The longtime head of the National Rifle Association said Friday he is resigning, just days before the start of a New York civil trial that’s poised to scrutinize his leadership of the powerful gun rights organization.
Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president and chief executive officer, said his departure is effective Jan. 31. He had been in charge of the NRA since 1991.
Andrew Arulanandam will become the interim CEO & EVP, the organization said.
“With pride in all that we have accomplished, I am announcing my resignation from the NRA,” LaPierre, 74, said in a statement released by the organization.
“I’ve been a card-carrying member of this organization for most of my adult life, and I will never stop supporting the NRA and its fight to defend Second Amendment freedom. My passion for our cause burns as deeply as ever.”
A trial in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against the NRA, LaPierre and others who have served as organization executives is scheduled to start on Monday.
LaPierre is among the witnesses expected to testify.
James, a Democrat, accuses LaPierre and other executives of illegally diverting tens of millions of dollars from the NRA and spending organization funds on personal trips, no-show contracts and other questionable expenditures.
James is seeking to ban LaPierre and the other executives from serving in the leadership of any not-for-profit or charitable organization conducting business in New York, which would effectively remove them from any involvement with the NRA.