National Rifle Association (NRA) head Wayne LaPierre will resign from the organization at the end of the month, the group announced Friday.

LaPierre’s resignation, first reported by Fox News, comes as the organization defends itself in a New York civil suit alleging he and other executives spent millions of the group’s funds on luxury vacations and other perks.

“With pride in all that we have accomplished, I am announcing my resignation from the NRA,” LaPierre said in a statement. “I’ve been a card-carrying member of this organization for most of my adult life, and I will never stop supporting the NRA and its fight to defend Second Amendment freedom. My passion for our cause burns as deeply as ever.”

The 74-year-old cited health concerns for his resignation, which will take effect Jan. 31. 

LaPierre has helmed the NRA for more than three decades, leading it through triumph as it gained political clout, controversy after innumerable mass shootings and downfall as the group has run into financial trouble.

“I am proud of the NRA’s advocacy in New York and, through it all, determination to defend the Second Amendment. I can assure you the NRA’s mission, programming, and fight for freedom have never been more secure,” he said.

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He first joined the group as an employee in 1977, about the time the group began its transformation from a firearms safety advocacy group into a conservative political powerhouse. 

Under LaPierre, the organization was one of the most influential lobbying groups in Washington, able to make-or-break Republican candidates with its endorsements. The group also spent hundreds of million on legal services, challenging gun control measures nationwide.

Major legal victories include last year’s Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which threw out New York state handgun regulation and started a wave of legal challenges to other gun control measures in dozens of states. The NRA supported the suit.

LaPierre’s exit adds to legal and financial difficulties for the organization.

The group’s fundraising and membership have fallen steeply in recent years, losing about a half-million members from 2021-22, according to gun violence news nonprofit The Trace.

The organization raised $213 million in 2022, about half of its 2016 total, according to the nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The New York suit, brought by state Attorney General Letitia James (D), alleges LaPierre and other senior leaders diverted millions of dollars away from the group’s charitable mission and towards luxury personal benefits.

Following an 18-month investigation, James said the NRA fostered “a culture of self-dealing, mismanagement and negligent oversight,” costing the group $64 million over three years.

The NRA and LaPierre have denied wrongdoing. The case is set to go to trial starting Monday. 

James celebrated LaPierre’s resignation in a statement Friday, while committing to continue the case. One of the demands for the trail was LaPierre’s removal as executive.

“While the end of the Wayne LaPierre era is an important victory in our case, our push for accountability continues. LaPierre’s resignation validates our claims against him, but it will not insulate him or the NRA from accountability,” she said. “Our case will move ahead, and we look forward to proving the facts in court.”

Updated 4:06 p.m. Jan. 5.