Wayne’s Letter To The NRA Board

An email went out at 4:01 pm EST this afternoon from NRA Secretary John Frazer to the Board of Directors announcing the bankruptcy filing and plans to reorganize in Texas. According to the time stamp on the bankruptcy filing, it was filed at 2:48 pm CST or less than 15 minutes earlier.

The email repeats much of what was reported in the press release.

Dear Board of Directors:

I am pleased to announce some exciting news about the NRA. 

The NRA announced it will reorganize the Association as a Texas nonprofit to abandon the corrupt political and regulatory environment in New York. This action will ensure our continued success as the nation’s leading advocate for constitutional freedom.

To facilitate the reorganization, the NRA and one of its subsidiaries filed voluntary chapter 11 petitions in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. As you may know, chapter 11 proceedings are often utilized by businesses, nonprofits and organizations of all kinds to streamline legal and financial affairs. 

Subject to court approval, the NRA’s new strategic plan involves “dumping New York” and reincorporating the Association in the State of Texas – home to more than 400,000 NRA members and site of the 2021 NRA Annual Meeting being held in Houston.

As many of you have observed, New York is no longer a welcome home to our Association, as its leaders have demonstrated their hostility to the constitutional freedoms in which we believe. Our filing today allows us to wisely seek protection from New York officials who illegally weaponized the powers they wield against the NRA and its members.

The NRA is not financially insolvent. In fact, this move comes at a time when the NRA is in its strongest financial condition in years.

The Association will continue with the forward advancement of the enterprise – confronting anti-Second Amendment activities, promoting firearms safety and training, and advancing public programs across the United States. No immediate changes are expected to the NRA’s operations or workforce.  

The reorganization aims to help the NRA streamline costs and expenses, organize various litigation matters that involve related facts, and realize other financial and strategic advantages.

By exiting New York, the NRA abandons a state where elected officials have weaponized legal and regulatory power to penalize the Association and its members purely for political purposes.

The Battle in New York

As you will recall, in summer 2018, New York Attorney General candidate Letitia James vowed that, if elected, she would use the powers of her office to investigate the NRA. Without a shred of evidence supporting her claims, James called the Association a “terrorist organization” and a “criminal enterprise.” As promised, she commenced an “investigation” upon being elected to the Office of NYAG and, predictably, filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the NRA just prior to the November 2020 national election.

In response to the anti-freedom actions of the NYAG, the NRA filed a lawsuit in August 2020 against the NYAG similar to its lawsuit against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Department of Financial Services, filed in 2018. The NRA pursues the defendants for attempting to “blacklist” the organization and its financial partners in violation of their First Amendment rights. The NRA will continue those legal actions.  

I firmly believe this strategic plan represents a pathway to opportunity, growth and progress. One important part of the plan is reincorporating in a state that values the contributions of the NRA, celebrates our law-abiding members, and joins us as a partner in upholding constitutional freedom. This is a transformational moment in the history of the NRA.

The NRA’s day-to-day business operations will continue uninterrupted.

This proven mechanism is a positive for us, allowing our advisors to pursue strategic advantages for the NRA as our leadership team continues to advance our mission.

We will continue to promote our Second Amendment advocacy, firearms education and training, and public endeavors. We do not anticipate any measurable impacts to our staffing, public programs or Second Amendment advocacy.

We are forming a special committee to study the possibility of relocating key segments of our business operations to Texas or other states.

A new committee, under the direction of First Vice President Charles Cotton, will study opportunities for relocating segments of NRA business operations to Texas or other states. We are exploring any option that may work in the best interests of the NRA and its members.

In the meantime, the NRA’s general business operations will remain in Fairfax.

Building Our Strengths

I have added Marschall Smith as our Chief Restructuring Officer. Marschall is a former Senior Vice President and General Counsel of 3M Company and ADM, among others, and has more than 35 years of legal and business experience with an emphasis on compliance, corporate finance, and corporate governance.

A native Texan, Marschall served 10 years as a Marine Corps officer, including four years of active duty with combat service in Vietnam. He left the Marines with the rank of major. He was a member of the Carter/Mondale presidential transition team and served as a special assistant to the Director Designate of Central Intelligence. He received his bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Princeton, followed by a Juris Doctor degree from The University of Virginia and an MBA from The University of Chicago.

Marschall will work closely with the NRA senior leadership team. I know he looks forward to meeting all of you – as we embark upon this journey together.

Do not believe everything you hear in the media. We fully expect our adversaries to try to gain some sort of perceived advantage over the NRA by mischaracterizing this strategic plan. They will portray a so-called “bankruptcy” as a negative and, once again, predict our demise.

The liberal media, anti-gun gadflies, and left-wing politicians will desperately try to advance another distorted truth about the NRA.


The NRA is financially strong and well-positioned on all fronts. I am confident our members, employees, and most loyal stakeholders will appreciate the extraordinary benefits of this plan and realize the value of the NRA charting its own path forward – on its own terms. (We are making immediate outreach to our members, instructors, donors, and other key stakeholders.)

Again, this plan allows us to streamline our legal and business affairs, escape a radicalized New York political environment, and position ourselves for the long-term. It is the first step of an ambitious and exciting blueprint for the future.

We will stay in regular communication with the board. In the meantime, please visit www.nra.org/forward for more information. If you receive any public inquiries, please refer them to Andrew Arulanandam, managing director of NRA Public Affairs, at aarulanandam@nrahq.org.

Thanks in advance for your loyalty and partnership. I’m confident we have never been better positioned in the history of our organization – or more prepared to keep winning the fight for freedom.

Wayne

I think much of the Board was caught unawares by this legal move. My legal sources are casting some doubt that this will end the case in New York unlike the impression given by the happy, rah-rah tone of the letter and other press releases.

Letitia James Responds To NRA Move

New York Attorney General Letitia James has responded to the legal moves by the National Rifle Association to reincorporate in Texas.

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the following statement after the National Rifle Association (NRA) declared it would seek bankruptcy protections in federal court, as well as sought to reincorporate its nonprofit status in the state of Texas:

“The NRA’s claimed financial status has finally met its moral status: bankrupt. While we review this filing, we will not allow the NRA to use this or any other tactic to evade accountability and my office’s oversight.”

In August, Attorney General James filed a lawsuit against the NRA, Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre, and three of LaPierre’s current or former top executives for failing to manage the NRA’s funds; failing to follow numerous state and federal laws, as well as the NRA’s own bylaws and policies; and contributing to the loss of more than $64 million in just three years for the NRA. The suit was filed against the NRA as a whole, LaPierre, as well as former Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Wilson “Woody” Phillips, former Chief of Staff and the Executive Director of General Operations Joshua Powell, and Corporate Secretary and General Counsel John Frazer.

According to a story on the bankruptcy filing by Reuters, it is thought the move will put the New York lawsuit on hold and may remove James’ power over the NRA through the reincorporation. Maybe yes, maybe no.

NRA’s Bankruptcy Petition

There are two major things of note in the National Rifle Association’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. First, there is the resolution passed at the January 7, 2021 Board of Director’s meeting in Dallas giving Wayne LaPierre the authority to “reorganize or restructure the affairs of the Association.”

The second item of note contained in the bankruptcy petition is the list of unsecured creditors. At the top of that list is Ackerman McQueen with a disputed claim of $1,273,800.12. Also disputed are claims from Tony Makris’ Under Wild Skies and the Ack Mac subsidiary Mercury Group. The rest of the unsecured creditors are an assortment ranging from Google to UPS. Most seem to be related to fund raising or advertising.

What is most interesting in that list is what is not there. There is no mention of any legal bills due to William Brewer III’s firm Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors. This could mean that he is a secured creditor or that any monies due him have already been paid.

It seems obvious that this move has been in the works for many months. Sea Girt LLC was established in November 2020 according to the filing with the Texas Secretary of State’s office. Moreover, the litigation committee was set up in September and probably had been discussed many months in advance of that.

According to the letter from Wayne LaPierre, this move will not impact members as the NRA is simply leaving a toxic state for one that is welcoming.

NRA supporters will continue to enjoy all their full member benefits – from new members to Life Members to Benefactor Members. We will continue to publish and deliver your magazines. We will continue to train Americans and teach them firearm safety. We will continue to teach hunter safety. But most importantly, we will continue to fight for your freedom and the freedom of all Americans – as we have for all these years. In fact, we are expanding our national platform.

The plan aims to streamline costs and expenses, proceed with pending litigation in a coordinated and structured manner, and realize many financial and strategic advantages.

You know that our opponents will try to seize upon this news and distort the truth. Don’t believe what you read from our enemies. The NRA is not “bankrupt” or “going out of business.” The NRA is not insolvent. We are as financially strong as we have been in years. (emphasis his)

While I think it is good that the NRA ditches New York, I really wish that they had listened to Professor Joe Olson when, as a board member and expert in corporate law, he urged them to do it in 1991. Think of all the monies that would have been saved in litigation expenses that could have been used to promote the Second Amendment.

NRA To Reincorporate In Texas

After 150 years, the National Rifle Association is finally abandoning New York. They have filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas and plan to reincorporate in Texas.

Here is the full press release sent out this afternoon by Wayne LaPierre. I will have more on the bankruptcy filing after I have had time to read it. Imagine how much time and legal expense they could have saved if they had listened to law professor Joseph Olson when he suggested as a board member in 1991.

NRA Leaves New York to Reincorporate in Texas, Announces New Strategic Plan

NRA Plans to Exit New York to Pursue Opportunity, Growth and Progress in Texas; Plan Benefits Association, Its Millions of Members, and All Supporters of the Second Amendment

Fairfax, VA – The National Rifle Association of America (“NRA”) today announced it will restructure the Association as a Texas nonprofit to exit what it believes is a corrupt political and regulatory environment in New York. The move will enable long-term, sustainable growth and ensure the NRA’s continued success as the nation’s leading advocate for constitutional freedom – free from the toxic political environment of New York.

The NRA plan, which involves utilizing the protection of the bankruptcy court, has the Association dumping New York and organizing its legal and regulatory matters in an efficient forum. The move comes at a time when the NRA is in its strongest financial condition in years.

The NRA will continue with the forward advancement of the enterprise – confronting anti-Second Amendment activities, promoting firearm safety and training, and advancing public programs across the United States. There will be no immediate changes to the NRA’s operations or workforce.  

The Association will seek court approval to reincorporate the Association in the State of Texas – home to more than 400,000 NRA members and site of the 2021 NRA Annual Meeting in Houston.

“This strategic plan represents a pathway to opportunity, growth and progress,” says NRA CEO & EVP Wayne LaPierre. “Obviously, an important part of this plan is ‘dumping New York.’ The NRA is pursuing reincorporating in a state that values the contributions of the NRA, celebrates our law-abiding members, and will join us as a partner in upholding constitutional freedom. This is a transformational moment in the history of the NRA.”

The restructuring plan aims to streamline costs and expenses, proceed with pending litigation in a coordinated and structured manner, and realize many financial and strategic advantages.

The Path Forward

The NRA will move quickly through the restructuring process. Its day-to-day operations, training programs, and Second Amendment advocacy will continue as usual.

By exiting New York, where the NRA has been incorporated for approximately 150 years, the NRA abandons a state where elected officials have weaponized the legal and regulatory powers they wield to penalize the Association and its members for purely political purposes.

In the summer of 2018, then New York Attorney General candidate Letitia James vowed that, if elected, she would use the powers of her office to investigate the “legitimacy” of the NRA.

Without a shred of evidence to support the claim, she called the Association a “terrorist organization” and a “criminal enterprise.” As promised, she commenced an “investigation” upon being elected to the Office of NYAG and, predictably, filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the NRA just prior to the November 2020 national election.

The NRA filed a lawsuit in August 2020 against the NYAG similar to its lawsuit against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Department of Financial Services, filed in 2018. The NRA pursues the defendants for attempting to “blacklist” the organization and its financial partners in violation of their First Amendment rights. The NRA will continue those legal actions.  

“Under this plan, the Association wisely seeks protection from New York officials who it believes have illegally weaponized their powers against the NRA and its members,” says William A. Brewer III, counsel to the NRA in those cases. “The NRA will continue the fight to protect the interests of its members in New York – and all forums where the NRA is unlawfully singled out for its Second Amendment advocacy.”

With respect to its headquarters, the NRA has formed a committee to study opportunities for relocating segments of its business operations to Texas or other states. The Association will analyze whether a move of its headquarters, now located in Fairfax, Virginia, is in the best interests of its members. In the meantime, the NRA’s general business operations will remain in Fairfax.

To facilitate its strategic plan and restructuring, the NRA and one of its subsidiaries filed voluntary chapter 11 petitions in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. Chapter 11 proceedings are routinely utilized by businesses, nonprofits and organizations of all kinds to streamline legal and financial affairs.  

The NRA also announced Marschall Smith will serve as Chief Restructuring Officer. A former Senior Vice President and General Counsel of 3M Company, Smith has more than 35 years of legal and business experience with an emphasis on compliance, corporate finance, and corporate governance.

“I am honored to join the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization during this important time,” Smith says. “Our goal is to work through the restructuring process efficiently and quickly – even as NRA leadership approaches 2021 with renewed energy and an expanding national platform. This plan has no impact on the NRA’s most important goal:  serving its membership and protecting the Second Amendment.”

The NRA will propose a plan that provides for payment in full of all valid creditors’ claims. The Association expects to uphold commitments to employees, vendors, members, and other community stakeholders.

“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.”

Additional Information:

Patrick J. Neligan of Neligan LLP, Dallas, Texas, is serving as debtor’s counsel; William (Wit) Davis is counsel to the NRA Board of Directors and its Special Litigation Committee; Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors, Dallas, Texas, serves as special counsel to the NRA. To learn more, please visit www.nra.org/forward.

Armed Society Podcast

I was a guest on Armed Society Podcast with Paul Lathrop, Rob Morse, Amanda Suffecool, and Dianna Mueller. It was recorded on the evening of January 6th and you can guess the topic of our discussion. If you said anything other than protesters invading the Capitol, you’d be wrong.

I think we all understood the frustration of many but we also understood there is a line you shouldn’t cross.

Double Quote Of The Day

The quote of the day is actually a double quote of the day. Both come from the Monster Hunter himself, Larry Correia, from his post yesterday entitled bow before AppGoogleZOn.

The first quote is in reference to some members of the Stupid Party (as SayUncle calls them) whose words and actions would make Marshal Pétain nostalgic.

 All those companies are allied with the political party that hates you and wants to see your kind utterly eradicated from society, because you are bad people who deserve it. And most of the “leadership” on our side says this is fine, and it’s more important to be polite and play by rules the other side forsook a long time ago. When they get around to throwing dissidents into gulags, I’m sure guys like Mitt Romney will still be chiding us for using impolite swear words during our executions.

The second quote reinforces my belief that censorship of conservatives by Big Tech serves to remove the safety valve. The unintended consequences of that move might make our worst nightmare pale by comparison.

When tens of millions of people are feeling fucked over and that the system is rigged against them, and the media who are assuring them that everything is in fine working order are the same untrustworthy media who’ve been caught lying to them about literally everything else daily for years, now feel like their voices are being squashed by the same cabal of mega companies that have been lying and manipulating all the information we are allowed to see for years… and an increasing number of these usually calm and responsible, but now angry and disenfranchised people (who are also the ones who make society work and keep the lights on) are starting to think that lefty style stupid political violence might be the only way to be heard… so go ahead and kick them while they are down.

I’m sure that will work out splendidly, with absolutely no long term negative consequences.

Censorship Is Never The Correct Answer

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

Home, home on the range
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

Do we really want to live in a world where any contrary thought must be censored, stamped out, and prevented from seeing the light of day?

This is what I saw this morning when I went to open Parler. We knew that Amazon’s AWS service was planning to cut it off because they thought the content “dangerous”.

From the WSJ:

The effective disappearance of Parler shows the growing breadth and effect of efforts by big technology companies to restrict content they label as dangerous after last week’s mob attack on the U.S. Capitol. Amazon had said in a letter to Parler over the weekend that it had seen a steady increase in violent content on the site and said Parler’s efforts to remove it were inadequate.

Violent content, my ass! It is clearly a move to suppress any dissenting or contrarian voices. If your argument is so weak that it cannot stand up to criticism, then it isn’t that much of an argument to begin with.

What the Big Tech oligarchs need to fear, and indeed we all should fear, is that by removing ways for people to be heard that someone, anyone, who has nothing left to lose will engage in lone wolf attacks. Communication and the ability to be heard serves a moderating influence. With that gone, grievances fester and they harden putting all of us at risk.

Knife Preemption May Come To South Carolina

A bill prefiled in the new session of the South Carolina legislature would add knives to the existing state preemption of firearm laws and regulations. H. 3551 was introduced by Rep. W. Brian White (R-Anderson). It simply adds the word “knives” to the list of items reserved to the state.

What a simple fix!

Many states already have firearms preemption laws on the books. The addition of just that one word could protect knife owners and users from the patchwork of local regulations and ordinances that might exist.

Knife Rights notes a similar bill passed the SC House unanimously in 2015 but got bogged down in the SC Senate. They add this about preemption:

Preemption prevents a patchwork of local ordinances more restrictive than state law which only serve to confuse or entrap law-abiding citizens traveling within or through the state. Preemption ensures citizens can expect consistent enforcement of state knife laws everywhere in a state.

There are 12 states that currently have a knife preemption law on the books.

OCC Proposal Comments Close Tonight

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has proposed a regulation that would ensure fair access to banking and credit services. The regulation would ban things like the Obama Administration’s Operation Chokepoint which sought to cut off banking services to disfavored industries.

In the greater scheme of things, this regulation is more important for the health of the firearms industry than the recent ATF moves on pistol braces and 80% lowers/frames. Without access to credit and banking services, the firearms industry would have a hard time existing as would any business.

In its proposal, the OCC notes that certain non-quantitative risk measures have been used by banks to deny financial services.

The pressure on banks has come from both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors of the economy and targeted a wide and varied range of individuals, companies, organizations, and industries. For example, there have been calls for boycotts of banks that support certain health care and social service providers, including family planning organizations, and some banks have reportedly denied financial services to customers in these industries. (8) Some banks have reportedly ceased to provide financial services to owners of privately owned correctional facilities that operate under contracts with the Federal Government and various state governments. (9) Makers of shotguns and hunting rifles have reportedly been debanked in recent years. (10) Independent, nonbank automated teller machine operators that provide access to cash settlement and other operational accounts, particularly in low-income communities and thinly-populated rural areas, have been affected. (11) Globally, there have been calls to de-bank large farming operations and other agricultural business. (12) And companies that operate in industries important to local economies and the national economy have been cut off from access to financial services, including those that operate in sectors of the nation’s infrastructure “so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof.”  (13)

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is fully in favor of this proposed regulation. They note it doesn’t force banks to do business with businesses. Traditional credit worthiness measures as debt ratio, payment history, and ability to pay will remain in place. They go on to say this proposal will level the playing field by forcing banks to treat all businesses equally and fairly without consideration of banking executives’ personal political preferences.

The rule will apply to the largest banks in the country that may exert significant pricing power or influence over sectors of the national economy. It would require those banks to make their products and services available to all customers in the community it serves, based on consideration of quantitative, impartial, risk-based standards established by the bank.

In other words, banks would be required to approve or deny their services based on merit and creditworthiness of individual borrowers. That would remove the “reputational risk” mask that banks hide behind when they force businesses to adopt gun control policies that are beyond the scope of federal, state and local laws or lose access to banking services.

Comments on OCC-2020-0042-0001 closes tonight at 11:59pm Eastern.

To make a comment, use this link: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=OCC-2020-0042-0001

As of this morning, they have received only 4,272 comments. There have been comments opposing it from gun control supporters as well as environmental groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council.

I made a comment and I hope you take a few minutes to do so as well.

Quote Of The Day

The quote of the day comes from an op-ed in the Washington Times. In it, Mark Houser and Matthew Larosiere discuss the inclusion of short barreled rifles and shotguns in the National Firearms Act of 1934. As originally written, the bill would have effectively banned all small concealable firearms and especially handguns. That was going too far for Congress and the handgun portion was stripped from the eventual bill that passed. However, they never got around to removing the language on minimum lengths for rifles and shotguns.

Having minimum lengths was necessary if you were going to ban handguns to prevent people from just cutting down a rifle or shotgun. However, once handguns were removed from the bill, it really served no purpose.

But even in 1934, exempting handguns from the NFA was necessary to secure sufficient support for its passage. And with the demise of the handgun ban, the minimum size rules now serve about the same function as a cancer-prone vestigial organ: They don’t accomplish anything useful, but they sure can get you into trouble.