New York's Attorney General Just Made Moves to Dissolve the NRA and Trump Had the Most Predictable Response
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.
New York Attorney General Letitia James: "For these years of fraud and misconduct, we are seeking an order to dissolve the NRA in its entirety." https://t.co/yHU8ulrU7v pic.twitter.com/DGrEN0OZvb
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 6, 2020
"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.
Just like Radical Left New York is trying to destroy the NRA, if Biden becomes President your GREAT SECOND AMENDMENT doesn't have a chance. Your guns will be taken away, immediately and without notice. No police, no guns!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2020
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.
You defended the NRA before defending our soldiers who Putin killed. Shame on you.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) August 6, 2020
You promised background checks to combat gun violence after El Paso.
The NRA called you.
Then, you said you'd veto the bill.
[The NRA spent 30m to elect you - 130% of what they spent in 2012.]
— Jesse Ferguson (@JesseFFerguson) August 6, 2020
When Joe Biden is President he will take steps to protect children from gun violence in school, unlike Donald Trump is is owned by the corrupt #NRA. 🤡
— Jules Morgan (@glamelegance) August 6, 2020
Hey dummy the NRA has broken the law. Your the law and order guy, why are you defending a criminal organization?
— James A Black (@pigseyeblue) August 6, 2020
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.
“Without the NRA, there's no Trump." - Wayne LaPierre, 2019#ThoughtsandPrayers
— Democratic Coalition (@TheDemCoalition) August 6, 2020
BREAKING: New York AG sues to dissolve the NRA.
Thoughts and prayers.
— Andy Slavitt @ 🏡 (@ASlavitt) August 6, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with Wayne LaPierre and his cronies at the NRA, who have long put their own self-interests ahead of public safety in order to line their pockets and enrich themselves. https://t.co/DVUqJju5N2
— Moms Demand Action (@MomsDemand) August 6, 2020
I can't believe we are finding out that the organization that is responsible for all of our nation's school shootings and murdered children—is corrupt and abusive. My thoughts and prayers to you guys at the NRA. Maybe you guys can pivot to something more relaxing, like cannabis.
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) August 6, 2020
The legal battle is expected to be protracted, but the importance of this first step is receiving praise across the nation.