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Moms Demand Action

The NRA Trial Verdict Is a Big Loss for the NRA

When Michael Bloomberg and Shannon Watts combined Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action in 2013, they created Everytown for Gun Safety—a group they hoped could “eventually outmuscle the National Rifle Association.” Eleven years later, we did just that.

On Friday, February 23, the jury in the trial of Attorney General of the State of NY v. NRA returned a verdict. They found the NRA liable for mismanagement and certain executives liable for improperly diverting funds from the non-profit to benefit themselves or others close to them. And this ruling includes former NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, who resigned just days before the trial began.

After a six-week trial, the jury found:

  • The NRA was liable of failing to properly administer charitable assets

    The  jury found the NRA was liable of failing to properly administer charitable assets.

  • All three individual defendants were liable of breach of fiduciary duties to the NRA

    Former CEO Wayne LaPierre, former CFO Woody Phillips, and current General Counsel John Frazer were found liable of breach of fiduciary duties to the NRA. With respect to damages for this claim, the jury found that LaPierre and Phillips owed the NRA millions for ill-gotten benefits. More specifically, in the time period at issue, they found that LaPierre caused $5.4 million in damages, and Philips caused $2 million in damages.

  • Cause for Wayne LaPierre to be removed from the NRA

    LaPierre has already stepped down from his former position as CEO. Conversely, the jury found there was no cause for General Counsel Frazer to be removed (despite their finding that he breached his fiduciary duties).

  • The NRA was liable of not having proper whistleblower protections in place

    The jury found the NRA was liable of not having proper whistleblower protections in place.

  • The NRA was liable of failing to evaluate whistleblower claims and/or retaliation against several whistleblowers

    The jury found the NRA was liable of failing to evaluate whistleblower claims and/or retaliation against several whistleblowers

  • The NRA and Frazer were liable for making false filings to New York State

    The jury found the NRA and General Counsel Frazer were liable for making false filings to New York State

  • LaPierre, Phillips, and the NRA engaged in wrongful related party transactions

    However, for certain (but not all) transactions involving the NRA, the jury found that the NRA properly ratified these transactions after the fact. With respect to Wayne LaPierre’s post-employment golden parachute contract, the jury found the NRA was engaging in a wrongful related party transaction. However, the jury found that the Attorney General had not proved that the contract was not previously approved by the NRA board.

As guns became the number one killer of young people in America, the NRA and its leadership were not only profiting off of their deadly agenda; they were doing so while key executives were diverting funds from the organization to benefit themselves and/or their friends.

The NRA was hemorrhaging revenue, members, and clout before this trial even began, and its influence continues to diminish significantly. So far in 2024, the NRA has already managed to lose this trial, its longtime leader, and whatever political relevance it had left. Meanwhile, we’ve spent the last 11 years fighting to expose the NRA’s role in our nation’s gun violence crisis—and it’s working.

In the last decade, we’ve defeated countless dangerous NRA-backed bills in state legislatures that would force guns into schools and college campuses, expand stand your ground laws, and/or weaken background checks and permitting systems. We’ve outspent the NRA during elections in its home state of Virginia, flipping both chambers of the legislature to a gun sense majority. We tracked the legal and financial crisis at the NRA, posting regular updates from court and regulatory filings on NRA Watch. And we’ve provided first-of-their-kind resources to expose the NRA and the gun industry’s roles in gun violence today.

You—our 10 million and counting grassroots supporters—helped make this possible. 

In 2014, you turned out at our first national convening of Moms Demand Action volunteers. At the War Memorial Park in Indianapolis, you sent a message to the NRA that became the drumbeat of this movement: The Moms are here to stay.

“Before us today stands the Goliath of the gun lobby. We are the Davids, called to protect and serve those that cannot protect themselves.”

 —Lucy McBath, April 26, 2014, Indianapolis War Memorial Park

Since 2014, you’ve been the backbone of our Gun Sense Voter campaign, mobilizing voters across the country to protect our communities from the gun violence crisis the NRA has made worse. You’ve knocked on doors during election cycles, advocating for candidates who will stand up for common-sense gun safety policies to protect our children, our neighbors, and our country.

You’ve lent your voice to the movement, successfully calling on Target, Chipotle, Trader Joe’s, and Starbucks—to name a few—to change the culture around public carry of guns in the U.S. Thanks to the hard work of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers nationwide, more than 10 million students across the country now live in a district that requires schools to educate parents about secure storage. 

Since 2015, you’ve turned out against the NRA at its Annual Meetings, calling out likely presidential candidates in attendance on their association with the NRA’s dangerous and extreme agenda. With your voice and your vote, you’ve shown these same candidates that gun safety isn’t just good policy, it’s good politics. And you’ve shown others in the movement that the Moms in the red shirts are “dedicated to implementing reasonable and effective gun regulations”—a position that became clear after Dallas eatery Ellen’s Diner chose to donate $15,000 of its proceeds to Moms Demand Action from its sales during the week when the NRA came to town for its 2018 Annual Meeting.

You’ve talked with neighbors, called your representatives to push back on the gun lobby’s dangerous agenda, and even run for office to champion gun sense. Your work to change the culture played a large role in breaking the 26-year logjam on Congressional action on gun safety.


  • The first national convening of Moms Demand Action volunteers is held at Indiana War Memorial Park, a “stroller jam” that tells NRA leadership that the Moms are here to stay.


  • Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety turn out at the NRA Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. Volunteers tee up gun violence as an issue in the presidential primary election and call out likely candidates in attendance for their association with the NRA’s dangerous and extreme agenda.





  • Moms Demand Action volunteers knock on tens of thousands of doors and make more than 100,000 phone calls during the 2019 election cycle in Virginia. Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund spend $2.5 million to help flip the Virginia General Assembly to a Gun Sense Majority, outspending the NRA in their home state by a 4-to-1 margin while proving that gun sense is a counterweight to the NRA’s extreme messaging. 






All of these victories seemed far out of reach when we were founded 11 years ago as we sought to be the counterweight to the NRA. For the last 30 years, the NRA had functioned as the gun industry’s suit of armor: One that was big enough to hide the corporations that profited from the NRA’s agenda, and intimidating enough to keep Washington lawmakers in line.

Today, thanks to you and others in this movement, this verdict signifies the end of an era for an organization that has caused irreparable damage to our country: The NRA’s glory days are done. There are cracks in the gun industry’s armor, and we’re only getting started.

We won’t stop until every lawmaker and every industry executive who chooses profit over the safety of our communities is held accountable, whether in the courtroom or at the ballot box.

Because sidelining the NRA was never our final goal—we will keep working until we create a future free from the horrors of gun violence.

Join Us in Holding the Gun Industry Accountable

Join our movement of grassroots supporters to hold the gun industry accountable for profiting off of the very crisis it has enabled.

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