Wayne LaPierre, the longtime leader of the National Rifle Association, resigned on the eve of a civil trial in which New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking his ouster as well as financial penalties for alleged corruption at the nonprofit organization.
The 74-year-old NRA president cited health reasons for his decision to step down. His resignation is effective January 31.
He ran the NRA since 1991, and it has become a force under his leadership. His advertising helped elect President Trump in 2016.
LaPierre became a target of the left, particularly gun control activists.
He survived an internal coup back in 2019 and before that in the 1990s.
When the internal problems began in 2019 with Oliver North, the New York Attorney, General, a political activist, saw this as an opportunity. She claimed he treated the nonprofit charity as a piggy bank. He spent money on private plane trips. Allegedly, he accepted lavish gifts from NRA vendors and also arranged lucrative, no-show deals.
La Pierre and the NRA said the group embarked on a major course correction by terminating certain vendors and promoting a whistleblower to its top financial job. They eliminated virtually all related transactions of members. LaPierre has repaid the NRA nearly $1 million for some flights, gifts, and other excess benefits.
The NRA revenues plunged when this became known.