The National Rifle Association (NRA) said Friday it is dropping a federal lawsuit that alleges that New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) violated the gun rights group’s constitutional rights with her efforts to dissolve it.
The NRA said in a court filing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York that it is “voluntarily” withdrawing the suit as it pursues similar litigation in a New York state court.
“The NRA dropping its countersuit today in federal court is an implicit admission that their strategy would never prevail. The truth is that Wayne LaPierre and his lieutenants used the NRA as a breeding ground for personal gain and a lavish lifestyle,” James said in a statement, referring to the NRA chief.
“We were victorious against the organization’s attempt to declare bankruptcy, and our fight for transparency and accountability will continue because no one is above the law," she added.
The NRA first countersued after James in August sued to dissolve the group, alleging it violated corporate laws resulting in a loss of more than $64 million over three years.
The New York attorney general has specifically alleged that the NRA’s leaders used millions of funds from the group’s coffers to fund personal trips and divert money to help NRA insiders and preferred vendors.
The lawsuit the NRA is waging in the New York Supreme Court, which will continue, accuses James of “weaponizing” her power against the group.
“Even before assuming office, and without a shred of evidence that the NRA had done anything wrong, Attorney General James vowed to weaponize the supervisory powers of the NYAG to destroy one of the nation’s oldest, largest civil rights organizations,” the complaint reads.
However, the NRA suffered a legal defeat last month when a federal judge dismissed a petition for bankruptcy, ruling that the group only filed the petition to avoid James’s litigation.
The ruling stripped the NRA of bankruptcy protections it is relying on to help fund its legal defense, and now the group can only move forward with plans to reorganize in Texas if James approves the request, which she is unlikely to do.