NRA Board Election Endorsements for 2021 ~ Including Who NOT to Vote For

If you are a Voting Member of the National Rifle Association, you should have received your ballot for this year’s NRA Director elections. The ballots are primarily distributed as an insert in your NRA magazine (the June/July edition), or for those who don’t receive a physical magazine, your ballot should be mailed as a stand-alone piece.

Only Life Members and Annual Member who have maintained their membership for 5 consecutive years, are eligible to vote.

Due to the pandemic, the schedule got twisted in a way that made it impossible for any petition candidates to qualify for the 2021 ballot. That’s likely to happen again next year. The Nominating Committee could have made accommodations for the unusual circumstances, but moved on in business-as-usual fashion, disregarding the Bylaws and the concerns of the members. I’m particularly disappointed in Bob Barr, who chaired the Nominating Committee last year, as once again, the most important factor in whether someone received a nomination, appears to have been whether they are likely to support Wayne LaPierre and the current leadership.

On your ballot, you have 28 candidates to fill 25 seats. Note that although you can vote for up to 25 names, you are not obligated to vote for that number. Voting for less than 25 amounts to a vote against the other candidates.

Most of the candidates offered are current members of the Board, and almost all of those will be reelected, just because the majority of Voting Members who bother to vote, routinely vote for incumbents first.

I am endorsing only two candidates whose names appear on the ballot:

  • Owen Buz Mills of Paulden, Arizona, and James Tomes of Wadesville, Indiana. Buz Mills is the owner of Gun Site Academy, and has long been active in Arizona politics, including a run for governor.
  • Jim Tomes is the founder of a solid 2A group in Indiana, and served several years in the Indiana Senate. I’ve known him for many years and know him to be a man of humility and integrity.

Those are the only names on the ballot I can endorse. I encourage you to mark your ballot for only those two and no one else, then turn the ballot over and write in the following three names:

  • Frank C. Tait of Wayne, PA
  • R.B. Rocky Marshall of Boerne, TX
  • Duane Liptak, Jr. of Austin, TX

As usual, the ballot includes a share of people whose policy positions have earned my direct opposition. At the top of the Don’t Vote For list is current Board President Carolyn Meadows of Marietta, Georgia who is one of Wayne LaPierre’s biggest enablers. Mrs. Meadows has the support of the American Conservative Union [a hot-bed of RINO Republicans] and historically has easily won her seat, coming in 4th or 5th in the balloting each time she runs. I have no illusions that I can block her reelection, but I want my opposition on the record.

Another American Conservative Union-associated candidate on the ballot is Past President David Keene of Fort Washington, Maryland. Mr. Keene has also been an outspoken supporter of LaPierre and company, and much of the financial chicanery that has put the NRA in such a precarious position happened during his presidency. Since his terms as President, Mr. Keene has been receiving some $50k per year to attend Friends of NRA Banquets. What dedication! By sheer coincidence, an article penned by Mr. Keene happens to be included in the magazines, just after the ballots. Between his support from the ACU and his name and picture being prominently placed next to the ballot in the magazines, it’s again, highly unlikely that we can block his reelection, but tell your friends, he doesn’t deserve your vote.

The final candidate I’m actively opposing is Scott Bach of Newfoundland, New Jersey. I have endorsed Mr. Bach in the past, but his dogged defense of LaPierre has earned my opposition. Mr. Bach was one of the first members of the Board to publicly come out in support of LaPierre after the revelations that were published in the New Yorker in early 2019. In an article in Ammoland Shooting Sports News, he explained that it was LaPierre who discovered the “problems” in the NRA, and made the necessary “course corrections” to “right the ship.” What Mr. Bach failed to explain is why it took LaPierre over 20 years to notice the exact “problems” that he went to war with Neal Knox to preserve in 1997, but has supposedly corrected now, and that well after the “course corrections,” LaPierre and others, including scandal-ridden former Treasurer Woody Phillips, and shameless self-promoter Marion Hammer, received massive “golden parachute” contracts promising them millions in future “consulting” payments. He also failed to explain why the NRA has continued to pay Democrat attorney William Brewer over $2 million per month, after LaPierre repeatedly declared that Brewer was “the only one who can keep me out of jail.”

NRA Board Election Ballot 2021
NRA Board Election Ballot 2021

There are several others on the ballot who I really don’t think belong on the NRA Board of Directors, but the truth is, the seats are going to be filled. For the sake of ease of sharing, I’ll leave the Don’t Vote For list at just these three: Meadows, Keene, and Bach.

The candidates elected in this election will be seated at the Members’ Meeting in Houston on September 4 2021. They will then join the other 50 Directors at a Board of Directors meeting in Houston on Monday September 6, at which time the President, 1st VP, 2nd VP, and Executive Vice President will all be elected. Historically, the Nominating Committee simply puts forward a slate of the incumbents, and no one else is nominated, so the slate is “elected by acclamation.” That’s what happened in Indianapolis in 2019, and in Tucson in 2020, and that’s what they want to happen in Houston in 2021.

This year, we intend to offer a full slate of alternative candidates to challenge the incumbents, but we need your help to make those efforts successful.

We need you to be actively lobbying every current and potential future member of the Board, demanding that they stop the lies and corruption, and return the Association to the members. There are only about 15 Directors who are completely in the tank for LaPierre and company, and about an equal number who are very troubled by the current regime and the situation they’ve created. The rest just sort of follow the path of least resistance, so it’s critical that you pressure them to stop spending the NRA’s resources on protection of LaPierre, and start focusing on protection of the NRA.

Here are some questions to ask current NRA Board Members:

  1. Do you believe Wayne LaPierre’s continued employment by NRA helps or hurts the organization and its mission?
  2. Do you believe Wayne LaPierre’s continued employment by NRA helps or hurts the NRA’s case in NY?
  3. Who do you think would make a reasonable candidate for Interim EVP, to realign the NRA, if LaPierre were to resign tomorrow? Give two options please.
  4. Can you suggest two names of current Directors who you could/would support for President of the Board?
  5. Can you suggest two names of Directors who you could/would support for 1st VP of the Board?
  6. Can you suggest two names of Directors who you could/would support for 2nd VP of the Board?

Don’t let them skirt around these simple questions – get answers.

Remind these Directors that their first loyalty is supposed to be to the Association and its members, not any one man or leadership team. If Wayne LaPierre really cared about the Association, he’d have resigned, just to avoid being any sort of obstacle to NRA’s future success, whether he had done anything wrong or not. If Directors were thinking about the good of the Association first, they’d have demanded LaPierre’s resignation, and elected someone to replace him in Indianapolis in 2019, rather than circling the wagons around him and spending tens of millions defending him over the best interests of the Association for the past two years.

The final lobbying effort comes in Houston at the Members’ Meeting, where we need to turn out in droves to demand that the Board do what they should have done over two years ago, and elect someone with an untarnished record to lead the Association’s defense in the New York case, and on to restoration of the Association.

It’s up to you. I’m just a gnat buzzing around the Board’s ears. You’re who they’re supposed to be working for. If you don’t push them between now and September to do what’s right, then show up in Houston on September 4, to demand that they take action, then the battle is lost – possibly forever, as Letitia James has said she intends to resume the case against NRA and LaPierre early next year.

Houston in September could very well be our last opportunity to right the ship and save the NRA, so now is the time to lobby your Directors and stand up for your Association.

Please share this article with all of your NRA member friends. We need everyone working together on this.

NRA Bankruptcy and Other Court Documents

We’re gathering and posting documents from the NRA’s bankruptcy and other legal cases, so readers can reference them.  Additional documents will be added over time.

Tax exempt donations to support Phil Journey’s efforts can be sent to: CDFE c/o Phil Journey,
PO Box 501
Haysville, KS  67060

Here’s the empty Reorganization Plan approved by the Board on May 1: reorg-plan

NRABankruptcyPetition

BrewerCounselPetition

CreditorCommittee

JourneyMotionForExaminer

Debtor’s info Brief

Dkt.-131-AMcs-Motion-to-Dismiss

NYAGMotiontoDismiss

NRA’s Financial Statement

MMPMotionforNewCreditorCommittee

TrusteeObjectiontoBrewer

Motion for Members

 

The Gun Rights Movement is Not Violent

Neither violence nor advocacy through Intimidation are condoned by leaders in the Gun Rights Movement.

On the eve of a Presidential inauguration that will take place behind unprecedented security after our Nation’s Capitol Building was attacked by a small band of violent and destructive rioters, we feel it is important to make this clear.

Since the incursion that temporarily interrupted the certification of the Presidential Election on January 6th, some journalists, media pundits, anti-gun activists and even a small number of elected officials have attempted to tie the Gun Rights Movement to the reprehensible acts that lead to deaths that day and fear of further violence this week. These claims are unfounded.

No gun rights organization or recognized leader called for violence on January 6th.

Political Violence goes against the heart of the gun rights movement. The Second Amendment protects gun rights in order to provide for defense. The gun community has denounced violence tied to protests throughout 2020, as we also condemn the violence and destruction of property at the US Capitol in January 6th without equivocation.

As early as the afternoon of January 6th, the President of the Second Amendment Institute International, Tyler Yzaguirre, who lives in Washington, DC, posted publicly:

Today there was an illegal and unprecedented charge on the U.S. Capitol.

You have the right to “peacefully” protest. Not to put the lives of Members, police officers, and your fellow Americans in danger.”

Second Amendment Organization’s Executive Vice President, Rob Pincus, has vehemently denounced the violence and posted early during the gathering at the Capitol:

I’m sincerely hoping that this protest remains peacefully disruptive.”

Alan Gottlieb, Founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, stated that the small band becoming violent at the US Capitol “…disturbed me greatly.”

The list of gun rights movement leaders who have shared similar thoughts is extensive. There are an estimated 100 Million Gun Owners in the United States with over 400 Million Guns. Less than 1000 rioters entered the US Capitol and not one of them fired a single shot. As David Yamane, a Professor at Wake Forest who studies Gun Culture, observed in his rebuke of a recent article in The Atlantic attacking our movement:

As easy as domestic terrorism is to commit, few gun owners turn to insurrectionist violence.”

It should also be noted that there is only one political cause that unites all gun owners: Gun Rights. No action being undertaken that day at the Capitol was specifically related to gun rights. The violent mob were only a very small percentage of the people gathered in DC for political purposes that day. They were certainly not us.

Members of every political party and position are Gun Owners in the US. Organizations in our community represent gun owners of various faiths, lifestyles, races and interests. Every State has a gun rights organization representing its residents, most have several. The Second Amendment protects the rights of all Americans, regardless of political party, vote or position on any issue… and we respect everyone’s right to hold differing opinions and express them peacefully. At this time of great division in our country, we call for unity amongst all gun owners in the fight to protect our gun rights in the future, regardless of who you voted for or how you feel about the 2020 Election.

 A crowd of thousands of US Gun Owners gathered on the west lawn of the US Capitol Building just 14 months ago to Peacefully Rally in Defense of Gun Rights.

A Statement this week from the 2A Rally group, which held a peaceful 4 hour event at the US Capitol in 2019, by working with the US Capitol Police Special Events Division, included the following:

Responsible Gun Owners know that violence is an act of last resort, not to be engaged in out of anger or frustration.

All Gun Owners should consider how their actions might negatively affect our movement. Anyone who feels compelled to protest over the course of the next week should take advantage of their First Amendment Rights lawfully and respectfully. We believe that peaceful protest should be focused on demonstrating strong support for a cause and educational advocacy, not intimidation, towards those one hopes to influence.”

We agree fully.

-Second Amendment Organization

-Guns For Everyone National

-Liberal Gun Owners

-National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers

-The Firearms Coalition

-Walk The Talk America

Second Amendment Organization 2AO (Second Amendment Organization) is a nonprofit, non-political, grassroots organization with a focus on engaging, educating, and equipping all shooters, firearms owners and pro-Second Amendment businesses in order to protect and preserve the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
2ao.org

Guns For Everyone National is a national non-profit organization that certifies firearms
instructors, operate national & local firearms competitions, and provide training, including courses in personal protection, in small arms safety, use, and marksmanship.
gfenational.com/

Liberal Gun Owners is a 501c4 Non-Profit Organization which has a two-pronged mission. Our first prong is to provide continued support for the reasonable, center-to-left firearms owner with constructive community platforms for enjoyment, education, business support and specialized training. Our second prong is to operate under what we call “simultaneous proponency”: which gives American society a substantial example of an innovative organization that works to strengthen both firearms ownership rights and improvements to public safety.
liberalgunowners.org

The Firearms Coalition is, as the name suggests, a coalition of gun clubs, state and local rights organizations, and individuals committed to preserving and restoring the right to arms. Since 1984, The Firearms Coalition has provided timely news, analysis, and assistance with political and legislative strategy, to our members and the public.
firearmscoalition.org

National Association of Sporting Goods was organized in 1953 and incorporated in 1954. The NASGW is the organizer and sponsor of the NASGW Annual Meeting/Expo Event. This annual event provides an unmatched educational, marketing and communications opportunity for the hunting and shooting sports wholesaler, manufacturer and sales professional. The NASGW annually recognizes manufacturers with Manufacturer of the Year Awards and works to Promote the common interest of the sporting goods industry.
nasgw.org

Walk The Talk America is a 501c3 formed in 2018 by firearms industry professionals with a goal is to raise awareness and create a change in the misunderstandings regarding mental illness and firearms by bringing together industry leaders to reduce gun violence, negligence, suicide, and the trauma created by these events. WTTA Develops programs to reduce firearms involved suicide, prevent firearms negligence, mitigation of trauma in the aftermath of violence and increase child safety around firearms.
WTTA.org

Gun Rights Legend & Activist Neal Knox’s Guns Up for Auction

Westerns Arms 2Nd Model Dragoon And Lyman 1858 Reproduction Percussion Revolvers From the collection of Neal Knox
Westerns Arms 2Nd Model Dragoon And Lyman 1858 Reproduction Percussion Revolvers From the collection of Neal Knox

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- A number of guns from the collection of my father, Neal Knox, are being auctioned by Morphy auctions this week, December 16th through 18th, 2020.  I’m afraid I was too busy with the elections to participate in the auction arrangements or promotion, and things have snuck up on me, so my apologies for the short notice.

Anyone interested in bidding on the guns, or just looking, can view the auction catalog at the Morphy Auctions website.  Dad’s guns are identified as being “From the collection of Neal Knox,” so a search on the name “Knox” will show you all of them (plus a Civil War relic with a connection to Knoxville, Tennessee, but no connection to our family).  I believe there are a total of about 53 lots from Dad’s collection in this auction.

Morphy December 16, 17, & 18, 2020 Field & Range Firearms Auction

Four of Dad’s guns, in three lots, were sold in a Morphy auction in November, including a Ruger Blackhawk in .30 Carbine that Dad acquired in 1968 with a serial number of 47.  There was also one of Dad’s very few safe queens, a beautiful Browning Olympic rifle which he picked up on a smoking deal many years ago at a gun show.  The final lot in that auction consisted of two almost identical Remington Model 742 Woodsmaster semi-auto rifles in .30-06.  They were both presentation guns given to attendees at a gun writer convention back in 1967.  The only differences between the two guns are their serial numbers and the names of the writers each rifle was presented to.  One is engraved with the name “Neal Knox,” the other is engraved with the name of his friend “Elmer Keith.”  Elmer gave his rifle to Dad, and Dad was always proud to have them side-by-side in his gun rack.  I was particularly disappointed in the price those 2 guns sold for as I loved the provenance.

Dad always referred to himself as more of an “accumulator” than a “collector.”  As a prominent gun writer through the 1960s and ‘70s, he had access to all of the new guns and gear and often had the opportunity to get a “brother-in-law discount” on guns he had reviewed.  That means there are quite a few great examples of guns from the ‘60s and ‘70s in the collection, with many of them having been featured in articles in publications like RifleHandloaderGun WeekGuns, or Guns & Ammo.  Dad was also an avid hunter, top-notch skeet addict, and National Champion Benchrest shooter, and those passions are well represented in the collection, especially the numerous Trap, Skeet, and Field shotguns that he accumulated over the years, and the several Benchrest rifles being offered, including the Shillen DGA rifle he used to win the Benchrest Nationals.

We weren’t able to get all of the guns’ histories into the auction descriptions, but we’re happy to answer questions and share information we have about any particular gun, whether from prospective buyers, or after the sale.  Inquiries can be sent to Info@FirearmsCoalition.org.

Again, my apologies for not getting more information about this auction out sooner.  This auction represents the bulk of Dad’s collection.  There are a few guns that are currently in the hands of various family members, and which might be offered for sale at some point in the future, but if you’re interested in owning a gun that belonged to Neal Knox, this is your best opportunity to do so.

All proceeds from this auction will go directly into my mother’s estate to provide for her care as she struggles with health issues. Again, Dad’s guns will be part of a larger auction being held by Morphy Auctions this week, December 16 – 18, 2020.

You can review the auction at MorphyAuctions.com, or click here.

Letter for Georgia

The following letter, signed by gun rights leaders from around the country, has been posted into the public domain for use in support of Senators Perdue and Loeffler, in their run-off elections.

We encourage rights advocates to repost this letter widely, especially in places where Georgia voters might see it.  If you have connections with anyone in the Perdue or Loeffler campaigns, please forward the letter to them.  This is a critical time and these races could be the last hope for protection of the Second Amendment.

For more information about the fight in Georgia and how you can help, please visit https://www.saveussenate.org/
There have been reports of some people getting security warnings trying to reach this site, but it’s not something to be worried about.  We’ve talked with the webmaster, and it should be corrected soon.

Here is the letter.  Please share it far and wide.

Open Letter to Georgia

Dear Georgia Voter,

We, your undersigned friends from across the USA, endorse and encourage your support for Senators David Purdue and Kelly Loeffler in the special Georgia election scheduled for January 5, 2021.

We are beyond concerned about the vows by anti-gun extremists to gut the Second Amendment and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms if or when the Biden/Harris team is installed in the White House. To preserve the rights we have reserved to ourselves in the Constitution, we must have a solid pro-gun majority in the U.S. Senate. Reelecting Purdue and Loeffler will insure that majority.

Please support Senators Purdue and Loeffler. Please make sure you have a plan to not only vote yourself on January 5th, but to get every sympathetic voter in your orbit to vote too. This is critical. Please reach out to your friends and neighbors about these important two races.

Thank you so much for sharing our concern.

Yours in liberty,

Signed by:

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association

Kevin Starrett, Executive Director
Oregon Firearms Federation

Kevin Jamison, President
Western Missouri Shooters Alliance

Kim Stolfer, President
Firearms Owners Against Crime, Pennsylvania

Sam Cohen
Co-founder, Pro-Gun New Hampshire, Inc.

F. Paul Valone
President, Grass Roots North Carolina

CJ Grisham, President, and
David Amad, Vice President
Open Carry Texas

Aaron Smith
Alabama Second Amendment

Jeff Knox
Director, The Firearms Coalition

Virtual Gun Rights Policy Conference

The Gun Rights Policy Conference videos started on Saturday, September 19, and remain available for you to view any time.

Jeff Knox’s presentation can be found in the video labeled Part 2, at about the 2:48 mark, using the following link.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYOlHfqHqb_8jCMN_ZPLVUg

A complete roster of speakers is available here, with video Part 1 being Saturday morning, Part 2 Saturday afternoon, Part 3 Sunday morning, and Part 4 Sunday afternoon.

Liberty, AZ, USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Anyone who’s been involved in the gun rights movement for very long is familiar with the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference, or GRPC.

For 35 years, the GRPC has served as a critical component of the movement, bringing together activists and rights leaders from all over the U.S. and the world, for two days of presentations, reports, networking, note sharing, and camaraderie.

This year, thanks to the complicating factors of COVID-19 and the various restrictions and limitations put in place by governors and county and state health agencies, the organizers of GRPC have decided to shift to a “virtual” format. All of the presentations will be presented online, simultaneously on YouTube, Facebook, and AmmoLand News, with most of the presenters standing by to participate in live chats with attendees during, and after, their presentations.

The event starts this Saturday, September 19, at 10:00 Central Time, and runs through Sunday, September 20 at about 6:00. While the entire event will be archived for later review, I encourage you to try and watch the original broadcast and interact with the speakers.

A schedule of speakers and their time slots is available here: www.saf.org/grpc/

I am scheduled to give a presentation on Saturday afternoon at 4:44 Central Daylight Time, which is 2:44 Pacific and Arizona time, 3:44 Mountain, and 5:44 Eastern.
Please join us for this unprecedented event, and invite your friends. Join with thousands of fellow Second Amendment supporters across the country who will be tuning in and participating. Also, please consider sharing this article on your social media pages.

You are the Gun Lobby, and the GRPC can provide you with a ton of useful information, connections, ideas, and ammunition to help you be more effective in your local battles.
I hope to see you there.

Gun Rights Policy Conference 2020 Banner
Gun Rights Policy Conference 2020 Banner

2020 NRA Annual Member Meeting Registration Now Open – Very Limited Space

National Rifle Association NRA
2020 NRA Annual Member Meeting Registration Now Open – Very Limited Space

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- The NRA has opened up “Preregistration” for the October 24th, 2020, Members’ Meeting in Tucson, starting at NOON on September 15th, Arizona time!

We’re just over a month away from the NRA Annual Meeting, which has been twice moved and rescheduled, and which is now scheduled to take place in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday, October 24, 2020.

The venue for the meeting is a luxury resort hotel on the far north side of the city, with a large ballroom, but limited capacity under COVID restrictions. NRA watchers have been wondering how the Association plans to handle the situation, and on Monday, September 15, 2020, we found out.

We were informed that on Tuesday, September 16, people wishing to attend the Members’ Meeting in Tucson would need to preregister online, by going to www.nraam.org/membersmeeting.

Arizona’s current COVID restrictions are somewhat confusing. Public gatherings are limited to no more than 50 people, but a members-only event should not be considered a “public” gathering, which should mean that the maximum capacity should be approximately half the normal capacity for the venue. That should be approximately 500 people for the hotel ballroom that has been selected, but there are rumors that the limit will be much lower than that. Who knows? It’s also quite possible that the Governor of Arizona will decide to loosen COVID restrictions at some point between now and October 24. Again, who knows?

What matters right now is that everyone who is at all interested in attending the NRA Members’ Meeting in Tucson on October 24, get registered TODAY.

I’ll share any additional information as it becomes available.

Josh Powell’s Book a Kiss & Tell on Inside Dealings of the National Rifle Association

Inside the NRA A Tell-All Account of Corruption
Inside the NRA A Tell-All Account of Corruption

Liberty, AZ, USA – It was almost a year ago that I had a conversation with several other concerned NRA members about the curious case of Josh Powell.

It was shortly after the annual Fall Board Meeting in 2019, which had been hastily relocated from Anchorage Alaska to Northern Virginia, and we were speculating on why Powell hadn’t yet been fired. He had driven NRA’s Carry Guard program straight into the ground, costing millions and seriously disrupting the whole Education and Training Division in the process. He had multiple accusations of sexual harassment against him and had either created or had failed to rectify, serious problems within the NRA Competitions Division and among competitive shooters.

The consensus among our little discussion group, was that Powell probably had too much information about too many of the people and activities deep inside the NRA’s inner circle, and he was being kept on the payroll to keep him from sharing any of that information – either with investigators from New York and DC or with reporters and NRA members.

A few months later, Powell was finally fired, and several of us were looking for details on the outrageous severance package that we assumed he must have received to purchase his silence. Barring that, we expected another series of anonymously-sourced articles revealing sordid details of NRA executives behaving badly.

But Powell has surprised most all of us, with the announcement of his new book;

“Inside the NRA: A Tell-All Account of Corruption, Greed and Paranoia Within the Most Powerful Political Group in America.

Powell says he rejected a handsome severance package because it included a strict non-disclosure agreement, which he wasn’t willing to sign. I interpret that to mean that LaPierre wasn’t willing to fork over enough to buy Powell’s silence, so he instead either relied on loyalty or the principle of all hanging together to avoid hanging separately. What a significant error. I suspect that Powell probably worked a deal with Letitia James’ office to allow him to publish the book without fear of legal complications, though it could be a simple bet that he thinks he can make more off of the book than he was offered in the severance package. But there’s always the possibility that someone like Bloomberg saw the potential of a resource like Powell, and offered him a quiet advance on a book deal.

Whatever the process, I have to wonder what could possibly come out in the book that isn’t already known? After all, the accusations in the New York suit are based primarily on depositions given to the NY AG’s office by various current and former NRA employees, including Powell. If he includes things in his book that he omitted from his deposition to NY investigators, he’d be opening himself up to charges of perjury or worse. But, as mentioned above, Powell might have cut a deal in advance, and there’s no doubt that he was present for a lot of meetings and events, the details of which will make for interesting reading.

Of course, whatever Powell says in the book will be dismissed by the NRA as merely the sour grapes of a disgruntled, former employee. I recall an NRA spokesperson saying that the organization doesn’t comment on works of fiction, in response to questions raised by unflattering depictions of LaPierre in Richard Feldman’s book “Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist.” There’s also the possibility that we’ll see Powell sued by LaPierre’s attorney, William Brewer, to either suppress the book or at least suck down the profits a bit. That legal action will, of course, be paid for with NRA members’ money.

Joshua Powell
Joshua Powell

For those who might not be familiar with Josh Powell, that’s not surprising. Powell appeared on the NRA scene, seemingly out of the blue, just a few years ago. Few people in the industry were familiar with him and virtually no one within the rights movement knew his name. Powell appeared on the NRA Nominating Committee’s slate of candidates for the Board in 2013, for the 2014 election. He was elected as one of the establishment candidates, but not long thereafter, he was offered a job in Headquarters as LaPierre’s right-hand man. Then, a couple of years later, in 2017, LaPierre fired the Executive Director of General Operations, Kyle Weaver. Weaver had worked his way up through the ranks of the NRA, as a dedicated, hard-working, true believer, and had begun to be mentioned as a possible successor to Wayne. Then suddenly, he was gone and Powell was being touted as the heir apparent. The only explanation LaPierre offered to Board members who asked about Weaver’s sudden departure, was that he couldn’t talk about it yet, but that it “had to be done,” and he’d disclose everything soon.

Soon never came, and to my knowledge, no explanation has ever been given as to why Weaver, the number two man in the entire NRA operation, had been summarily fired. What we do know is that Weaver appears to have continued receiving his full, $720,000 annual compensation for at least two years after leaving NRA. He now serves as Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Weaver was initially replaced by then-Deputy Director of General Operations, Joe DeBergalis, who was also recruited from the Board of Directors. He appears to have been paid $368,000 as Deputy Director, then $461,000 as Acting Director of General Operations, until he was replaced by LaPierre’s Chief of Staff, Josh Powell, who was already pulling down over $711,000. That jumped to about $920,000 after Powell took over General Operations.

Powell appears to be one of those guys with a reverse-Midas touch, as in everything he touches turns into something exactly the opposite of gold. He started in the outdoors industry in the catalog business, selling high-end “safari” and “expedition” clothing. He appears to have tried that in a couple of different iterations, all of which failed, leaving a trail of lawsuits and bankruptcies in his wake. At NRA, Powell took charge of the new NRA Carry Guard program, immediately stepping in excrement when he barred the US Concealed Carry Association and other groups that offered concealed carry insurance, from exhibiting at the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits. That created quite a brouhaha and was widely seen as petty and vindictive.

Things went downhill from there, with New York, then Washington State and then several other states, throwing penalty flags on Carry Guard and the sales and marketing practices being employed by NRA and its contractors. This led to a variety of fines, penalties, and lawsuits, costing NRA tens of millions of dollars. New York led the charge, but overplayed their hand, threatening any business that did business with the NRA. Their heavy-handed tactics were so egregious that even the ACLU came to NRA’s defense. This led to NRA suing New York and its governor, Andrew Cuomo. That suit is ongoing and has been ridiculously expensive for the Association.

Powell was never well-liked by NRA staffers or the Board of Directors. While he was often mentioned as being groomed to take the EVP position if Wayne decided to retire, several Directors told me in no uncertain terms that they would never allow that to happen. The only people Powell actually seemed to get along with were Wayne, his new attorney, Bill Brewer, and former NRA President Pete Brownell.

The revelations in Powell’s book could be interesting, after all, he was very close to LaPierre during a pivotal and contentious time, so there’s really no telling what sort of information he might have been privy to, but it seems unlikely that there would be a large enough market for the book to make it worth walking away from, what was probably better than a million-dollar severance package.

I’m hoping to procure an advance copy of the book, and I’ll let you know what I find.

Ammunition for the grassroots gun rights movement