Kyle Rittenhouse, known for killing two Black Lives Matter protesters in 2020, has created a nonprofit in Texas with help from well-connected, far-right political actors, The Texas Tribune reports. In a July 23 filing with the Texas secretary of state, he described “The Rittenhouse Foundation” as a nonprofit that “protects human and civil rights secured by law, including an individual’s inalienable right to bear arms” and “ensures the Second Amendment is preserved through education and legal assistance.” The foundation’s directors are Rittenhouse, Texas Gun Rights President Chris McNutt, and Shelby Griesinger, treasurer for Defend Texas Liberty PAC, a key financier of far-right candidates in the state. The foundation’s registered agent is the law firm of Tony McDonald, who has for years represented Empower Texans and other deep-red organizations. Defend Texas Liberty and Empower Texans have received tens of millions of dollars from a trio of West Texas oil tycoons, Tim Dunn and brothers Farris and Dan Wilks, who have for decades funded campaigns, nonprofits, and movements to promote their ultraconservative religious and social views.
After being acquitted of homicide charges in the fatal shooting of two people at a 2020 protest in Kenosha, Wis., Rittenhouse has steadily ramped up his political involvement in Texas, often railing against the media, “cancel culture” and gun control groups. In January, he appeared at a Conroe “rally against censorship” with Daniel Miller, president of the Texas Nationalist Movement, which advocates for Texas to secede from the U.S. In May, Rittenhouse joined Texas Gun Rights in opposing a House bill that would have raised the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21. On social media, he has condemned the Texas House impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton and endorsed pro-Second Amendment, ultraconservative candidates.