US Judge Dismisses NRA Bankruptcy Case Over Attempt to Avoid Civil Lawsuit

12 Mai, 2021, 03:36 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Browning shotgun during the National Rifle Association annual meeting in Indianapolis Indiana

The NRA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January, explaining in a news release that its aim was to "restructure the Association as a Texas nonprofit to exit what it believes is a corrupt political and regulatory environment in NY". James is seeking to have the organization shutter its doors, bringing a close to its almost 150-year old existence.

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed the National Rifle Assn.'s bankruptcy case, leaving the powerful gun-rights group to face a NY state lawsuit that accuses it of financial abuses and aims to put it out of business.

The Associated Press quoted Judge Hale saying, "The Court believes the NRA's goal in filing bankruptcy is less like a traditional bankruptcy case in which a debtor is faced with financial difficulties or a judgment that it can not satisfy and more like cases in which courts have found bankruptcy was filed to gain an unfair advantage in litigation or to avoid a regulatory scheme".

"The question the court is faced with is whether the existential threat facing the NRA is the type of threat that the Bankruptcy Code is meant to protect against", Hale wrote, according to Reuters.

This is a breaking story. "The court believes it is not".

The NRA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Closely aligned with Republicans including former President Donald Trump, the NRA has always been instrumental in thwarting Democratic-backed gun control measures in the U.S. Congress.

LaPierre and the NRA have denied wrongdoing.

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On August 6, 2020, Breitbart News reported that New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a suit in which she sought to dissolve the NRA.

The Texas Tribune reported the NRA subsequently announced it was leaving NY, where it has been incorporated, and moving to Texas.

"It will be onerous if not impossible for the NRA to effectively oppose gun safety and lobby lawmakers while simultaneously fighting court battles and mounting debt", said Watts, whose organization is part of the Michael Bloomberg-backed Everytown for Gun Safety. The Justice Department's bankruptcy watchdog, the U.S. Trustee, urged Hale to dismiss the bankruptcy.

LaPierre testified that he feared James would try to put the NRA into receivership.

The case was over whether the NRA should be allowed to incorporate in Texas instead of NY, where the state is suing in an effort to disband the group.

Internal upheaval has also plagued the NRA in recent years, including an effort to oust LaPierre over alleged mismanagement.

"We remain an independent organization that can chart its own course, even as we remain in NY to confront our adversaries", he said. Texas is a Republican-governed state whose leaders are friendly to the NRA's stance against gun control.

Biden has called gun violence "a national embarrassment" following a spate of mass shootings, and called for Congress to ban military-style assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.

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