NEW YORK — In the face of a lawsuit by the New York State Attorney General, the National Rifle Association is counter suing the state for what it said is a violation of its freedom of speech.
The NRA’s Carolyn Meadows called New York State Attorney General Letitia James a political opportunist making a power grab as part of a political vendetta.
The NRA filed a federal lawsuit against James in the Northern District of New York, stating her lawsuit restricts the organization’s freedom of speech. The NRA is also asking for a judicial declaration that the NRA complied with state law.
“You could have set your watch by it: the investigation was going to reach its crescendo as we move into the 2020 election cycle,” Meadows said in a statement.
“It’s a transparent attempt to score political points and attack the leading voice in opposition to the leftist agenda. This has been a power grab by a political opportunist – a desperate move that is part of a rank political vendetta. Our members won’t be intimidated or bullied in their defense of political and constitutional freedom.”
In New York State’s lawsuit, James claims NRA leaders used millions of dollars from NRA reserves for personal use, including trips to the Bahamas, private jets and expensive meals.
In a released statement, James said she will not back down on her efforts to dissolve the NRA, a key political opponent of the New York administration.
“To be clear, no charity registered in New York state, including the NRA, can dissolve and relocate to another state without approval of my office or of the Supreme Court of New York. As long as our lawsuit continues, the NRA must stay right where it is and answer for their deep-rooted fraud. The facts speak for themselves and our lawsuit will continue undeterred,” James said.
Earlier, President Donald Trump said the NRA should move to Texas.
“That’s a very terrible thing that just happened. I think the NRA should move to Texas and lead a very good and beautiful life. And I’ve told them that for a long time. I think they should move to Texas,” Trump said.
The suit also focused on longtime NRA executive vice president and CEO, Wayne LaPierre, who is accused of spending NRA funds on private trips for himself and his family.
“This is an unconstitutional, premeditated attack aiming to dismantle and destroy the NRA – the fiercest defender of America’s freedom at the ballot box for decades,” LaPierre said in a statement. “The NRA is well-governed, financially solvent, and committed to good governance. We’re ready for the fight. Bring it on.”