DC Attorney General Karl Racine filed a lawsuit Thursday against the NRA Foundation and the National Rifle Association (NRA) for allegedly misusing charitable funds to support wasteful spending by the NRA and its executives.
According to the lawsuit, the NRA Foundation violated District laws by allowing charitable funds to be used for non-charitable purposes.
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) also claims that “the Foundation’s Board of Directors was controlled by the NRA and allowed the NRA to exploit it through risky multi-million-dollar loans—including a $5 million loan that the NRA has never repaid.”
“Charitable organizations function as public trusts—and District law requires them to use their funds to benefit the public, not to support political campaigns, lobbying, or private interests,” said Racine.
“With this lawsuit, we aim to recover donated funds that the NRA Foundation wasted. District nonprofits should be on notice that the Office of the Attorney General will file suit if we find evidence of illegal behavior.”
#BREAKING: We are suing the NRA Foundation for misusing charitable funds.
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: https://t.co/5uLweQ207l
— AG Karl A. Racine (@AGKarlRacine) August 6, 2020
OAG is seeking to return the charitable funds illicitly spent on the NRA to the Foundation and a court order forcing changes to the Foundation to ensure it is working for charitable purposes and is operated independently.
The lawsuit is part of OAG’s efforts to stop DC nonprofits from spending their money for purposes other than benefiting the public, and to hold them accountable when they violate the law, Racine’s office said in a statement.
“Already, OAG has litigated and resolved actions against several District charter schools, and the president of a nonprofit that owned an affordable housing building, for mismanagement of nonprofit funds. The office has also sued the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee for misusing funds for private enrichment, and took action against Howard Theatre Restoration, Inc. for failing to properly obtain financial audits. Several additional investigations remain open,” the statement added.
OAG also encourages citizens who suspect that a DC nonprofit is not complying with the city’s law to contact the office at (202) 727-3400.