HOUSTON - New York's Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the National Rifle Association Thursday. The lawsuits seek to dissolve the organization over alleged corruption and misuse of millions of dollars in company funds.
The lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James claims Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and several others drained $64 million from the organization by spending company funds on personal expenses and lavish trips.
"Mr. Lapierre created an illegal pass-through arrangement to conceal the very nature of these expenditures," said James.
"This is not going to go anywhere. This is political theater and it's a kabuki show. It's not going to go anywhere," said Texas State Rep. Steve Toth.
Toth doesn’t believe the lawsuit will successfully dismantle the NRA, particularly when gun sales soared to record highs this summer.
"People are buying guns right now for the very simple reason that this is an untold time of unrest in the United States. Even if there were legitimate claims of misappropriation of funds, which I don't believe there are, you don't disband a 501c3 organization with five million members. That's ridiculous," Toth said.
The NRA responded saying the lawsuit has political motives, said in part, “This was a baseless, premeditated attack on our organization and the second amendment freedoms it fights to defend.“
"This has been going on for a long time,” said President Trump.
Trump also came to the defense of the NRA tweeting, “Just like radical left New York is trying to destroy the NRA, if Biden becomes president your great second amendment doesn’t have a chance. Your guns will be taken away, immediately and without notice. No police, no guns!”
"Not true, guns will not be taken away, there will be police, the president tends to exaggerate," said Congressman Al Green.
Green said that if the allegations against the nation’s most influential gun rights lobby are true, its dissolution could pave the way for lawmakers to successfully pass gun safety laws.
"If it is dismantled, I assure you it would give us a great opportunity to pass some meaningful gun safety laws to help these young people who have been killed in schools, to help with the way we perform background checks," said Green.
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On the heels of the one-year mark since 23 people were shot and killed in El Paso, Norri Leder, a longtime volunteer with Moms Demand Action, says advocating for common-sense gun laws is more crucial than ever.
"On the one-year anniversary of El Paso, I think Texans are thinking about how we can keep ourselves safe from things like that from Santa Fe. Our gun violence rates don't look like any other developed nations and we shouldn't have to be afraid to send our kids to school," Leder said.
AG James said the claims made in the lawsuit are civil, not criminal violations.