Wayne LaPierre, the long-time NRA president, has managed to unite the poles of the gun rights and gun control activist continuum. By announcing his resignation, he caused delight and scornful remembrance from all. For gun control activists, he was an effective foe who they claim helped facilitate mass shootings. On the other side of the coin, many Second Amendment advocates saw LaPierre as thoroughly corrupt – a man who captured and used the NRA for his own gain. Mr. LaPierre will stand trial in New York on civil fraud charges brought by Democrat Attorney General Letitia James on Monday, January 8.
“I’ve been a card-carrying member of this organization for most of my adult life, and I will never stop supporting the NRA and its fight to defend Second Amendment freedom. My passion for our cause burns as deeply as ever.”
That was how LaPierre announced he would leave the nation’s oldest civil rights organization at the end of January. Ms. James said:
“The end of the Wayne LaPierre era at the NRA is an important victory in our case.
“LaPierre’s resignation validates our claims against him, but it will not insulate him from accountability.
“We look forward to presenting our case in court.”
The Problem Isn’t the NRA
Wayne LaPierre and Letitia James are birds of a feather. Both have used the organizations they head to advance their own interests, directly violating the trust placed in them by the people they are oath-bound to serve. Ms. James discovered that LaPierre and his confederates spent NRA money on themselves so lavishly it amounted to theft and fraud. While Wayne LaPierre made a princely sum in salary and benefits, it wasn’t enough for him – so he installed yes men in critical positions to look away while he spent lavishly.
James’ 169-page complaint details the actions of a man stuffing his pockets from the non-profit to overflowing with both fists. “In the last five years, LaPierre and his family have visited the Bahamas by private air charter on at least eight occasions, at a cost of more than $500,000 to the NRA.”
That’s how the gun rights community will remember LaPierre. The NRA’s X post announcing the news is replete with pro-gun accounts flooding the comments with condemnation for the NRA head and celebrating his departure. “Good riddance, he’s a crook,” summed up the sentiment of most, along with hopes the new leadership will advance the cause.
The air charters are simply the most glaring. From bespoke suits to his wife’s hairdresser, no charge was too personal not to be shouldered by the membership. Instead of protecting NRA members from being victimized by LaPierre, James used the news to try and crush the organization for political purposes. In a breathtaking bid to silence the most prominent gun rights group in the country, James argued that New York courts should extinguish the NRA and liquidate its assets. However, the judge walked back her progressive lawfare dreams, ruling that dissolution would be a last resort, not the first option as she wished.
Now LaPierre and his allies, along with the NRA, are facing James in a New York court. Though she may not be allowed to kill the NRA entirely, James may still strike a significant blow by forcing members to pay for the leadership’s malfeasance through monetary fines – and NRA membership and fundraising have already dropped precipitously since the revelations about LaPierre’s apparent corruption.