Mr. LaPierre is in search of to make use of chapter to assist reincorporate the N.R.A. within the extra gun-friendly state of Texas, and has already repaid the N.R.A. about $300,000 as he seeks to carry on to his job. Requested if he was disciplined for misspending the cash, he mentioned, “Sure, I used to be disciplined, I paid it again,” suggesting that on the N.R.A., self-discipline typically quantities to paying again cash after you’re caught.

Whether or not his chapter gambit will work stays to be seen. To steer Decide Hale that the N.R.A.’s petition ought to be rejected throughout a trial that began final week, legal professionals for the legal professional basic, Letitia James, and for a significant creditor — the N.R.A.’s former promoting agency, Ackerman McQueen — introduced proof that they mentioned confirmed that Mr. LaPierre had sought chapter safety in unhealthy religion.

Proving {that a} submitting was made in unhealthy religion might be tough as a result of it means displaying intent. However Monica Connell, an assistant legal professional basic, argued that Mr. LaPierre lacked the authority to take the N.R.A. into chapter 11 on his personal and had used a “convoluted” ploy to get its board of administrators to unwittingly grant the mandatory authorization.

Moderately than placing a chapter decision earlier than the board, Ms. Connell mentioned, Mr. LaPierre’s group requested the board to vote on a brand new employment contract for him. It seemed like a reform measure, because it diminished his golden parachute.

However the contract contained an not noticeable provision giving Mr. LaPierre authority “with out limitation” to “reorganize or restructure the affairs of the Affiliation for functions of cost-minimization, regulatory compliance or in any other case.”

The brand new contract was first introduced to a committee of the N.R.A. board in a closed session on Jan. 7. There weren’t sufficient copies to go round, and nobody might go away with a duplicate. N.R.A. officers mentioned board members had ample time for evaluation.

By that point, Mr. LaPierre’s major outdoors counsel, the regulation agency of William A. Brewer III, had spent months planning the chapter, racking up tens of millions of {dollars} in authorized charges. However nobody informed the board about that. After the committee emerged from its closed session, the board permitted the contract, with little inkling that they’d conferred chapter authority on Mr. LaPierre.