The National Rifle Association on Friday filed for bankruptcy protection as part of a restructuring plan aimed at moving the influential gun rights group to Texas.
The filing comes six months after New York state’s attorney general filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the NRA for allegedly misappropriating funds.
The advocacy group said that it would restructure as a Texas nonprofit to exit from what it described as “a corrupt political and regulatory environment in New York,” where it is currently registered
The NRA, which said it was not financially broke, filed for protection under Chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas.
In its filing, the group said it has assets of between $100 million and $500 million, and liabilities in the same dollar range.
The NRA’s largest unsecured creditor was its former ad agency Ackerman McQueen, which is owed $1.27 million, according to the filing. The gun group and the ad company have filed contentious lawsuits against one another.
“The plan can be summed up quite simply: We are DUMPING New York, and we are pursuing plans to reincorporate the NRA in Texas,” wrote NRA CEO and executive vice president Wayne LaPierre in a statement Friday announing the filing.
He added that “no major changes are expected to the NRA’s operations or workforce.”
LaPierre also said that the NRA is not insolvent and the move to Texas would make the organization stronger. “We are as financially strong as we have been in years,” he said.
He added that the organization has no plans at this time to move the NRA headquarters from Fairfax, Virginia.
The NRA said it expected to emerge from bankruptcy within six months, and in a letter to its vendors said it will “propose a plan providing payment in full of all valid creditors’ claims.”
“The NRA will move quickly through the restructuring process. Its day-to-day operations, training programs, and Second Amendment advocacy will continue as usual, which means the NRA will continue to rely on the service of its valued vendors,” the letter said.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement that the state will review the NRA’s filing, but added: “We will not allow the NRA to use this or any other tactic to evade accountability and my office’s oversight.”
“The NRA’s claimed financial status has finally met its moral status: bankrupt,” she added.