wake of violent “protesters” being coddled by progressive mayors all over the country.

          Other reports suggest that African-Americans are also fueling the surge in gun buying. Gillespie linked a survey by Gallup poll yesterday that showed some 80% of African-Americans want the same or more of a police presence in their neighborhoods than they have right now. It shouldn’t surprise anybody who’s seen that poll to hear that African-Americans are also highly represented among those who are buying guns for the first time (link below).

          Point being, progressive gun grabbers imagine that they’re lashing out at the white men in their 50s who are buying AR-15s when they’re going after the NRA and gun rights, but that isn’t the demographic that’s buying guns right now. The gun owners they’re alienating are also probably suburban single moms and African-Americans–probably disproportionately so. Those suburban single moms are probably an especially important demographic in rust belt swing states that Democrats need to win in November. Bashing gun owners probably isn’t doing Joe Biden any favors right now.

          1. “While various demographic groups are buying guns in 2020, African-Americans account for the highest increase in gun purchases of any group.

            “The highest overall firearm sales increase comes from Black men and women, who show a 58.2% increase in purchases during the first six months of 2020 versus the same period last year

            https://news.yahoo.com/gun-sales-spike-among-african-americans-our-ancestors-died-for-us-to-vote-they-also-died-for-us-to-be-able-to-carry-guns-215942257.html

        2. More guns means more gun deaths. You can decide for yourself if it’s a proportionally acceptable outcome to guard against whatever threat you think is out there.

          1. “More guns means more gun deaths.”

            You just made that up, didn’t you. Either that or the number of deaths attributable to guns has never gone down from year to year–despite the number of additional gun sales that year?!

            More than half the gun deaths every year are attributable to suicide, and suicide rates fluctuate with the economy–not with the number of gun sales. Sometimes the suicide rate goes down as the economy improves, even as more guns are sold.

            Likewise, the homicide rate also fluctuates with the economy–with violent crime going down as the economy improves, even as more guns are bought by consumers.

            I think you pulled that claim out of your ass.

          2. 400 million guns in the US. What’s your evidence for how much these new ones will increase the death rate? And why do you believe these men should be forcibly disarmed? https://reason.com/2020/05/29/black-civilians-arm-themselves-to-protest-racial-violence-and-protect-black-owned-businesses/

          3. More guns means more gun deaths.

            Since 1993 the number of gun deaths (apart from suicide) has dramatically declined while the number of guns has greatly increased. One could logically argue that more guns means lower gun deaths but correlation is not causation.

            However anti-correlation is most definitely proof of anti-causation. Thus your premise is proven wrong.

            1. Why are gun deaths from suicide not counted in analysis. Those people are just as dead.

              1. Because both statistics and psychological science are clear that suicides find ways to kill themselves regardless of the availability of guns. A large number of studies across jurisdictions with wildly varying gun control laws all reach the same conclusion. Suicides are (primarily) a function of depression and mental illness. Take away their access to guns and they kill themselves by cutting wrists, overdosing, driving into bridge abutments, etc.

                Suicides are tragic mental health issues. But they are completely irrelevant to the gun control debate.

                1. You are wrong. Suicide fall into two categories slow (pills) and fast (gun, jumping, etc.). Fast suicides are much more lethal and much more impulsive. Studies show that if you can delay that impulse the person attempting suicide can reconsider. Much of the initial research on this occurred after WWII in England where suicides decreased with gas ovens being replaced by electric ovens, thereby depriving people of a quick method of suicide. If you can delay access to guns (locking them up, separating gun from ammunition) you can save lives.

                  1. Wow, I’m not even sure where to begin parsing that comment. First, you concede right in your comment that there are lots of other “fast” ways to commit suicide (jumping, etc). Then you base most of your criticism on a study of the removal of a slow means of suicide (asphyxiation by gas oven).

                    There is an element of truth to your fast vs slow analysis. Yet you seem to have complete ignored the many, much more recent cross-jurisdictional studies showing that suicides who want access to a fast method have no shortage of means. The conclusion of the fast-vs-slow is not a policy of restricting availability but mental health and messaging. Restricting availability doesn’t work. But if you can make “slow” suicide means more popular (and yes, there is a lot of popularity or faddishness even to suicides), we hope to create opportunities for second thoughts and/or interventions.

                  2. Fast suicides are much more lethal and much more impulsive.
                    Having worked a suicide hotline, I would much rather get a call from a person with a gun, than with pills.
                    People who truly want to die, won’t call. The method makes little difference.
                    But ambivalent people with pills often call after taking the pills, which leaves the hotline a very short window to get the person to help. I’ve also seen cases where people take pills and plan on being discovered, only to have the timing go wrong.
                    People with guns call first, and if they are ambivalent it’s much easier to talk them down without a short deadline.

          4. It’s fun to watch your hatred overcome you and cause you to post ignorant bullshit.

            1. People like Tony and ChemJeff are just telling us about their feelings. They think claims are true because of how they feel. They’re truly delusional. It isn’t that they believe their claims are true so much as it’s that they believe any claim is true because of how it feels.

              1. But feelings are truth, whereas evidence, logic, and reason are white power constructs created to oppress the powerless.

          5. Guns are spreading Wuhan!

          6. re: “More guns means more gun deaths.”

            That’s an intuitively appealing statement that happens to be exactly wrong. More guns are in private hands that at any time in history yet gun deaths continue to decline.

    5. They’re shooting themselves in the foot with gun control.

      Brilliant!!

      The more they run on gun control, the more likely Melania will be putting up new drapes in the Lincoln bedroom for four more years.

  8. But absent a clear record of annihilating nonprofits, across ideological lines, being a regular practice, it would not be unreasonable to guess that New York’s legal action today is motivated in part by politics.

    It might seem that prosecutorial discretion is right down there with qualified immunity.

  9. Why not go after LaPierre? Why be inferior and do something that will impact hundreds of thousands of people who did nothing wrong?

    1. Millions, over 8 million people are members of the NRA. And it’s growing at a rate of 1000 new members a day since June. And this is exactly why she is going after the organization rather than the NRA, because the size, history and power of the NRA scares the left.

  10. “Is New York’s Attack on the NRA Meant To Punish the Gun Rights Cause for Executive Malfeasance?”

    certainly not. it is meant to ensure that the crippling effect of the corruption cannot be overcome in time to participate in the November election by contributions or effective public statements. it is to eliminate the most effective counter to Bloomberg’s astroturf anti-gun spending and efforts. this is ALL politics, not partly politics.

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    2. NRA’s spending has been a fraction of Bloomberg’s for decades, and with an assist from the courts, the laws have generally been getting less draconian (even if it’s just a city repealing its insane law in an attempt to moot the court case that would have affirmed that they overstepped).

      The PR wing of Everytown seems like it’s lost some steam after having their propaganda debunked by outlets like NPR and Mother Jones (hardly the who’s-who of right-wing thinkers).

      1. If Bloomberg had given only a fraction of what he spent on the election to every American, we all would have 70 bajillion dollars.

  11. I suspect that they really believe the BS notion that the NRA is their sole opposition and that without them they have 95% popular support for forced door to door confiscation of anything that goes bang.

    1. No, I think they realize because of its size, history and fundraising ability, not to mention it’s DC relationships, that if they destroy the NRA, the alternative gun rights groups won’t be as effective. Not certain if they are right, but I think that is their reasoning.

      1. Any organization that can get a few million voters to send communication to their reps indicating that they’d be willing to decide their vote on a single issue is going to pull weight in DC.

        In recent years, most of those signed form letters have said “NRA” at the top, but if the same people sent similar letters on “2AF” letterhead, it’d have as much impact with the pols (and leave CNN and the TV networks waiting for the DNC to figure out what happened before they could organize their talking points).

        1. It would, but the 2AF needs to do better at recruiting and organizing. Another area the NRA wins hands down at this moment. I am not saying it is not possible. Just maybe harder as the NRA has 150 years of history.

          1. You might well be right, but it seems not impossible that in the sudden absence of the NRA, a lot of current NRA members might well join one of the alternatives.

          2. The advantage the NRA has in recruiting is more than 125,000 basic firearm instructors teaching new gun owners how to shoot, as well as 8,000 coaches sending teams to national, state and local shooting events, and 2,200 training counselors certifying new instructors.

            Those pursuing the lawsuit are salivating at shutting that down as well.

      2. It could be the rampant corruption.

        1. Not rampant, and arguably not even corruption, it depends on what LaPierre’s contract is. Notice she has t charged anyone with criminal charges, which probably indicates that her evidence isn’t enough to convince a jury of criminality beyond reasonable doubt. So instead she chooses the easier route of making this a civil case. Additionally, since she declared even before becoming AG that she was going to destroy the NRA as AG the NRA counter suit has a better chance of winning than her suit.

    2. Ask any gun controller or non gun owner who the GOA is or the 2AF is, and I bet very few would know, but ask them who the NRA is…

  12. I wonder if any of the “blue checks” on twitter who have been so thrilled to see this happen are even aware of the existence of other organizations that are more focused on 2A issues than their #2 boogeyman behind the “Koch Brothers”. They definitely don’t get that it’s the membership more than the money that gives them lobbying juice (Bloomberg has personally outspent the NRA and extended Koch family in several recent election cycles and accomplished less than nothing).

    Didn’t NRA actually begin as a trade organization created by the firearms manufacturers, and sort of take up their 2A stance as a means of protecting the ongoing business of selling weapons and ammo more than out of any principled stance? They definitely weren’t so absolute on individual rights back in the 60s.

    1. No, it’s never been a trade organization. It was founded in 1871 by ex Union officers to promote marksmanship and defend the gun rights of newly freed slaves. The USSSF is the manufacturers trade group. The NRA also focuses heavily on gun safety and hunters safety courses, and were one the first organizations to offer hunter safety courses. They also helped the Army teach marksmanship during both world wars and helped the American Legion establish the Civilian Marksmanship Program after WWII.

    2. They tended to remain neutral on gun rights in the 60s preferring to try and remain apolitical, but the laws passed in the 60s convinced them to form the NRA-ILA and get more involved as the saw the 2A being slowly eroded.

      1. Even now most of their budget is spent on gun education and not on legislative lobbying.

  13. 2A is what keeps communist dictatorships from tricking “our” looter politicians (like Nixon) into signing unilateral disarmament, then unconditional surrender papers. Already NYC has tasted foreign aggression and learned nothing. The NRA, on the other hand, has learned plenty. Let NY try “borderless” security until a nuclear version of the latest ANFO “accident” wakes them up again. No big loss from where I’m standing, and a great leap forward for practical education.

  14. I feel as if something is missing from this comment thread. I’ve got it!

    I support gun rights but ban all guns! Only muskets are legal! Toaster/Dictionary=Flashlight! Something about Europe! REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

    1. Not a wall of gibberish. -2 points.

    2. Nice try, but I’m afraid that’s only a 3/10 on the Mikey impersonation. Too coherent.

  15. What role is she vying for in the Biden Administration?

  16. Fine NY. Now do the United Way.

  17. Since the gun nuts are all-in on state worship now, what protection from government tyranny do they need?

    Tyranny isn’t the president banana republicking the election, it’s being asked not to cough on people during a pandemic. It’s a healthcare mandate. Do they want their prey sick and weak, is that it? See how tyranny can be in the eye of the beholder? Your gun isn’t for that. It’s mostly a token of your allegiance to an industry interest group, with all the corruption you’d expect from gun nuts with an open-door policy with politicians.

    But it’s OK. I am brand loyal to Mrs. Meyer’s soaps. I get it. Go get some and take a shower, if that’s not too much tyranny.

    1. You’re still Reason’s #1 mendacious bootlicker, Tony.

      1. You sure it’s boots he’s licking?

        1. He’s a rimmer

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  19. Wow, is this thread filled with easy marks. The NRA exists for one reason – to separate rubes from their money. That’s it. Not to protect the Second Amendment, not to fight for our freedom. It is a scam, just like most televangelists, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Clinton Foundation and Donald Trump’s entire Presidency. Sorry to seem cynical, but the evidence seems pretty damn overwhelming. It is very easy to find a cause that people feel passionate about (gun rights, abortion, immigration, religious salvation) and then use that cause to persuade people to hand over their cash. Oliver North tried to warn y’all. You would think that libertarians, of all people, should be aware of the golden rule of organizations – once an organization reaches a certain scale it’s primary purpose is to perpetuate its own existence. This is just as true of the NRA as it is of the RainbowPUSH coalition, the NOW or any leftist group you want to point to.

    1. Maybe so, but their donations to, and support for conservative politicians are what drives all those voluntary donations. It’s not as if they are defrauding anyone. If their leaders are overspending that’s a private matter for the members to deal with.

      1. About the only reason I wouldn’t mind a lot if they shut down the NRA. I’ve been dissatisfied with the NRA since that convention in Philly where they overthrew the Cincinnati reforms, and effectively cut off all our means for us members to deal with the problems in the leadership.

    2. Yeah, the NRA hasn’t been instrumental in a number of very important gun rights cases, hasn’t been instrumental in defeating gun control laws nor has it been instrumental in overturning unconstitutional gun control laws at state and local level. They haven’t had victories in expanding Constitutional carry and ending shall issue CCW and ending bans on Sunday hunting. They don’t teach thousands of gun safety courses or hunter safety courses. It is all just a big scam. Oh wait none of that is true they’ve done all the things I listed and more. But your right it is all a scam and we shouldn’t as libertarians and libertarian cleaners worry at all about a progressive AG who stated her primary goal ad AG was to (ab)use her power to destroy a national member funded group she disagrees with. Great hot take there (imagine the sarcasm dripping from my voice).

      1. People can quibble all day about what they might have done with our money, but for $25 bucks a year, where else can you buy that sort of respect/fear in Washington? But the real answer to all this, is to maintain membership in NRA, 2AF, GOA (and your local group). If all three had 8 million members, we could put this rights-stealing leftist bullshit to bed for a long time.

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  21. It seems that blue state AGs primary job function is virtue signaling. I’m surprised the NYAG has not gone after the Girl Scouts for not allowing trans boys to join. If that’s not fraud, then what is?

  22. Yes, this is the type of government attack on First Amendment rights that the Reason staff had been wringing its hands over coming from Trump over the last four years.

    1. But but Trump wants to force TikTok to stop spying on Americans and sell to an American company, so he is worse. I’ll also note how they stopped reporting on the growing violence (attempted murder of 20 police and civilians last night by arson) in Portland. I thought the violence was the DHS fault and as soon as the “jackbooted secret police thugs” left Portland would return to peace?

  23. If corruption and fraud are legal reasons to destroy an organization, then it is past time to dissolve the State of New York.

    1. And Illinois, and parts of Louisiana, I’m looking at you New Orleans.

  24. The New York AG is simply trying to tie up the NRA’s money in litigation and legal expenses so it won’t be available to pay for the campaigns of pro-gun legislators. The AG doesn’t care if she wins or loses, as long as the NRA’s money is taken out of play.

  25. While the charge that the NYAG is being political has merit, the fact is most AG’s love to be seen as fighting corruption and in this case the NRA is a big target. My question to the NRA supporters is why has it been so hard to clear up this corruption internally? It is not unheard off for corrupt institutions/organization to have to be cleared externally. Usually this happen when the corruption runs to deep to be addressed internally. Is it the case that the NRA is too far gone to be saved by its members?

    1. The fact that the NRA is seen as effective, both by pro-gun rights and anti-gun rights people, trumps the possible corruption.

      City Councilpersons in D.C., for example, continue to get re-elected despite all sorts of corruption, because their constituents believe they receive benefits from their election.

    2. I’m a Life Member of the NRA, and there is an NRA meeting every year. Basically a big convention. There are numerous meetings where things get decided and board members meet, etc. For the last couple of years, the meetings where members have been supposed to be able to attend to monitor things have either been rescheduled/moved without notice or members have straight up been denied entry. And when members have been able to get in, they have not been allowed to ask questions or speak.

      The way the board of directors and other positions are set up, its pretty obvious they don’t want members having a real voice in the organization. (highly doubt that’s unusual for any corporate entity)

      LaPierre has run the NRA like a personal fiefdom, and although the NY AG is doing this for political reason, the truth is that LP is dirty to the core and needs to go.

      I can see a deal being made to get rid of him and his cronies and the NRA surviving, but whoever is in charge after needs to damn well re-organize outside NY.

      1. I think you have made some very good points. I think it unlikely that the NYAG will breakup the NRA, but she could force an agreement to allow new upper management. This is win-win as she can claim credit for the clean-up, new management is installed, and NRA is left intact. I would also agree that the NRA should reorganize in a more friend state.

        1. You do know she ran her campaign saying NRA were terrorist and she was intending to end them. I’m not sure how willing she’ll be to negotiate with terrorist.

        2. Do you really think that her goal is to make the NRA a better organization? That’s friggin laughable.

          1. Her goal is to say she cleaned up the corruption problem. Removing upper management raiding the associations funds would be better for the NRA. I am saying there is a win-win scenario here, I don’t know if it will go that way.

        3. Ahhhhh, you might have something here.

          “”she could force an agreement to allow new upper management.””

          Not just any management. Court ordered and approved by her type management. Huh, an AG using a friendly court to take over an adversarial organization? That’s pretty Communist. Next thing you know they will shutdown the arts calling it unessential.

          1. I can see your skepticism of a court ordered management, but you also need to insure the change is real. Do you want Wayne LaPierre picking the new head. Remember he fired the last guy he hired when that guy (North) started an investigation.

  26. “But it is also my belief that the NRA board of directors should have taken action when these allegations were first raised and preempted any action that could be taken by the New York State attorney general and the attorney general for the District of Columbia.”

    As Oliver North and Chris Cox tried to do, and their “coup” failed. Had they succeeded the NRA would have gotten in front of this; however, LaPierre is treating the organization as his personal fiefdom and will likely double down and persist until it implodes. From the excerpts of the NYAG’s filing I would not be surprised if he ends up in a cell with Bernie Madoff.

    What the pols and progs seem to believe is that if you just get the NRA and all of its money out of the way, gun control will be a natural consequence. As a particularly idiotic television personality put it, “the NRA has their [politicians] balls in a money clip” and it’s as simple as that. They truly do not understand the real power is in its members and the many more non members who vote according to their beliefs and values.

    1. They do honestly seem to believe that opposition to their agenda is some kind of insincere conspiracy driven by money rather than a principled stand.

      1. That’s because they’re projecting. The Left wouldn’t know a principled stand if it bit them on the ass.

    2. It was difficult for me. I wanted LaPierre gone, but not a fan of Ollie. I doubt she’ll be able to destroy the NRA, but maybe this will be enough to force LaPierre to be ousted by us members. But than again, more likely, she has overplayed her hand and most members will circle the wagons because they don’t see this as an attack against LaPierre so much as an attack on us.

  27. Using the courts to punish political opponents is indeed the stuff of ‘banana republics’ One can only hope that the SCOTUS eventually grounds all these baseless attacks.
    What’s stupid is that Democrats don’t seem to realize that this tactic can also be used against them.

    1. Because they expect to win. The case will be tried in NY. Now doubt, the AG will try to have the case tried in or near NYC. Get a minority jury in NYC and the question will not be whether the NRA should be dissolved, the question will be how much of the NRA’s assets will be transferred to groups friendly to the NY AG.

    2. Its not stupid. The Left is absolutely sure they will win. Once they win, they will have power to do whatever they want.

  28. More experienced business people might be able to answer this question… how hard is it to reincorporate in another state? I mean, I formed a corporation in my state in about 15 minutes. So that can’t be the hard part. And your 501c4 non-profit status is between you and the IRS, not between you and a state. Two different things. It’s the IRS that decides whether you are fulfilling your stated mission or not. Obviously, none of that lessens the price tag of New York’s lawsuit. I heard that NRA has had to spend 100 million in recent years defending itself from such people already. But I don’t see how NY can actually nullify our membership in any real way.

  29. New York needs to quickly amend that applicable statute so that once the NRA is dissolved, its assets will be transferred to a non-profit group of the New York Government’s choosing. If one does not exist, then the NY Government can create one and fill it with appropriate officers. The New NRA (NNRA) would be committed to gun control, abolishing private ownership of weapons, and would commit its resources to repeal of the Second Amendment.

    1. The office’s filing says that should it succeed in dissolving the NRA, it would request that “its remaining assets and any future assets be applied to charitable uses consistent with the mission set forth in the NRA’s certificate of incorporation.”
      1. “Charitable uses” completely excludes the lobbying carried out by the NRA-ILA. Win for gun control.
      2. “Gun safety” is prominent in the NRA’s certificate of incorporation. I’m sure all the “Gun Safety” organizations would love a cut of the NRA pie, and will use the funds to promote the reasonable gun control the MSM keeps saying all of us gun owners overwhelmingly support.

  30. “Its members will not abandon the fight to protect Second Amendment rights.”

    This. Historically the NRA has been the least extreme gun rights group. Dissolving the NRA is probably the most myopic decision ever but then politicians are looking for talking points for the next election not long term. The question will be, if the AG wins, how will the NRA diaspora re-congeal? It’s a typical gov’t tactic often used in the wars on drugs and terror that usually makes matters worse for the existing government position.

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