New York’s bid to close NRA blocked by judge

New York's NRA judge
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NEW YORK, March 2 (Reuters) – A judge on Wednesday rejected the effort by New York’s attorney general to put the National Rifle Association (NRA) out of business for alleged corruption, but she can still seek the ouster of the gun rights group’s longtime Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre.

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Attorney General Letitia James had sued the NRA in August 2020, accusing it of diverting millions of dollars to fund luxuries for officials like LaPierre, with no-show contracts for associates and other questionable expenses.

Justice Joel Cohen of a New York state court in Manhattan said that while James offered “a grim story of greed, self-dealing, and lax financial oversight,” she did not show that the NRA, which is incorporated in New York, benefited from financial misconduct or could not legitimately serve its members.

“The complaint does not allege the type of public harm that is the legal linchpin for imposing the ‘corporate death penalty,” the judge wrote in a 42-page decision.

Cohen said James could instead seek “less intrusive” remedies against NRA officials, including LaPierre, rather than a dissolution that could infringe members’ free speech rights.

He said that could include LaPierre’s ouster under state laws governing nonprofits, after James described in “meticulous detail” his alleged exploitation of the NRA, abuse of power and “general disregard for corporate governance.”

Cohen said James could instead seek “less intrusive” remedies against NRA officials, including LaPierre, rather than a dissolution that could infringe members’ free speech rights.

He said that could include LaPierre’s ouster under state laws governing nonprofits, after James described in “meticulous detail” his alleged exploitation of the NRA, abuse of power and “general disregard for corporate governance.”

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In a statement, James said she was disappointed that the dissolution claims were dismissed, but pleased she could try to show how “fraud, abuse, and greed permeate through the NRA and its senior leadership.” She will review her legal options.

Judge blocks New York’s bid to close NRA  Reuters


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Dean Nestor

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