U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “NY Court Rules Out Dissolution, Keeps Case Against LaPierre And Others Alive,” the NRA in Danger blog reported Wednesday. “A while back we said it’d be ironic if NRA, after all leadership’s misdeeds, was saved by a NY judge (after it spent millions trying to ‘dump NY’). That may just have happened.”
Based on Judge Joel M. Cohen’s opinion, that seems a fair assessment.
“[T]he NYAG’s[New York Attorney General Letitia James] claim for dissolution of the NRA cannot be sustained,” Cohen asserted. “The main victim of the NRA’s alleged dysfunction has been, according to the Complaint, the NRA and its members…”
“In arguing for dissolution, the Attorney General’s allegations fail to delineate between the NRA, on the one hand, and its leaders on the other…” Judge Cohen elaborated. “Conflating the Individual Defendants with the NRA writ large for purposes of dissolution is inappropriate here.”
That concern was expressed to the judge through various attempts at intervenor action, that is, a question raised in this column in August 2020:
“Could NRA members intervene to stop NY suit to dissolve the NRA?” the article asked, introducing a lawyer and NRA life member’s idea for “a legal procedure that could be used both to preserve the NRA’s existence and to install new leadership if the New York AG proves her claims against the NRA executives.”
In July of last year, a motion to intervene was filed by NRA members Frank Tait (who is currently running for the Board of Directors) and Mario Aguirre. In September, NRA Director Roscoe B. Marshall filed a Notice of Motion to Intervene. For the first time in the case, NRA attorneys and the NYAG agreed. In “a rare moment of unity,” they both opposed such an intervention.
Judge Cohen evidently took notice of their concerns with questions he posed in oral arguments in December.
“So should that not matter at all that there are five million members, a number of whom had tried to appear here and have taken the position, well, look, don’t throw out everything just because of some bad actors?” he asked the attorneys.
“[H]e said the members’ cause needed to be heard, and he would consider other ways of letting them participate,” the NRA In Danger blog reported at the time. “There was a report of a director going to join in [again, from AmmoLand], which would have helped their motion a lot…”
“This is a resounding win for the NRA, its 5 million members, and all who believe in this organization,” NRA President Charles Cotton celebrated in an Association announcement. “The message is loud and clear: the NRA is strong and secure in its mission to protect constitutional freedom.”
For the association, yes, it’s a win. For Wayne LaPierre, for whom the judge had “some unflattering things to say,” and for Letitia James, who is trying to save face by portraying this as good news/bad news with appeal options, not so much. The Notice of Decision of Entry of Order, where you can read what the judge said for yourself, follows.
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.