The National Rifle Association is accusing its longtime public relations firm of “fomenting” an “executive coup” attempt, and the gun group is suing the agency for $40 million in damages, alleging a “total breach of contract” in the wake of what it calls “misleading, defamatory” leaks of confidential documents.

The lawsuit, filed in Virginia state court on Wednesday, is the latest salvo in the battle between the NRA and Ackerman McQueen, which has long crafted the gun group’s public image, including launching the streaming service NRATV. Ackerman McQueen’s services have recently cost the NRA upwards of $40 million a year.

The decades-long partnership began to sour last summer, in the wake of threats from regulators to challenge

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