FOR THE RECORD
NRA Moves to Expedite State Court Action Against NYAG Letitia James
June 4, 2021 – The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) today announced that it is taking steps to expedite resolution of its Constitutional claims against New York Attorney General Letitia James. To accomplish that objective, the Association voluntarily withdrew its action against NYAG James that had been pending in federal court in Albany, New York, in favor of pursuing the same claims against James in New York State court in Manhattan.
This procedural step is significant and important because it will ensure that the NRA’s claims against NYAG James will be tried in the same court and by the same jury that will hear her lawsuit seeking to dissolve the NRA. That lawsuit, which the NRA alleges is politically motivated, was filed after outrageous threats made against the NRA – even before Ms. James was elected and before she had seen a single shred of evidence.
According to the New York State court filing, dated February 23, 2021 “James’s threatened, and actual, regulatory and civil reprisals are a blatant and malicious retaliation campaign against the NRA and its constituents based on her disagreement with the content of their speech.” This wrongful conduct threatens the freedoms of law-abiding gun owners and all Americans.
The NRA is confident that a jury will conclude, as a federal court in Dallas did after weeks of testimony earlier this year, that the NRA is committed to complying with its governance and internal controls, and that its diligence in that regard began long before NYAG James commenced her misbegotten case.
In a decision dated May 11, 2021, Judge Harlin D. Hale wrote, “In short, the testimony…suggests that the NRA…understands the importance of compliance. [T]he NRA can pay its creditors, continue to fulfill its mission, continue to improve its governance and internal controls, contest dissolution in the NYAG Enforcement Action, and pursue the legal steps necessary to leave New York.”
Those findings by the federal court in Dallas, where the NYAG made the same claims she made in New York, have laid bare the NYAG's purely political gambit to dissolve the NRA as lacking any basis in law or in fact.
“Given the record that was established regarding the NRA’s commitment to good governance, the Association is eager to expedite the adjudication of all the claims before the New York State court,” says William A. Brewer III, counsel to the NRA. “The NRA will aggressively pursue its Constitutional rights in that forum. Today’s move will ensure that the NRA’s claims proceed promptly to discovery and a full vindication of its members’ rights.”