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NRA's LaPierre on Hiding After Shootings: 'Thank God I'm Safe'

In deposition, Wayne LaPierre says he was in danger after school shootings, forcing him onto yacht
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2021 6:35 AM CDT
Updated Apr 7, 2021 6:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – The National Rifle Association is trying to get a federal court in Texas to grant it bankruptcy protections, and so far, some "embarrassing details" have trickled out in various depositions, per the Washington Post. A new deposition filed over the weekend, however, revealed more than just the organization's financials, with some of the "disturbing excerpts" tweeted out by Shannon Watts, the founder of the Moms Demand gun safety group. Among them: an acknowledgement by NRA leader Wayne LaPierre that, after the Newtown and Parkland school shootings that left dozens dead, he fled to hide out on a friend's 108-foot yacht named Illusions, complete with a staff of three or four, a cook, a couple of WaveRunners, and a jet boat. "I was under all kinds of threats," LaPierre said in the deposition. "I did not feel safe anywhere ... This was offered as a security retreat." He continued to justify seeking shelter on the yacht in the summers after those two school shootings, as well as other times.

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"I was basically under presidential threat without presidential security in terms of the number of threats I was getting," he said. "This was the one ... place that I hope could feel safe, where I remember getting there going, 'Thank God I'm safe, nobody can get me here.'" Per NBC News, LaPierre conceded he didn't have to pay for use of the yacht, nor did his security director go over the Illusion's security measures. He also said he didn't believe using the vessel—which belongs to a Hollywood producer whose company has worked with the NRA—was a conflict of interest because it had been used for security reasons, per the AP. Those details and others have left some doubting LaPierre's claims. "The urgency of this purported security concern ... is questionable considering that the Sandy Hook School shooting happened in December—six months before the summer" LaPierre says he first went out on the yacht, Moms Demand's Watts noted on Twitter. (Read more Wayne LaPierre stories.)

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