Members Make Case to Intervene in New York Action Against NRA

We know that Letitia James stands against guns in private hands and Wayne LaPierre stands for himself. The point of the intervenor motion is to get someone to stand for NRA members caught in the middle. (New York State Attorney General/Facebook)

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “The sum and substance of the present parties’ message to the NRA’s membership is ‘even though the AG is trying to dissolve your Association, and even though the NRA’s law firm, board and executives are deeply conflicted, none of you can do anything about it,’” the Reply Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Intervene by Francis Tait And Mario Aguirre, filed July 20 in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, Commercial Division argues. “That is not the law.”

The reply is the latest filing in an intervenor motion reported on in June by AmmoLand News. The motion, filed by NRA members Frank Tait and Mario Aguirre, seeks to ensure that the membership is not held accountable for the actions of association officers and “to protect their rights as individuals and as NRA members under the U.S. and New York constitutions as well as applicable New York statutes.” If ultimately successful, this will preserve the NRA’s existence and install new leadership through an idea presented as speculation last August in this column.

Justice Joel Cohen has set the motion for oral argument on September 9, a source close to the case confirms.  It will be a one-hour virtual teleconference with multiple participants including “seven sets of lawyers — the AG’s, our group, the four individual defendants, and the conflicted Brewer firm now representing the NRA,” so how much they will actually get to say beyond main points is unknown. The expectation is the judge’s questions will give an indication of his views on the motion, and in any case, a quick ruling is expected based on how he has handled previous motions.

Assuming intervention is granted and the Brewer law firm is disqualified over conflict of interest, several questions remain of particular concern:

  • Who will select an independent counsel for NRA and how?
  • Can Wayne LaPierre and the current board be stopped from continuing to control the NRA until there is a final decision in this case? If a trustee/receiver is appointed, what limitations will there be on his/her authority, how will continuation of normal operations, programs and political efforts be assured, and what safeguards would ensure that person is independent of influences and pressures from current management, the New York State Attorney General, and anti-gun advocates?
  • How would a new board be structured to ensure an appropriate cross-section of members who can assure that leadership is ultimately under the control of the membership?

There are plenty of nuanced specific questions that could flesh out each of these general ones, but it will be a moot point if the judge does not agree to allow an intervention. For now, readers can familiarize themselves with the Reply Memorandum, embedded below, share their ideas in the comments section for things the intervention team should be considering, and keep their fingers crossed.

And for those who really want to get into the weeds, you can access all the documents from the New York State Unified Court System website.


About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

David Codrea

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Doug G.
Doug G.
1 month ago

Just a quick point, as I haven’t reviewed anything yet. It seems to me that letitia is after the NRA organization and wiping it off the planet. She’s just using the issues of waynes malfeasance and the internal controversies as a hook to do so. I doubt that she even went into this for actions against wayne or the Board, except to see that it ends taking the organization with it. So, I wonder if intervening as the membership or the membership body, aren’t we handing her the real prize and the opportunity to go against what will surely end… Read more »

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
1 month ago
Reply to  Doug G.

Yes, you haven’t reviewed anything yet! Maybe you should, before making rather nonsensical statements? The State of NY is suing the NRA organization through its officers and directors. After all, THEY are responsible for the organization under NY non-profit laws. The members are simply NOT liable here! They are just in for the ride, between the corrupt leadership covering everything up and spending the NRA’s last dime on their defense, and the NY AG who wants to dissolve the NRA by claiming it is so corrupted that it can’t be repaired. Neither side represents the NRA members. The intervention is… Read more »

Russn8r
Russn8r
1 month ago

Good points. However, it may end up being fortunate that this intervention is not the only option. The bankruptcy judge dismissed without prejudice. There are ways NRA might be forced back into b/k in a way that would benefit membership this time, not the vampires, sweetheart self-dealers & derelict rubes.

Last edited 1 month ago by Russn8r
Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
1 month ago
Reply to  Russn8r

Well, that would require the NRA to go into real bankruptcy. Clueless members that keep signing up and donating and the firearms industry that keeps donating are preventing that! The crooks also have become very creative in terms of accounting. Then there is the NRA Annual Meeting coming up, which typically brings in a lot of money.

Russn8r
Russn8r
1 month ago

That would sure help, but it may not be the only way. 3 creditors can throw a debtor in. Every life member is a lifetime unsecured creditor in various benefits including a lifetime magazine subscription that’s worthless if the NYAG wins. There must also be major bequest donors with contracts that won’t be fulfilled, etc. No one on our side tried to use those angles, though they were made aware. Cock sure they had it all under control, to the point of serious self-delusion. Our side’s legal team was rubbish, declined to take dozens of kill shots that would’ve kept… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Russn8r
ahhiyawa
ahhiyawa
1 month ago
Reply to  Russn8r

I agree with only one exception, being that there may be another path should intervention fail on 9 September. Should the ‘motion to intervene’ be denied than the game is up.

As I see it as a parliamentarian, the impediment to success revolves around the question of membership non-culpability, which the motion explicitly lays forth in Section F.

How much if any merit, positive or negative the judge assigns to it in regard to membership “rights” and “benefits” as you stated, is the dime upon which the NRA’s fate will turn.

Russn8r
Russn8r
1 month ago
Reply to  ahhiyawa

Not sure, but I think NRA could go back into b/k even after she gets a decision to terminate, at least pre-execution while it’s on appeal. If not, all the more reason for our side to figure out and act on ways to force NRA back in before she wins, instead of betting the entire farm on intervention. What do we have to lose?

Ed in North Texas
Ed in North Texas
1 month ago

From reported signs that the usual large number of firms are not planning on buying space for this year’s Annual Meeting, that last apparently isn’t going to be the cash cow of past years.

Ed in North Texas
Ed in North Texas
1 month ago
Reply to  Russn8r

James has, per her original filing (IIRC), requested the Judge hearing the case dissolve the NRA and order the distribution of all remaining funds to other “charities” (I suspect she intends to be the entity to decide which are the deserving charities). Do we think LaPierre, et al, would sacrifice themselves to keep the NRA from being dissolved? Would Brewer act solely as legal representative for the members and NRA given the history and obvious conflict? IANAL but it seems to me it might be difficult to file for bankruptcy if there is no NRA, although with the money being… Read more »

Russn8r
Russn8r
1 month ago

Good question. No way Lucky Pierre et ilk sacrifice themselves to stop dissolution. Already had the chance. They must be forced back into b/k or shown by carrot & stick that they’re less cornholed going back in (not the kind of cornholing Lucky Pierre likes). Stick: criminal complaints, civil suits for fraud, self-dealing etc. Carrot: Partial amnesty deal with victims & plaintiffs if the culprits do all the right things, full cooperation including resigning and maybe some partial restitution. As I wrote above, I suspect NRA can go back into b/k even after a decision to terminate, but pre-execution during… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Russn8r
loveaduck
loveaduck
1 month ago

I won’t renew unless/until major changes are made to the NRA structure.

Russn8r
Russn8r
1 month ago

What the hell are you babbling about now? No one’s talking about members being liable. This is about BOARD members, who have fiduciary and other responsibilities. Bolding your scharts doesn’t make them compelling.

Last edited 1 month ago by Russn8r
musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago
Reply to  Russn8r

Don’t make Lord Shart mad. He will copy and paste you to death with his diatribes about how you are out here just to cause trouble which is exactly what he does. He is the perfect example of a demonkkkrat in action. Bet he drives a blue prius.

Well I’m on vacation. Gotta go.

From OreGONE, druggie capital of the U.S.A..

Last edited 1 month ago by musicman44mag
Russn8r
Russn8r
1 month ago
Reply to  musicman44mag

My bad!

Jaque
Jaque
1 month ago

Its difficult to determine if the stench from the NY AG is greater than that from NRA HQ, Both are equally revolting.

Russn8r
Russn8r
1 month ago
Reply to  Jaque

Perfect.

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
1 month ago

Members have no liability here! They have rights, though, that no entity in this legal fight represents.

ahhiyawa
ahhiyawa
1 month ago

Ahhh…if I’m not mistaken Frank Tait and Mario Aguirre are carrying the burden for millions of NRA members.

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
1 month ago
Reply to  ahhiyawa

Not really, given that most NRA members seem to be fine with what’s going on or are simply clueless.

Frank Tait is just someone who actually cares and has the means to do something. He is also running for the NRA Board.

Russn8r
Russn8r
1 month ago

Just having your name on the membership list is a liability against the members.” Makes no sense.

Russn8r
Russn8r
1 month ago
Reply to  Russn8r

Schartre, that may have been what you meant, but what you wrote was clear as mud. When you babble, don’t expect others to read your entrails.

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
1 month ago

Property rights as a member of a non-profit? Yeah, makes no sense!

As far as the membership list goes, what you may mean is that the membership list and donation records may get in the wrong hands. That’s not a legal or financial liability. That’s a privacy issue.

Russn8r
Russn8r
1 month ago

Members can be creditors through subscriptions or donor contracts. He’s right that NRA owes non-pecuniary fidelity to members beyond clearly monetary. If members don’t “own” NRA, who does? Lucky LaPierre? His Rubber Stamp Board? His Vampire Vendors?

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
1 month ago
Reply to  Russn8r

A nonprofit has no owners whatsoever! There are no subscription or donor contracts that make NRA members creditors, as all funds given were charitable donations. The business of a nonprofit is non-commercial.

Russn8r
Russn8r
1 month ago

Technically, yes, it owns itself. Substance over style however, has always been as follows:

Control = Ownership.

Ownership = Control.

In effect, LaPew & Company “own” the NRA. For now.

Not true about subscriptions & donor contracts. A contract is a contract, a promise is a promise, and a representation is a representation, whether or not it’s ultimately related to a donation.

Last edited 1 month ago by Russn8r
Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
1 month ago

Sorry, but you simply can’t sue the NRA for not getting a magazine, because there is no commercial contract in place. Membership in a non-profit organization is a non-contractual relationship. You may want start by reading the bylaws! That, however, creates the challenge of getting access to the current bylaws.

Russn8r
Russn8r
1 month ago

You don’t know that. A non-profit can and does make binding contracts, including with members & donors. Why don’t YOU quote us the relevant bylaws.

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
1 month ago
Reply to  Russn8r

The 2017 version of the bylaws (Article III): https://www.savethe2a.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/NRA_Bylaws-1.pdf. I stand corrected on the magazine. The bylaws mention a right to a magazine.

Russn8r
Russn8r
1 month ago

Cool, thanks. Searchable too!

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
1 month ago

Meanwhile, we had 3 resignations from the NRA Board this week: Ted Nugent, Susan Howard and Buzz Mills.

Russn8r
Russn8r
1 month ago

Yep. Ted Nugent & Susan Howard backed the 1997 vampire coup d’etat & rubber-stamped the sweetheart self-dealing for decades. Now they’re running for ass-cover, not out of concern for membership, but because they’re no longer covered by D&O insurance. Trying to get some distance and kabuki laid down so the Titanic doesn’t suck them down with it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Russn8r
Knute
Knute
1 month ago
Reply to  Russn8r

Rats leaving the sinking ship… 🙂

Sisu
Sisu
1 month ago

I doubt there is any liability exposure to members for what the Board and management did or did not do. I think privacy is a concern. And, members perhaps should be recognized to have a “stakeholder interest” in the outcome, but who are the members – I do not believe it is very easy to define. Especially considering the tactics the NRA used to management (limit) the number of “voting members”. Are individuals who participate in state affiliates which send money to the NRA “members” ? What if you stopped paying in recent years because of the known problems with… Read more »

ahhiyawa
ahhiyawa
1 month ago
Reply to  Sisu

Read the by-laws!

Only Life and dues paying members in “good standing” have rights, powers, responsibilities and/or any legitimate interests & claims regarding the association.

If you stopped paying your dues your not a “member in good standing” and entitled to nothing.

Ed in North Texas
Ed in North Texas
1 month ago
Reply to  Sisu

You don’t believe the term “members” is easy to define? Simple enough for most, there are Annual Members and Life Members (and all membership levels above that are nothing more than Life Members with fancy titles). Voting members is a simple concept, Annual Members who have shown a continuing interest in the NRA by remaining an Annual member for five years and all Life Members. Must be a deeply suspicious person to believe that is some conspiracy to limit, without reason, who may vote. State affiliate members are not NRA members unless they separately join the NRA. Once upon a… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Ed in North Texas
Sisu
Sisu
1 month ago

The argument in the motion appears to be anchored in First Amendment Protections including speech and association. But, not a single mention of the Second Amendment or the NRA speaking on behalf of the “members” as their “advocate”. There is discussion that the members paid dues and thus have some type of “property rights in the NRA” (a not-for-profit, without owners); thus the members should be entitled to re-organize the NRA and the NYS AG should not be allowed to dissolve its operations without input from members. (Re-organize it as what ? The for-profit marketing, sweepstakes, publishing, training, certification and… Read more »

Ed in North Texas
Ed in North Texas
1 month ago
Reply to  Sisu

The NY AG’s requested decision is the dissolution of the NRA with any remaining proceeds and assets to be distributed to other charities. I have little doubt that if the Judge (and jury) agrees, James intends the NYAG office (i.e. Letitia James) to be the entity to decide which charities would benefit from our money. Regarding the Tait and Aguirre’s lawyers, would you prefer they be criminal defense specialists? As to who Tait and Aguirre are, they are the only two of the something less than five million members who are trying to do something to protect the other members… Read more »

Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn
1 month ago

I’m a Life Member after 5 years as an annual Member only because I got in on the $500 deal and I wanted the free $2500 firearm theft and loss insurance.

Russn8r
Russn8r
1 month ago
Reply to  Ryben Flynn

the free $2500 firearm insurance”

Which will not be honored after the vampires who run the NRA finish destroying it with their corrupt derelict rubber-stamp board.

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
1 month ago
Reply to  Russn8r

The insurance is with an outside provider, like everything else the NRA offers. These types of insurances are scams and not honored in most cases.