AUSTIN (KXAN/AP) — The National Rifle Association said it is “dumping” New York and plans to incorporate in Texas, according to a letter from CEO Wayne LaPierre on Friday.
LaPierre wrote the NRA wants to be “free from the toxic political environment of New York” and has filed voluntary chapter 11 petitions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas to help with restructuring efforts.
Although filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy, the NRA wanted to ensure followers that it is not bankrupt nor shutting down business.
“We are as financially strong as we have been in years,” the letter said.
The decision comes months after New York’s attorney general sued the organization over claims that top executives illegally diverted tens of millions of dollars for lavish personal trips, the Associated Press reports. The coronavirus pandemic also caused the organization to lay off dozens of employees, AP said.
LaPierre wrote in the letter that New York officials “illegally abused and weaponized the powers they wield against the NRA and its members.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott welcomed the organization in a social media post Friday, writing “Welcome to Texas — a state that safeguards the 2nd Amendment.”
The NRA plans to host its 2021 annual meeting in Houston. There are more than 400,000 NRA members in Texas, the organization said.
The NRA’s current headquarters stand in Fairfax, Virginia. LaPierre said the organization has no immediate plans to relocate, but are looking into the different options it has. AP reports the NRA was chartered as a nonprofit in New York in 1871 and is incorporated in the state.
“We want to determine if there are advantages to relocating our HQ operations to another state. I have asked our leadership team to explore all options that benefit the NRA and its members,” LaPierre said.
The organization ensures memberships, operations and its workforce will not be impacted. The NRA said the main goal is to streamline costs and expenses.