AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File
The National Rifle Association is going through something of a rough patch, to put it mildly. In addition to the infighting and accusations of financial mismanagement, it’s also facing the most concerted push toward gun control the group has seen in over 25 years. None of this combines to make anyone feel warm and tingly.
Then you have gun control groups pushing for the IRS to repeal the NRA’s tax-exempt status.
However, I think the part of all this that troubles me the most is how the state of New York seems to believe it’s its place to investigate the matter.
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) has launched an investigation into the National Rifle Association’s finances, including the NRA’s tax-exempt status, according to The New York Times.
“The Office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation related to the National Rifle Association (NRA),” Kelly Donnelly, a spokeswoman for the attorney general, said in an email, according to The Associated Press. “As part of this investigation, the Attorney General has issued subpoenas.”
The Times added that James on Friday instructed the NRA and its affiliated entities to preserve all relevant financial records as part of the probe. The NRA’s charitable foundation was reportedly one of the affiliated entities to receive the instructions.
The Times, citing sources familiar with the inquiry, reported that James’s office also issued subpoenas to the NRA’s related businesses.
The NRA, however, doesn’t seem to be lashing out at this. While one would expect it to call this what it is, a political witchhunt, the organization took a much different path in its response.
“The N.R.A. will fully cooperate with any inquiry into its finances,” William A. Brewer III, the N.R.A.’s outside counsel, said in a statement, according to the Times and the AP. “The N.R.A. is prepared for this, and has full confidence in its accounting practices and commitment to good governance.”
However, as The Hill notes, James vowed to launch such an investigation last year during her campaign for the attorney general’s office. As such, I find it hard to believe she’s launching this investigation because of the allegations of financial mismanagement within the organization.
No, this is personal.
Let’s keep in mind that this is the same state where the governor has been trying to choke off the organization’s financial lifeblood. It’s hard to look at the two and not see something deeper at work.
That said, let’s also be honest. If shenanigans are going on within the NRA, we all need to know about it and see those responsible punished appropriately. No one wants to see their membership dollars disappearing down a black hole of someone else’s pockets.
But that’s if there is anything.
I don’t trust the state of New York to be unbiased in the least. It’s been clear for the last year that New York has a grudge against the nation’s oldest civil rights organization and will do anything to destroy it and the industry it helps defend. I don’t buy that this is about James wanting to determine right and wrong here.
No, it’s a witchhunt.
That means it’s time to circle the wagons, folks.