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As the NRA relocates, it also seeks bankruptcy protection

The NRA isn't just leaving New York for Texas, it's also seeking bankruptcy protection. But the closer one looks, the murkier the story appears.
Image: President Donald Trump shakes hands with NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre
President Donald Trump shakes hands with National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre as he arrives for the National Rifle Association Leadership Forum on April 28, 2017, in Atlanta.Curtis Compton / Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP file

In April 2019, as former NRA president Oliver North was ousted from his post, North said in his resignation letter that there was "a clear crisis" within the right-wing organization. There's been ample public evidence to bolster the claim.

The list of allegations is not short. National Rifle Association executives have been accused of, among other things, lavish spending on themselves, and directing funds to the group's unpaid NRA board members. They were part of an avalanche of questions surrounding the NRA's use -- and alleged misuse -- of its resources.

It was against this backdrop that New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced last summer that her office had filed suit against the NRA, with the intention of dissolving the organization for "diverting charitable funds to support wasteful spending."

Late last week, the NRA made some news of its own. NBC News reported:

The National Rifle Association, the gun industry's chief advocate, said Friday it was leaving New York for Texas and would seek bankruptcy protection. The NRA excoriated New York's government and justice system in a statement, saying the state has a "toxic political environment." Based in Fairfax, Virginia, the organization has operated as a New York-registered nonprofit since its founding in 1871.

The connection between the civil case in New York and the NRA's relocation plans is not subtle. As the New York Times reported, the group appeared to be "seeking an end-run" around the case brought by state attorney general's office and was designed to "circumvent New York's legal jurisdiction."

As for seeking bankruptcy protection, NRA critics may have been pleased to see reports that the group is struggling, but it's not quite that simple. The Times' article added, "The bankruptcy filing could delay the resolution of the attorney general's case while the matter is litigated in bankruptcy court."

Sean Delany, a former chief of the charities bureau in the New York attorney general's office, the division that handled the NRA case, questioned whether Friday's bankruptcy filing "accurately represents" the organization's financial position.

It'll be a while before this story nears its end.