The NRA just had a major legal setback. But its hold on the gun-control debate endures.

Last week, a federal judge in Dallas rejected the gun rights organization’s effort to declare bankruptcy, calling it an attempt to avoid legal scrutiny and citing “lingering issues of secrecy and a lack of transparency” some of which he described as “nothing less than shocking.” The bankruptcy hearing revealed details of lavish perks enjoyed by NRA chief Wayne LaPierre, who received charter flights for trips to the Bahamas with his family, use of luxury yachts and $275,000 worth of suits from the Ermenegildo Zegna boutique in Beverly Hills. New York Attorney General Letitia James has vowed to renew her efforts to dissolve the NRA altogether , saying the organization is riddled with fraud and self dealing. On Capitol Hill, advocates of expanded background check legislation acknowledged in interviews last week that they face an uphill climb in their efforts to attract enough Senate votes to pass what has long been considered the most basic of gun-control measures. Legal scholars say a Supreme Court case brought by the NRA that will be heard this year could lead to a historic expansion of the right to carry concealed firearms. The current climate is the result of a decades-long campaign by the powerhouse lobbying group, which has spent a fortune reshaping the political and judicial landscape to promote an interpretation of the Second Amendment that enshrines far-reaching individual gun rights. “The NRA transformed public attitudes and legal opinion,” said Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor and author of the book “Gunfight: The […]

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