The National Rifle Association, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, is shutting down in New York State in order to reincorporate in Texas. By doing so, the NRA hopes to escape the partisan political prosecution (some would say persecution) by New York State Attorney General Leticia James. The NRA has opened a new website with their presentation of the move and the reasons behind it.
From a hasty reading of the press release and the rest of the new website, it looks as though the NRA is declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy to dissolve the corporation currently registered in New York State while simultaneously re-incorporating in Texas, with the bankruptcy court’s approval.
Undoubtedly the NRA will try to transfer as many assets to the newly incorporated NRA as possible. Whether the filing and prepackaged reorganization has any effect on the association’s management or structure remains to be seen.
Obviously NRA members will have lots of questions and the website tries to tackle some of the most common concerns. At the same time, detractors of America’s strongest and largest gun rights organization will see “NRA” and “bankruptcy” in the same sentence and break into champaign-popping celebration. No doubt the mainstream media hacks will characterize the move in the worst possible light.
The “Letter from Wayne” to NRA members starts it off on the NRAForward website:
Dear NRA Members & Supporters:
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 plan can be summed up quite simply: We are DUMPING New York, and we are pursuing plans to reincorporate the NRA in Texas.
To facilitate the strategic plan and restructuring, the NRA and one of its subsidiaries have filed voluntary chapter 11 petitions in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. As you may know, chapter 11 proceedings are often utilized by businesses, nonprofits and organizations of all kinds to streamline legal and financial affairs…
More from LaPierre with the reasons behind the bold move (emphasis in the original).
But they know today’s announcement makes us bigger, stronger and more prepared for the fight for freedom.
We are leaving the state of an attorney general who, just a few months ago, vowed to put us out of business through an abuse of legal and regulatory power. In fact, the gross overreach of the New York Attorney General and New York Governor has been resoundingly criticized by powerful national groups like the ACLU and a host of prominent legal scholars.
Subject to court approval, the NRA is pursuing plans to reincorporate in the State of Texas. The Lone Star State is home to more than 400,000 NRA Members and the site of our 2021 Annual Meeting being held in Houston.
Texas values the contributions of the NRA, celebrates our law-abiding members, and joins us as a partner in upholding constitutional freedom.
Under this plan, we seek protection from New York officials who illegally abused and weaponized the powers they wield against the NRA and its members. You can be assured the Association will continue the fight to protect your interests in New York – and all forums where the NRA is unlawfully singled out for its Second Amendment advocacy.
On the Q&A page, the NRA leadership offers some explanations, including this one about “Is the NRA going ‘bankrupt’?”:
Is the NRA going “bankrupt?”
No. In fact, this move comes at a time when the NRA is in its strongest financial condition in years.
To facilitate its reorganization, the NRA and one of its subsidiaries filed voluntary chapter 11 petitions in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. The NRA is not insolvent.
We expect no impacts to NRA programming.
Nothing is more important to the NRA than protecting the Second Amendment rights of our law-abiding members. We will be as effective as ever in advocating for your rights, promoting firearms education and training, and engaging in public endeavors.
“Strongest financial condition in years?” Color plenty of us skeptical about that. And denying that the “NRA is going bankrupt” is patently false. The association is filing a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. By any measure, the NRA has gone bankrupt, albeit on its own terms.
In better news, later on the Q&A page, they write that they expect to complete this transfer of the corporation, in a sense, from Gov. Cuomo’s hostile Empire State to the much friendlier Lone Star State within six months, again with the court’s approval.
Of course Shannon Watts is doing a Snoopy dance on Twitter with the news, claiming the bankruptcy means the NRA is going away. Just like Hillary fans on election day 2016 suffered a bit of a letdown when reality intruded, Shannon’s excitement may be a little premature.
Let’s be clear: The NRA is filing for bankruptcy in order to escape legal culpability for years of deception, decadence and disregard of non-profit law. This unprecedented maneuver should be considered an admission of guilt. https://t.co/GtyWmoE6Hw
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) January 15, 2021
This move, if allowed to proceed by the courts, is — finally — one of the smartest things Wayne and crew have done in the past few years. Plenty of people have wondered why the NRA remained incorporated in New York State as long as they did given the hostile climate there from the radicals who run that state.
Will this allow the NRA to get itself out, at least to some degree, from under the thumb of Leticia James? Time will tell.
Clearly, releasing this news late on a Friday afternoon of a quasi-holiday weekend, the NRA hoped to minimize the coverage (as if). Give this a few days and hopefully we can more fully discern truth from spin when it comes to the reality of this announcement.