Opening arguments begin today in a long-anticipated civil trial against the National Rifle Association, the largest gun-rights lobby in the US. The trial opens after longtime NRA leader Wayne LaPierre, a subject of the lawsuit, resigned Friday citing health reasons.
New York Attorney General Letitia James launched an investigation into the NRA's leadership in 2019 amid allegations of corruption and financial fraud. The lawsuit alleges LaPierre and others used millions of dollars to fund personal expenses and seeks to bar the defendants from leading New York nonprofits in addition to financial penalties. One defendant agreed to pay $100K and testify against his codefendants as part of a settlement announced Saturday.
The NRA, which was founded after the Civil War as a marksmanship club, was chartered in New York (its headquarters are in Virginia) and has seen its membership decline from 6 million to just over 4 million over five years. Current leaders have committed to reform.