The National Rifle Association, the oldest and largest civil rights group in the U.S., has filed for bankruptcy in New York state saying that it wishes to reorganize itself in Texas. In a press release on its website, the NRA makes clear that it is not insolvent but seeks to escape politically motivated and malicious prosecution by New York State Attorney General Letitia James. Attorney General James has previously called the NRA a “terrorist organization” and a criminal enterprise.

The NRA was formed in 1871 by two Union Army officers, Colonel William C. Church and General George Wingate. Both were appalled by the massive casualties of that war and marked the contrast between rural Confederate troops, who were very handy with their rifles, and Union soldiers drawn from large urban centers in the North who had no experience with marksmanship. That lack of experience proved deadly to a great many “bluecoats” on in their first combat action.

The NRA was granted a charter by New York State in November 1871. General Ambrose Burnside was named founder and first president of the organization.

The initial mission of the NRA was education, training, and marksmanship. As the organization grew in numbers and influence it expanded into hunting safety and education, then law enforcement training. Finally, with the rise of opposition to gun ownership, it became a civil rights organization with some five million paying members. Its influence over legislation affecting gun owners and the 2nd Amendment is both legendary and extensive in its successes. And this has earned it many a political adversary on the Left.