Ahead of a New York corruption trial against the NRA and several of its top officials, the gun group on Friday announced that its longtime leader — and one of the defendants — Wayne LaPierre is resigning. LaPierre essentially forestalled one of the outcomes that state Attorney General Letitia James wanted from the case, scheduled to begin today. Along with additional oversight of the organization, James sought to oust the NRA chief executive from power.

LaPierre, who transformed the NRA into a feared political machine and oversaw its recent decline, still faces trial. He’s accused of having undermined governance of the NRA to benefit himself, favored insiders, and family members. If found guilty, he could be forced to make substantial repayment to the organization. 

James’s case centers in part on misuse of NRA assets that The Trace first revealed in a 2019 investigation by senior writer Mike Spies. That investigation, and subsequent Trace reporting, revealed how LaPierre and NRA insiders were using the group’s money to enrich themselves via a web of transactions designed to avoid scrutiny. For more on the context of the trial, we’ve collected links to our previous reporting below, as well as recent stories detailing the corruption case.

Find more stories here.

What to Know Today

For veterans in small and remote towns across America, the military’s promise of a lifetime of health care is falling short in a particularly crucial area: psychiatric treatment. In Chico, California, overworked staff at a VA clinic warned that disaster was imminent. Then two veterans shot and killed their mothers. [ProPublica

A contentious California law banning the carrying of guns in many public places was again blocked from going into effect, just one week after a federal appeals court ruled that it could be enforced while legal challenges against it play out. The battle over the “sensitive places” measure is the latest in a series of lawsuits that have challenged the state’s gun restrictions in recent years. [San Diego Union-Tribune

A law requiring enhanced background checks for gun purchasers under the age of 21 has stopped more than 500 young people who shouldn’t have firearms from buying them since it took effect, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday. FBI data from July showed a far higher number of background checks that resulted in a denial from the law — 1,100 — including 253 that wouldn’t have been blocked by the old system. [Associated Press

Political violence is reshaping American politics, perhaps most significantly within the GOP. Many Republicans admit that — amid an escalation in threats against public officials, most frequently and most credibly from the far right — they’ve chosen to fall in line with Donald Trump rather than risk being targeted by his fanatical, and often gun-toting, followers. [Vox

The three leading GOP presidential candidates — former President Donald Trump, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — have all led their states or the country during mass shootings and their aftermath. But they did little or nothing to implement new gun safety laws. [The Boston Globe

The 11-year-old killed in a shooting at a school in Perry, Iowa, was identified as Ahmir Jolliff, a cheerful sixth-grader who loved soccer and had a habit of asking people how their day was going. In the wake of the attack, Iowa students are planning a mass walkout and march to the state Capitol today. [Associated Press/Des Moines Register]


A Guide to Understanding Mass Shootings in America: How do attacks like the one in Lewiston, Maine, fit into America’s larger gun violence crisis? Our team corrects some common misperceptions. (October 2023)