New York State Attorney General Letitia James made headlines on Thursday when she announced at a press conference that the state of New York had filed a lawsuit calling for the dissolution of the National Rifle Association, one of the most politically influential organizations in the United States.
James said that the organization repeatedly violated conditions of its nonprofit status with millions of dollars of misspent money—money largely earned from its members. She also filed four additional suits against individual defendants including NRA President Wayne LaPierre.
According to James, the NRA's improprieties cost the organization $64 million over three years.
"For these years of fraud and misconduct, we are seeking an order to dissolve the NRA in its entirety."
In addition to the dissolution of the NRA, James is also calling for restitution and penalties from the executives involved, and for the removal of LaPierre.
The NRA responded by filing its own lawsuit in Albany, accusing James of pursuing politically motivated charges. The organization's public response claimed it was another effort from Democrats to stifle Second Amendment rights, though the lawsuit focuses rather on the injustices committed against dues-paying NRA members by the malfeasance of the organization's executives.
Like the NRA, President Donald Trump claimed that the Left was going after guns—and that a Joe Biden presidential victory would exacerbate that.
Trump has his own bias against Attorney General James. The Trump Foundation was ordered to dissolve in 2018 after James's office filed a complaint alleging a pattern of fraud throughout the President's charity.
People called out Trump's insidious loyalty to the NRA, which donated millions to his 2016 presidential campaign.
But while Trump bristled, others rejoiced.
March for Our Lives, the gun safety movement founded by survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, responded to the news with the same empty phrase commonly deployed after every mass shooting.
The legal battle is expected to be protracted, but the importance of this first step is receiving praise across the nation.