The embattled National Rifle Association announced its plan to exit New York and reincorporate in Texas, where it will see greater support and be able to boost its presence in an area already home to many of its members.
“This strategic plan represents a pathway to opportunity, growth and progress,” said NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said in a press release.
“Obviously, an important part of this plan is ‘dumping New York,’” he continued. “The NRA is pursuing reincorporating in a state that values the contributions of the NRA, celebrates our law-abiding members, and will join us as a partner in upholding constitutional freedom. This is a transformational moment in the history of the NRA.”
As part of its strategic and legal maneuverings, the group said it had filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but will be working on payment plans for its creditors as part of the restructuring.
It hired Marschall Smith, formerly a top executive with 3M, to be its chief restructuring officer.
“Our goal is to work through the restructuring process efficiently and quickly—even as NRA leadership approaches 2021 with renewed energy and an expanding national platform,” Smith said.
“This plan has no impact on the NRA’s most important goal: serving its membership and protecting the Second Amendment,” he added.
The NRA recently was the subject of a major investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who pledged to do all in her power to obliterate the gun-rights group.
With incoming presidents Joe Biden and Kamala Harris having made similar pledges, the group, though well funded, sees a difficult road ahead.
“Under this plan, the Association wisely seeks protection from New York officials who it believes have illegally weaponized their powers against the NRA and its members,” said NRA legal counsel William A. Brewer III.
“The NRA will continue the fight to protect the interests of its members in New York—and all forums where the NRA is unlawfully singled out for its Second Amendment advocacy,” he said.
In the midst of the hostile political climate, it also is dealing with its own internal disputes following the New York probe of four top officials, including LaPierre, for an array of financial crimes.
The group also is mulling a relocation of its headquarters in Fairfax, Va., a strategic location for lobbying efforts, but one less sustainable since Democrats took power in the once-red state and implemented a raft of anti-gun laws, some of which appeared to target the NRA specifically.
The move may also be a boon for Texas, which faces its own concerns of a blue takeover as refugees flock from blue states like California and New York, as well as from Mexico to the south.