The NRA is a cesspool. That doesn’t mean it should be dissolved.

But there is an enormous difference between a tiny and moribund operation like the Trump Foundation and a behemoth on the scale of the NRA, which claims 5 million members. New York has shut down other charities — cancer scams and the like — but this would be a corporate death sentence of a different magnitude. Dissolution would mean taking whatever assets of the NRA remain and distributing them to like organizations; the NRA could then set up shop elsewhere.

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That is an outcome that has experts in the field uneasy — and doubting that a judge will end up agreeing. “I don’t fault the attorney general for going for dissolution in this case,” Philip Hackney, a University of Pittsburgh expert in nonprofit law, told me, citing the depiction of “a long, substantial fraud that goes to the entirety of the organization.”

At the same time, he said, it’s necessary to consider the “incredible importance” to many Americans of the NRA’s mission to protect gun rights. “In weighing those two things, if I’m a judge I’m not going to dissolve this organization,” Hackney said.

Indeed, the request might be as much for leverage as it is a serious bid to dismantle the organization.

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