He spent the day in the front row of his three-week-long civil corruption trial in New York, where officials allege he violated not-for-profit laws by spending millions of donor dollars on personal expenses and lucrative contracts for cronies. LaPierre has denied the allegations.
Gun control and gun safety advocates say they’re not sorry to see LaPierre go. A few took the opportunity to unload, so to speak, to Business Insider on what they described as LaPierre’s bullet-riddled legacy.
“His legacy will ultimately be one of corruption, mismanagement, and the untold destruction gun violence has brought to every American community,” said Nick Suplina, a senior vice president at Everytown for Gun Safety.
“Years from now, people won’t remember the private jets, expensive suits, and yachts,” Suplina added. “They’ll remember the lives lost and the irreparable damage the NRA, under LaPierre, has done to our country.”
Gun safety groups are growing in strength as the NRA’s “doom spiral” quickens, Suplina said.
“Wayne LaPierre’s legacy is one of lies, deceit, and manipulation leading to a uniquely American epidemic of gun violence,” said Kris Brown, who heads the gun group Brady.
“By selling the big lie that more guns make us safer, he has shattered our sense of safety and created a public health crisis that is now the number one killer of our kids,” she said.
“Just because Wayne is gone does not mean our fight for a country free from gun violence is over.”
An NRA spokesperson and a rep for LaPierre did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
LaPierre announced last month that he would retire on January 31 due to the side effects of chronic Lyme disease.
Low points in LaPierre’s career include his response to the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, gun-safety advocates said. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” LaPierre had said in a statement responding to the shooting, which he issued amid his retreat to a friend’s yacht. It called for armed police officers in every school.
“LaPierre has been the face of the gun lobby’s disastrous and extreme agenda for three decades, including its opposition to background checks on all gun sales, advocacy for special protection for bad actors in the gun industry, and a push to create ‘a guns everywhere for anyone’ society,” according to a joint statement from Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, and Students Demand Action.
On Thursday, LaPierre listened to testimony against him in the AG case from NRA board member and former vice president Lt. Col. Willes Lee.
The attorney general’s office is expected to rest its case Monday against the NRA, LaPierre, and two other longtime executives at the gun lobby. The defense teams are expected to wrap their cases by mid-February.