News & Politics

NRA’s Plan to Depart New York for Texas Hits Potentially Fatal Snag

A bankruptcy administrator has asked the judge to dismiss a central part of the plan.

The NRA’s efforts to depart New York and reincorporate Texas has hit a potentially fatal snag, according to a new report from The Washington Post.

Though the gun lobby is headquartered in Fairfax, Va., it has long been incorporated in New York. Last August, New York’s democratic attorney general, Letitia James, sued to dissolve the NRA, alleging decades-long pattern of corruption and inappropriate spending. Five months later, the NRA filed for bankruptcy and announced that it was seeking to reincorporate in Texas.

“Obviously, an important part of this plan is ‘dumping New York,’” Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s CEO, said in a statement when the plans became public. “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.”

Prosecutors from New York are opposing the move in federal court, arguing that the NRA is using bankruptcy laws as a smokescreen to duck legal liability in the Empire State. “The process Mr. LaPierre followed to file these bankruptcy cases is itself a master class in bad faith and dishonest conduct,” Monica Connell, an assistant New York attorney general, recently said during a hearing where a federal judge will determine whether or not the NRA can enter bankruptcy . 

But according to The Post, the gun lobby was dealt a blow Monday, when a federal bankruptcy administrator asked the judge to toss out the NRA’s request. 

The development, according to Georgetown Law professor Adam Levitin, could signal doom for the gun lobby’s chances in the case. 

“I don’t see how the NRA pulls off a win here,” Levitin told The Post. “I think it’s pretty clear that the NRA loses. The real question is what the remedy will be.”

The judge says he will likely reach his decision on the matter in roughly a week, according to The Post.

It’s not clear yet with that this means for the NRA’s Fairfax headquarters. As Washingtonian has reported, the NRA said in January that it had formed a committee “to study opportunities for relocating segments of its business operations to Texas or other states.” At the time, the NRA said it would analyze whether or not moving the headquarters out of the Washington suburbs was “in the best interests of its members.”

The NRA subsequently engaged a commercial real estate firm to help it find workspace in Texas should it decide to move out of Virginia, according to the Washington Business Journal. As Washingtonian has pointed out, though, such a move could be challenging. According to a separate story in the Business Journal, “it remains to be seen how much interest there will be from prospective buyers in a 30-plus-year-old office building in a part of the region where the vacancy rate closed 2020 at nearly 29%.”

Senior Writer

Luke Mullins is a senior writer at Washingtonian magazine focusing on the people and institutions that control the city’s levers of power. He has written about the Koch Brothers’ attempt to take over The Cato Institute, David Gregory’s ouster as moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, the collapse of Washington’s Metro system, and the conflict that split apart the founders of Politico.