NRA countersues NY attorney general for trying to dissolve 'political enemy'

Credit: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

NEW YORK, Feb 24 (Reuters) - The National Rifle Association has filed a countersuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James, saying she lacks authority to invoke state laws governing nonprofits to dissolve "political entities" such as itself.

In a Tuesday night filing with a New York state court in Manhattan, the gun rights group, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month, accused James of pursuing a "blatant and malicious retaliation campaign" against it because she dislikes what it stands for.

The attorney general had sued the NRA and Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre last August, accusing the nonprofit of diverting millions of dollars to fund luxurious trips for officials, no-show contracts for associates, and other questionable expenses.

"James commenced her investigations and this action against the NRA with the sole purpose of seeking to dissolve a political enemy," the NRA said.

The NRA said James' "selective enforcement" of state not-for-profit laws violated its constitutional rights to free speech and equal protection.

James' office did not immediately respond on Wednesday to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Additional reporting by Maria Chutchian; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

((jon.stempel@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 6317; Reuters Messaging: jon.stempel.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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