A bankruptcy filing by the National Rifle Association isn’t stopping a New York judge from moving ahead with a fraud lawsuit by the state’s attorney general, who is seeking to dissolve the gun rights organization. The judge, Joel M. Cohen, started a hearing on Thursday by saying he would proceed with various motions, including the NRA’s request to move the case from Manhattan to Albany. “I would not be proceeding unless I was confident, based on my own research, that there were reasonable grounds to do so,” the judge said. Cohen said state courts have the power to determine whether a temporary hold on a case before them because of bankruptcy proceedings is applicable. “It is not the exclusive province of the bankruptcy court,” he said. New York Attorney General Letitia James had argued in a letter on Wednesday for the case to go forward, even though bankruptcy filings often result in litigation against a debtor being put on hold. A letter by the NRA suggested it might seek a stay later but agreed to go forward with Thursday’s hearing. The NRA “reserves its rights and remedies under the Bankruptcy Code, including its right to apply to the Bankruptcy Court, if appropriate, for any ‘order, process, or judgment that is necessary or appropriate’ to carry out its reorganization,” the group wrote.
The NRA, which has accused New York regulators of illegally targeting it for political reasons, filed the bankruptcy case in Dallas and announced it is moving to gun-friendly Texas. In the same ruling Thursday, Cohen denied the NRA’s request to transfer the case from state court in Manhattan to federal court in Albany. [full article]