Rutledge Leads 16-State Coalition Supporting the NRA
April 1, 2021
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced that Arkansas is leading an amicus brief joined by 16 State attorneys general supporting the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) efforts to “dump” New York and reorganize in Texas. The brief opposes the New York Attorney General Letitia James’s effort to dismiss the NRA’s chapter 11 petition and recounts New York’s politically motivated attempt in a separate lawsuit to dissolve the NRA. The NRA is the country’s oldest civil rights organization and leading Second Amendment advocacy organization, and James hopes that her attempts to destroy the NRA will undermine Americans’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
“New York’s effort to stop the NRA from reorganizing in Texas is just another chapter in New York’s vendetta against the Second Amendment,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “I am proud to continue to support the right to keep and bear arms and organizations like the NRA who stand up to defend it.”
In August, Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit in New York state court seeking to dissolve the NRA. Separately, the District of Columbia Attorney General filed an action against the non-profit organization NRA Foundation, but the DC lawsuit tellingly did not seek dissolution.
Subsequently, the NRA responded by suing Attorney General James in New York federal court, explaining that her dissolution lawsuit violated the First Amendment by seeking to punish the NRA for its constitutionally protected Second Amendment advocacy. In December, Attorney General Rutledge filed a 16-state amicus brief supporting the NRA’s lawsuit against James.
In January, the NRA announced that it was “dumping” New York and reorganizing as a Texas nonprofit in order to operate in a state that shares its respect for the Second Amendment. It filed a chapter 11 petition in federal bankruptcy court to begin the process of reorganizing in Texas. The New York Attorney General—not wanting the organization to leave New York—responded by filing a motion seeking to dismiss the NRA’s petition. Arkansas’s amicus brief supports the NRA’s efforts to reorganize and details New York’s history of retaliating against the NRA for the organization’s defense of a fundamental constitutional right. It argues that there is nothing improper about the NRA seeking to leave New York when the state has sought to dissolve it for advocating for Americans’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
Rutledge leads the amicus brief and is joined by Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia.