US gun lobby group National Rifle Association files for bankruptcy

The NRA is defiantly pro-gun. Photo credit: Getty

The National Rifle Association (NRA) on Friday (US time) said in a statement that it has filed bankruptcy petitions in US court as part of a restructuring plan.

"The plan can be summed up quite simply: We are DUMPING New York, and we are pursuing plans to reincorporate the NRA in Texas," executive director Wayne LaPierre wrote in a letter to members.

He said it would have "no major changes" to the group's operations or workforce. 

"Under the plan, the NRA will continue what we've always done - confronting anti-gun, anti-self-defense and anti-hunting activities and promoting constitutional advocacy that helps law-abiding Americans. Our work will continue as it always has."

He said the NRA was not in any financial trouble, despite the bankruptcy filing. 

"Today's announcement makes us bigger, stronger and more prepared for the fight for freedom."

The NRA has been criticised in recent years for its gung-ho approach, accused of unrepentingly promoting weapons used in the United States' mass killings. 

New York authorities had been trying to dissolve the NRA, accusing the leadership of diverting funds for their own personal use. 

La Pierre called it an "abuse of legal and regulatory power". 

"The NRA’s influence has been so powerful that the organization went unchecked for decades while top executives funneled millions into their own pockets,” Attorney General Letitia James said in August.

On Twitter she said the NRA's financial status "has finally met its moral status: bankrupt.  While we review its bankruptcy filing, we will not allow the NRA to use this or any other tactic to evade accountability and my office’s oversight."

Reuters / Newshub.