DC suing NRA Foundation for misusing charitable funds

The District is suing the National Rifle Association Foundation – the massive gun rights lobby group’s charitable arm – alleging they misused funds and violated D.C. law.

The lawsuit arrives on the heels of a similar one launched by the New York Attorney General’s office against the NRA.

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New York AG Letitia James says their lawsuit is intended to dissolve the NRA, saying unchecked power in its leadership led to rampant “fraud and abuse.”

The NRA Foundation purportedly provides programs for firearm safety, marksmanship and hunting safety.

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D.C. prosecutors accuse the organization of diverting funds to the NRA to help pay for lavish spending by its top executives.

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine took the Foundation to task via Twitter on Thursday.

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“Donors gave money to fund firearms safety, firearms education and marksmanship training. Instead, that money was diverted to support wasteful spending by the NRA and its executives,” he said.

Racine says the Fairfax-based lobby group’s Foundation broke D.C. law through the following violations:

- Placing interests of NRA above its own 

Paying millions in fees to the NRA without oversight 

- Issuing millions in risky loans to the NRA ($5mil that the NRA never repaid)

James’ lawsuit, filed in state court in Manhattan after an 18-month investigation, highlighted misspending and self-dealing allegations that have roiled the NRA and its longtime leader, Wayne LaPierre, in recent years — from hair and makeup for his wife to a $17 million post-employment contract for himself.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.