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‘Luxury yacht trips were to protect me from the mob after mass shootings,’ says NRA chief

UNITED STATES National Rifle Association (NRA) chief Wayne LaPierre has complained that public anger following mass shootings forces him to seek refuge on a borrowed luxury yacht in the Bahamas.

Mr LaPierre took cruises following the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut, when 26 people, including 20 children between six and seven years old, were killed, and the Stoneman Douglas shooting in Florida in 2018, which took 17 lives. 

These were “security retreats” to protect him from threats over the gun lobby’s opposition to gun controls, which spike after every mass killing, he said. Only when at sea could he feel: “Thank God I’m safe, nobody can get me here,” he explained.

The claim comes ahead of Mr LaPierre’s appearance this week in a federal bankruptcy trial whose outcome could affect the NRA’s ability to incorporate in Texas following its January declaration of bankruptcy in New York.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing, seeking the group’s dissolution over claims that executives diverted millions of dollars for lavish personal trips, which include Mr LaPierre’s holidays on the yacht belonging to Hollywood producer Stanton McKenzie.

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