NRA Hires Former Gearbox Software Attorney

Borderlands Still - H 2016
Courtesy of Gearbox

Wade Callender, the former company lawyer at the 'Borderlands' studio, is currently embroiled in a legal battle with his former employer and its CEO, Randy PItchford.

Wade Callender, the former attorney for Gearbox Software (the Texas-based video game developer best known for the Borderlands series), has been hired by the NRA. CNN was the first to report the news, while sources close the situation later confirmed the hiring to The Hollywood Reporter.

Callender will replace NRA former general counselor David Lehman, who stepped down in August.

"I think the NRA went out and found the best of the best," Blake Beckham, one of Callender's attorneys, said. "He's a rock-solid individual, a man of high morals, strong Christian values, conservative politically, ex-military. He's exactly what the NRA needs."

The NRA has been critical of the video game industry in the past. In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012, NRA head Wayne LaPierre likened the games industry to "a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow" that "sells and sows violence against its own people."

Gearbox's marquee franchise, Borderlands, is known for pioneering the "looter shooter" franchise and currently holds the Guinness World Record for "most guns in a video game." Borderlands 3 is set to launch Friday.

Callender is currently engaged in an ongoing legal feud with his former employer, as well as the company's CEO Randy Pitchford. In August, Callender filed a motion in Dallas County (Texas) district court for contempt and requested sanctions against Gearbox alleging "discovery abuse" and failure to produce certain court ordered documents. Later that week, the court found Callender's motion to be "sufficient" and the presiding judge issued an order to show cause to Gearbox, demanding the company appear before the court on Sept. 25.

Amid the allegations that Callender has levied against Pitchford, who had been a childhood friend of the attorney, are claims that he was harassed for his Christian faith; that Pitchford made a "secret" deal to earn $12 million as an advance upon royalties; and that Pitchford had left a USB drive at a Texas restaurant that contained sensitive corporate information from the studio and its publishing company, 2K Games, as well as "underage pornography."

Gearbox, meanwhile, claims that Callender "abused" his company credit card and refused to pay back a $300,000 loan from the company. 

Requests for comment from Gearbox were not immediately returned. The NRA declined further comment.

Sept. 8, 5:29 p.m. Updated with statement from Callender's attorney.