The breadth and scope of the NRA’s legal issues can be difficult to keep up with. This page provides a brief summary of some of the investigations, lawsuits, and other regulatory issues the NRA faces. Click on a topic to learn more and see primary source filings.
NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL INVESTIGATION: As a result of the sprawling evidence of financial mismanagement, self-dealing, and questionable business practices, New York Attorney General Letitia James is conducting an investigation into whether the NRA violated New York’s charities law. D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine is also investigating the NRA and NRA Foundation for suspected violations of nonprofit law. While the investigations remain in the investigatory stage (and thus not generating public court filings), two disputes between the NRA and the Office of the New York Attorney General have spilled out into court filings.
NRA V. ACKERMAN (TEXAS): The NRA and its former advertising firm, Ackerman McQueen, are embroiled in a number of litigations about the deterioration of their business relationship, including this federal litigation in Texas. The case includes the parties trading accusations of deceit, wrongdoing, and extortion, among other allegations. This litigation is now of significant economic consequence – with both parties seeking over $50 million in damages.
NRA V. ACKERMAN (VIRGINIA): This litigation involves very similar allegations as the federal action in Texas, although this series of cases (now consolidated) were brought in Virginia (Alexandria). Of note, because this case preceded the federal action in Texas, the case appears to be further along in terms of discover between the parties.
NRA CARRY GUARD INVESTIGATION: The NRA’s “Carry Guard” insurance program, which promised to cover an individual’s legal expenses if they shoot someone and claim self-defense, was unveiled at the 2016 NRA convention with much fanfare, but has subsequently become a regulatory debacle. In February 2020, the New York State Department of Financial Services formally charged the NRA as acting as an unlicensed insurance producer with respect to its “Carry Guard” insurance product.
NRA V. OLIVER NORTH: Oliver North is the former board president of the NRA. In early 2019, North began making inquiries into apparent financial mismanagement and conflict of interest transactions at the NRA. His inquiries led to a power struggle within the NRA that resulted in North’s ouster. North began receiving subpoenas and requests for information relating to the various inquiries the NRA faced. North asked the NRA to indemnify his legal fees, which the NRA denied, and instead sued North in this lawsuit in New York state court. While the court ultimately ruled that the NRA did not have to pay North’s legal fees, the litigation unearthed various facts that shed light on the controversies surrounding the NRA and its mismanagement.
UNDER WILD SKIES V. NRA: Under Wild Skies, Inc. produced the hunting television series Under Wild Skies pursuant to a contract with the NRA for several years. However, in-mid 2019, the company alleges the NRA started skipping payments and brought a lawsuit in Virginia (Fairfax County) seeking over $17 million in damages from the NRA.
CAMPAIGN COORDINATION INQUIRY: Explosive investigative reporting by The Trace revealed media buyers for the NRA’s purportedly independent campaign expenditures were simultaneously doing similar work on behalf of the campaigns they were supporting, including several high-profile U.S. Senate races and President Trump’s campaign. Federal election law bars campaigns and independent groups from coordinating their spending and detailed complaints about this conduct have been submitted to the Federal Election Commission.
DONOR CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT: David Dell’Aquila is a longtime supporter of the NRA who became frustrated with the NRA’s mismanagement and lack of transparency. He brought this class action lawsuit in the Middle District of Tennessee against the NRA, the NRA Foundation, and Wayne Lapierre, alleging that they fraudulently solicited donations that were used for purposes outside of the NRA’s core mission
EVERYTOWN COMPLAINTS: The Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund has brought the NRA’s misdeeds to light in a variety manners, including referrals to relevant government regulators. This includes complaints to the IRS and the Combined Federal Campaign to alert them of the NRA’s alleged self-dealing, financial mismanagement, and corruption. Additionally, and has been publicly reported, Everytown filed complaints concerning the NRA’s Carry Guard insurance product with regulators in multiple states.