Members Make Case to Intervene in New York Action Against NRA

We know that Letitia James stands against guns in private hands and Wayne LaPierre stands for himself. The point of the intervenor motion is to get someone to stand for NRA members caught in the middle. (New York State Attorney General/Facebook)

U.S.A. – -( “The sum and substance of the present parties’ message to the NRA’s membership is ‘even though the AG is trying to dissolve your Association, and even though the NRA’s law firm, board and executives are deeply conflicted, none of you can do anything about it,’” the Reply Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Intervene by Francis Tait And Mario Aguirre, filed July 20 in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, Commercial Division argues. “That is not the law.”

The reply is the latest filing in an intervenor motion reported on in June by AmmoLand News. The motion, filed by NRA members Frank Tait and Mario Aguirre, seeks to ensure that the membership is not held accountable for the actions of association officers and “to protect their rights as individuals and as NRA members under the U.S. and New York constitutions as well as applicable New York statutes.” If ultimately successful, this will preserve the NRA’s existence and install new leadership through an idea presented as speculation last August in this column.

Justice Joel Cohen has set the motion for oral argument on September 9, a source close to the case confirms.  It will be a one-hour virtual teleconference with multiple participants including “seven sets of lawyers — the AG’s, our group, the four individual defendants, and the conflicted Brewer firm now representing the NRA,” so how much they will actually get to say beyond main points is unknown. The expectation is the judge’s questions will give an indication of his views on the motion, and in any case, a quick ruling is expected based on how he has handled previous motions.

Assuming intervention is granted and the Brewer law firm is disqualified over conflict of interest, several questions remain of particular concern:

  • Who will select an independent counsel for NRA and how?
  • Can Wayne LaPierre and the current board be stopped from continuing to control the NRA until there is a final decision in this case? If a trustee/receiver is appointed, what limitations will there be on his/her authority, how will continuation of normal operations, programs and political efforts be assured, and what safeguards would ensure that person is independent of influences and pressures from current management, the New York State Attorney General, and anti-gun advocates?
  • How would a new board be structured to ensure an appropriate cross-section of members who can assure that leadership is ultimately under the control of the membership?

There are plenty of nuanced specific questions that could flesh out each of these general ones, but it will be a moot point if the judge does not agree to allow an intervention. For now, readers can familiarize themselves with the Reply Memorandum, embedded below, share their ideas in the comments section for things the intervention team should be considering, and keep their fingers crossed.

And for those who really want to get into the weeds, you can access all the documents from the New York State Unified Court System website.

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.

David Codrea

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