DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/CBS NEWS) – The National Rifle Association filed a voluntary petition for chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal court in Dallas on Friday, Jan 15.

In a letter to members, NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre said, “Today, the NRA announced a restructuring plan that positions us for the long-term and ensures our continued success as the nation’s leading advocate for constitutional freedom – free from the toxic political environment of New York. The plan can be summed up quite simply: We are DUMPING New York, and we are pursuing plans to reincorporate the NRA in Texas.”

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The gun rights organization said it would restructure as a nonprofit in Texas to exit what it called a “a corrupt political and regulatory environment in New York.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted out a link to the letter and said, “Welcome to Texas – a state that safeguards the 2nd Amendment.”

“The plan allows us to protect the NRA and go forward with a renewed focus on Second Amendment advocacy,” says NRA President Carolyn Meadows. “We will continue to honor the trust placed in us by employees, members and other stakeholders – following a blueprint that allows us to become the strongest NRA ever known.”

New York’s Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against the NRA last August, alleging financial crimes by its top officials and seeking to disband the organization.

The lawsuit alleges the NRA and four of its top executives mismanaged funds and violated state and federal laws, resulting in the loss of more than $64 million for the organization in a span of three years.

Senior leaders, James claims, misused millions from the NRA’s coffers on trips to the Bahamas, private jets, luxury hotels and fine dining.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection stops all court and legal proceedings regarding debt or collection, while an organization restructures its debts. In May 2020, the NRA, which says it has 5 million members, laid off dozens of employees and shut down fundraising and its national convention amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The fundraising pause and the lack of a national convention in a presidential election year was a huge financial setback for the organization, although Americans bought a record number of guns in 2020.

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CBSDFW.com Staff