Federal judge denies NRA attempt to declare bankruptcy in win for New York state attorney general - The Washington Post
May 11, 2021 1 min, 53 secs
A federal judge Tuesday denied an effort by the National Rifle Association to file for bankruptcy protection, ruling that the gun rights group had filed the case in a bad-faith attempt to fend off a lawsuit by the New York attorney general.

“The Court finds, based on the totality of the circumstances, that the NRA’s bankruptcy petition was not filed in good faith but instead was filed as an effort to gain an unfair litigation advantage in the NYAG Enforcement Action and as an effort to avoid a regulatory scheme,” Judge Harlin Hale wrote in a 37-page decision.

Adam Levitin, who teaches bankruptcy law at Georgetown University Law Center, said the ruling was not surprising, calling the NRA’s petition “a poster child for a bad-faith filing.”.

Early this year, LaPierre announced that the nonprofit would file for bankruptcy and seek to move to Texas from New York state, where it was chartered in 1871, in the face of the suit filed by the New York attorney general.

After Hale’s ruling, opponents of the NRA said that the group’s attempt to seek bankruptcy protection only made it more vulnerable to legal scrutiny.

He could have rejected the NRA bankruptcy petition, denying the group protection from the New York lawsuit.

He could have allowed the bankruptcy to proceed while putting the group under the control of a court-supervised trustee and removing LaPierre from management.

Bankruptcy experts said that the evidence presented during the hearing made it difficult for the judge to allow the bankruptcy to proceed.

“The bankruptcy filing was a not too covert attempt to shield the NRA from the NY AG litigation and the Bankruptcy Court made it clear that it would not protect the NRA from New York’s regulatory power utilizing the Bankruptcy Code as a shield,” Eric Snyder, chair of the restructuring department of the Wilk Auslander law firm, said in an email.

One of them, Phillip Journey, who is also a Kansas state judge, said that while he opposed the way in which the NRA filed for bankruptcy, he did not want the petition to be dismissed, saying the group “would probably die the death of a thousand cuts” if it had to face the New York and other lawsuits.


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