FOR THE RECORD
June 10, 2022 – A New York court today dismissed the NRA’s counterclaims against New York Attorney General (NYAG) Letitia James. The NYAG filed a dissolution lawsuit against the NRA in August 2020.
In the opinion, the Hon. Joel M. Cohen recognized that the scope of the NRA’s counterclaims was narrowed as a result of his March 2022 dismissal of the NYAG’s dissolution claims. The NRA previously said that the dismissal vindicates the NRA’s position: The NYAG’s effort to shut down the Association ran afoul of common sense, New York law, and the First Amendment.
Commenting on today’s decision dismissing the counterclaims against the NYAG, NRA counsel William A. Brewer III said, “Naturally, we are disappointed in the opinion. However, we understand the court’s decision that certain counterclaims were rendered moot by the NRA’s recent victory against the NYAG – when the Court struck down her efforts to dissolve the Association. And, as the record reflects, the NRA is committed to good governance and is transparent about its efforts in that regard.”
Brewer continued, “Importantly, this decision does not impact the NRA’s defense of the NYAG’s lawsuit. The NRA believes the NYAG’s pursuit was fueled by her opposition to the Association and its First Amendment activities in support of the Second Amendment. There is an extraordinary public record that the NYAG, as a candidate, vowed to target the Association – chilling evidence of her motivations toward a political adversary. In fact, the NRA believes there is a direct link between the NYAG’s animus toward the NRA and the adverse action taken in the form of her investigation. The NRA will continue fighting for its members and the freedoms in which they believe.”
As a candidate for the NYAG office, James stated:
She would "[u]se the powers of the office to investigate the legitimacy of the NRA as a charitable institution. The NRA is an organ of deadly propaganda masquerading as a charity for public good." July 12, 2018, Tish James for Attorney General Press Release
"The NRA holds [itself] out as a charitable organization, but in fact, [it] really [is] a terrorist organization." October 31, 2018, Ebony
“…we need to again take on the NRA, which holds itself out as a charitable organization. But, in fact, they are not. They are nothing more than a criminal enterprise. We are waiting to take on all of the banks that finance them, their investors." September 6, 2018, Our Time Press
She also tweeted on August 26, 2018, “We need an Attorney General who will focus on: [and names] The @NRA."
With respect to the NRA’s commitment to good governance, a May 2021 decision by a federal judge recognized the NRA.
According to the NRA, during a 12-day hearing in Dallas federal court that occurred over approximately four weeks, the NRA established that it had adopted new policies and accounting controls, displaced many “insiders” who had allegedly abused the Association, and accepted reparations for costs voluntarily determined to be excess benefits. The hearing proceedings focused on the NRA’s compliance efforts, and the organization’s renewed commitment to good governance.
In an opinion, dated May 11, 2021, The Honorable Harlin D. Hale wrote, “In short, the testimony…suggests that the NRA now understands the importance of compliance…the NRA can . . . 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.”