In a surprising turn of events, Wayne LaPierre, the longstanding head of the National Rifle Association (NRA), declared his resignation on Friday, just days before the commencement of a civil trial in New York set to scrutinize his leadership within the influential gun rights organization.
Effective January 31, LaPierre, who has held the position of executive vice president and chief executive officer since 1991, revealed his decision to step down. The organization announced that Andrew Arulanandam will serve as the interim CEO & EVP.
In a statement released by the NRA, LaPierre expressed pride in the organization’s achievements and his unwavering support for its cause. He said, “With pride in all that we have accomplished, I am announcing my resignation from the NRA. I’ve been a card-carrying member of this organization for most of my adult life, and I will never stop supporting the NRA and its fight to defend Second Amendment freedom. My passion for our cause burns as deeply as ever.”
The timing of LaPierre’s resignation coincides with the imminent trial in the lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James against the NRA, LaPierre, and other executives. The trial is scheduled to commence on Monday, with LaPierre expected to testify.
Attorney General James, a Democrat, has leveled accusations against LaPierre and fellow executives, alleging the illegal diversion of tens of millions of dollars from the NRA. The charges include the misuse of organizational funds for personal trips, no-show contracts, and other questionable expenditures.
As part of the legal action, James seeks to prohibit LaPierre and other implicated executives from assuming leadership roles in any not-for-profit or charitable organization conducting business in New York. Such a move would effectively disassociate them from any future involvement with the NRA.
The resignation of Wayne LaPierre comes at a pivotal moment for the NRA, adding a layer of complexity to the legal proceedings that will unfold in the coming days. The trial is poised to shed light on the allegations against the organization’s leadership and may have far-reaching implications for the influential gun rights group.