Tag Archives: LaPierre

Bump Stock Boondoggle, Don’t Blame Trump – Blame LaPierre

Trump Wayne LaPierre
President Trump and Wayne LaPierre. IMG NRA-ILA

Tombstone, Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)-

“As you know, the bump-stocks are actually a very unimportant thing, and NRA, I went with them, and they said, ‘it doesn’t mean anything, they’re actually, all they do is teach you how to shoot very inaccurately.’ So we did that.”  ~ Donald Trump, CNN Town Hall, May 10, 2023

“The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.” ~ Joint statement of Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox, NRA, October 5, 2017

When Donald Trump pushed his Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to reclassify bump-stocks as “machineguns” under the National Firearms Act, he had the blessings of Wayne LaPierre and the NRA to do it – if not specifically, but definitely in principle. Continue reading Bump Stock Boondoggle, Don’t Blame Trump – Blame LaPierre

Once More Into the Breach: Trying to Save the NRA

Jeff Knox addresses NRA members during 2023 Annual Meeting. (Photo credit: John Richardson)
Jeff Knox addresses NRA members during 2023 Annual Meeting.
(Photo credit: John Richardson)

Tombstone, Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- As I do almost every year, I once again made the trek to the NRA Annual Meeting of Members to try and push the NRA Board of Directors to take responsible action to do what’s best for NRA members and the Association.

Historically, it has been an exercise of futility, and this year was no exception.

Some 77,000 NRA members gathered in Indianapolis, Indiana, over the weekend of April 14 through 16th, 2023, for the association’s Annual Meeting and Exhibits. Most were just there for the guns and gear in the exhibit hall, but a few hundred took the time to attend the Annual Meeting of Members in an adjacent hall on Saturday Continue reading Once More Into the Breach: Trying to Save the NRA

NRA Gift of Firearms Policy Resolution

We found the text of a Resolution put forward by the NRA Finance Committee recently, and we believe, passed by the Board.  We believe this to be an accurate copy of the resolution, but have not been able to verify it or other details with NRA HQ yet.  Since almost everything done at NRA Board meetings these days is done in closed-door, Executive Session — binding Directors to secrecy — it’s difficult to keep up with their actions.
It seems, based on some of the language of this resolution, that it is, to a large degree, a CYA action, authorizing Wayne to do exactly what he’s been doing for years in direct violation of Board policy. Continue reading NRA Gift of Firearms Policy Resolution

Wayne LaPierre Reelected Executive Vice President of NRA

Wayne LaPierre
Wayne LaPierre  IMG NRA-ILA

Tombstone, Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Letitia James, the NRA-hating Attorney General of New York, would turn out to be the NRA’s savior, but that’s how things are stacking up at this point.

The “leaders” of the NRA Board of Directors made it clear during the Members’ Meeting on Saturday that anyone criticizing Wayne LaPierre is just a hateful hater spewing hate and trying to tear down the NRA, and should be ignored and ostracized.

The full Board, or at least the 62 (out of 76) Directors who bothered to attend the Monday board meeting, reinforced that message with a resounding vote to reelect LaPierre, 54 to 1, with 7 abstentions.

This was probably the NRA board’s last chance to send a message to the New York judge who is going to rule on Letitia James’ lawsuit against the Association, to let him know that the whole organization isn’t corrupt or willfully blind to the failings of their long-time Executive Vice President and his closest allies. Instead, the Board sent the exact opposite message, inviting the judge to replace the entire Board at the same time that he removes LaPierre and NRA Secretary and General Counsel John Frazer, and installs an overseer to reorganize the 151-year old organization. I expect to see all of that ordered in early 2023 when this case finally gets to trial.

I have no doubt that the NRA will immediately appeal when the judge rules in favor of James – which is a foregone conclusion, based on the overwhelming evidence that’s readily available – and many Directors will claim to their dying day that the whole thing was a politically-motivated sham, made up by us hateful haters. They’ll just keep shoveling more and more millions of dollars into the pockets of Bill Brewer, their carpetbagging New York lawyer now based in Texas who is on record as contributing to Hillary Clinton and “Beto” O’Rourke, as long as there’s money available – which might not be much longer.

The evidence of corruption is overwhelming and easily accessed through the transcripts of the NRA’s failed bankruptcy case. I’m frankly surprised that the NY AG’s office hasn’t expanded their list of named defendants in the case to include more, if not most, members of the Board, but perhaps that will come after the case moves into the discovery phase later this year when details on payments from Wayne’s special “Consultant Fund,” to members of the Board and various other “friends of Wayne” come out into the open.

One thing I want to make clear: I don’t personally believe that Wayne was actively & intentionally engaged in straight-up embezzlement.

But it is apparent that he created an environment where corruption flourished. I think there’s a good chance that Woody Phillips, Wayne’s hand-picked Treasurer for over 26 years, might have been engaged in that sort of brazen criminal activity, just as he allegedly did at his previous employer. And I think it’s pretty clear that Woody was also using NRA money to enrich and endear himself to some of his friends and close associates.

It was Wayne’s responsibility, along with the members of the Audit Committee, to have caught that and put a stop to it, but they never did. It also appears that Wayne’s hand-picked deputy, Josh Powell, deliberately padded his expense accounts and snagged money wherever and however he could, while making a mess of virtually everything he touched, and mistreating NRA employees and contractors in the process.

Again Wayne or other NRA “leaders” failed to take timely corrective action. In other words, they failed to do their jobs – a job LaPierre was paid handsomely to fail at. It seems that Wayne was more patsy than criminal. Used by unscrupulous money-grubbers who convinced him that this, that, or some other scheme, was a great idea. That these would be a feather in his cap, a boon for the NRA, a fundraising gold mine, etc.. And that it was only fair and reasonable that the folks putting the deals together should receive some reward. Wayne should also benefit personally from the deals, as everyone knows that Wayne is the “hardest working man in Washington,” and owed way more than the $1.8 million he’s currently being paid…

In short, I think Wayne was – and is – a tool, who was good at schmoozing and making rich guys feel important and generous, and who let scoundrels prosper at the NRA’s expense, while they made sure he was always getting a hefty cut of the spoils. He was sloppy and cavalier about his fiduciary responsibilities to the Association, and unwilling to see the corruption among his “friends” and associates, especially when he and his wife were personally benefiting in the process.

I don’t hate Wayne, and I certainly don’t hate the NRA. I’ve spent some 40 years trying to help make the NRA more responsive, efficient, and effective. I don’t begrudge anyone for receiving reasonable pay for good work, and I understand that good and conscientious men can disagree on the best course of action in the face of political threats. I firmly believe in the proverb of iron sharpening iron, and while I won’t try to claim that there’s no personal animosity between myself and some of the folks at the top of the NRA, I try hard to keep things away from personal feelings and stay focused on verifiable facts.

I definitely don’t think it right or appropriate for the CEO of a nonprofit organization like the NRA, to beg for $20 or $100 donations from average Americans, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck or are on a fixed income, while that CEO is being paid over a million dollars per year – or anything close to that. LaPierre’s $1.8 million dollars per year breaks down to about $34,000 per week, or $150,000 per month – over 4 times what the President of the United States is paid. Meanwhile, the NRA routinely sends out fundraising letters over LaPierre’s signature, breathlessly warning about the rising threats to gun rights, and begging members to dig deep and send $20, $50, $100, or whatever they can afford…

I find that repugnant.

Letitia James public image jamesforny-com
Letitia James, public image jamesforny.com

I believe the events of this past weekend have sealed the NRA’s fate. I see no chance of avoiding a loss in the New York lawsuit, and I’m just thankful that the judge in the case appears to be fair and reasonable. I believe he will rule in favor of Letitia James and New York, and will remove those in control of the NRA, probably with at least some hefty fines, if not the full restitution that James is calling for. I believe the judge will place the association under the auspices of a caretaker manager tasked with reorganization for the benefit of the members.

While the NRA will undoubtedly appeal (unless they really go bankrupt first or negotiate some sort of settlement – which I think is highly unlikely) and they will call for the judge’s orders to be stayed during the appeal. I believe it is unlikely that the judge will allow the current “leadership” to remain in control of the Association and its assets for a minute longer than he must.

My big fear is that NRA members and donors will dry up when all of this happens. Some out of anger that they were duped, and others out of doubt that the appointed manager will guide the Association in the right direction. So I hope the Judge can find a manager that NRA members will respect, or that he’ll include a person or panel to advise the manager on ideological matters and provide reassurance to the members, that the Association is returning to its core principles. There is a chance that under the appointed manager NRA’s political activities could be held to a minimum, if not prohibited altogether, which is another concern.

No matter what happens next, the NRA has a long and difficult road ahead, and it’s anyone’s bet as to whether the organization will ever be the strong beacon of liberty that it ought to be. The lawsuit is supposed to enter the discovery phase by the end of the year and go to trial by early next year, so until then, there’s little that anyone can do to impact the Association’s future, other than to pray for the best possible outcome.

My efforts will continue to focus on building The Firearms Coalition and fighting the gun control that will inevitably grow out of the recent horrors in Buffalo and Uvalde.

Will Donald Trump Unknowingly Rescue NRA’s Wayne LaPierre?

Donald Trump speaks to NRA
IMG WH.gov

Tombstone, Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum as part of the NRA’s Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston this Friday.

With the accusations, admissions, and compromising complications surrounding current NRA “leaders,” many politicians wisely declined invitations to appear at the event this year. But Donald Trump can’t resist a crowd, and he’d like to shore up his damaged reputation with gun owners – though it’s likely that he and his handlers don’t realize just how much damage his push to ban bump stocks, and his support for “red flag” laws during his presidency actually did.

Appearing at the NRA-ILA event is fairly low-risk for Trump and his base supporters. But his friendly photos with Wayne LaPierre, and any supportive comments he makes about the NRA’s embattled CEO, will undoubtedly be used against him, especially since the evidence against LaPierre is so easily available and compelling. As LaPierre’s failures and the corruption of his administration become more widely known and part of the record in court, the media will be highly critical of Trump for propping up LaPierre.

But Trump has weathered much more damning associations in the past, so this one will probably barely be a ripple in the larger scheme of things.

Trump should remember though, that he needs strong support from the rights community, and he’s already done serious damage to that support with his bump-stock and “red flag” positions. Adding a last-minute rescue of the man many see as once leading but now destroying the NRA, is not going to sit well with the hard-line rights advocates who are also the most politically active members of the “gun culture.” Not only will these activists not cast a ballot for Trump, more importantly, they won’t go to work for him, and instead, they’ll use their influence against him. So it ends up a loss of votes from those activists, along with many within their sphere of influence, and the loss of any votes those activists might have recruited to Trump’s support.

From LaPierre’s side, Trump’s appearance represents a huge opportunity.

LaPierre and his handlers know that the loyal opposition, the people they call “the enemy within,” are going to do their best to challenge LaPierre and his cronies during the Members’ Meeting on Saturday. They’re counting on Trump to talk about his “good friend” Wayne LaPierre’s virtues and political acumen and tell the crowd how lucky they are to have such a great American working for them and guarding their rights. They plan to do whatever they can to shut down any criticism of LaPierre in the Members’ Meeting, and that objective depends on support from the NRA members in attendance. If a majority of the members in the meeting are opposed to LaPierre or are open to hearing more about the corruption scandal, then, President Charles Cotton will have a harder time shutting down the “dissident faction.”

If, on the other hand, the majority of members in the meeting are “low-information” NRA members, buoyed by Trump’s hollow praise of LaPierre, and believing the blatant lies of the NRA establishment, then Cotton will easily block the opposition, hold a quick Rah-rah session, and adjourn the meeting with nothing being accomplished.

Full Disclosure

The last time LaPierre faced a serious challenge to his personal power, was way back in 1997, when my father was 1st Vice President of the Association, in line to become President the following year. Dad and a majority of the Board were upset with the way LaPierre was allowing vendors and outside contractors – particularly the PR firm of Ackerman McQueen – to set their own terms, work without detailed contracts, submit and get paid for open-ended invoices, and involve themselves in internal NRA business. The Board had instructed LaPierre to cancel the contract with Ack-Mac, and he reluctantly agreed, then reported back to the Board that Ack-Mac was gone, replaced by a new PR company called Mercury Group. Then it turned out that Mercury Group was a newly created, wholly-owned subsidiary of Ackerman McQueen, managed by the same Ack-Mac executive, Tony Makris, that had been handling the NRA account for some time.

In order to save himself on that occasion, LaPierre relied on actor, Charlton Heston to come to his rescue. By manipulating definitions in the Bylaws, LaPierre and Makris were able to get Heston elected to a 1-year seat on the NRA Board of Directors. Then, in the subsequent Board meeting, he was nominated to run for 1st Vice President against my father. Heston won that election by 4 votes, then left to do a radio interview, during which he repeatedly declared that AK-47s are “inappropriate” for civilians to own and they should be restricted. Makris and LaPierre eventually got Heston on the right script, and he did some good things for the Association during his 5-year tenure as President. But Heston also gave LaPierre a taste of the lifestyles of the rich and famous, and he apparently liked it.

Heston flew only on chartered jets, stayed in only the best accommodations in the best hotels, and was chauffeured about in luxury limousines, with LaPierre and Makris right by his side, enjoying the same perks (all being paid for by the NRA, of course). It’s also worth mentioning that the President and two Vice Presidents constitute the Executive Compensation Committee, which sets the pay for LaPierre and other NRA executives. In 1996, LaPierre was making between $200k and $300k, but once Neal Knox and Albert Ross were replaced by Heston and Kayne Robinson as 1st and 2nd VP, respectively, LaPierre’s compensation almost immediately doubled and kept climbing, Peaking at $2.2 million in 2018, and currently sitting at $1.6 million per year, all funded my your membership dues.

As in 1997, LaPierre is again depending on a celebrity to save him: President Donald Trump.

While LaPierre’s fallen out with Makris and Ackerman McQueen, filing lawsuits against both, he has a new Rasputin whispering in his ear, in the form of Angus McQueen’s son-in-law, attorney William Brewer. Where Ackerman McQueen was pulling down some $40 million per year from NRA, with Makris drawing several million more for his terrible TV hunting show, Bill Brewer helped replace both of them at the bargain price of just over $2 million per month, some $30 million per year, according to what information we can find.

It was questioning the outrageous billing from Brewer’s law firm that resulted in the Nominating Committee deciding not to nominate Olliver North for the traditional second year as President of the Association. Then when North suggested that LaPierre should resign, in light of the damning and well-supported accusations that had come out against him just prior to the 2019 Annual Meetings, LaPierre accused him of extortion. Since then, the NRA has filed at least two lawsuits against North, and there’s currently an ethics charge filed against him by LaPierre apologist, Tom King, calling for the unprecedented step of kicking North completely out of the Association for “conspiring” against LaPierre. Of course, Chris Cox and his top deputy, along with numerous other NRA employees and contractors, were also dumped for “conspiring” against LaPierre.

At the Members’ Meeting in Indianapolis in 2019, an effort was made to pass a resolution of No Confidence against Wayne LaPierre and his sycophants on the NRA Board, but that effort was side-tracked and eventually quashed by LaPierre loyalists from the Board. A group of Directors had agreed to nominate Allen West for the office of Executive Vice President in the Board meeting that followed, but that plan fell apart, and LaPierre ran unopposed.

This year, the members are going to again have the opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with LaPierre and company – unless the “leaders” are successful at shutting down those efforts – and West will be nominated to run for EVP in the Board meeting on Monday. The results of the Members Meeting and the subsequent Board meeting will give a good indication of whether the NRA will be able to survive as an independent entity or be virtually bankrupted and put under court control for the next several years.

Will Donald Trump save Wayne LaPierre, and assist in the destruction of the NRA?

We’ll know the answer to that question in just a few days.

If you are able to attend the NRA Members Meeting in Houston on Saturday, please do so. It would also be helpful if you would write to your NRA Board members, urging them to stop the destruction of the Association, dump LaPierre, and restore integrity to the NRA by casting their secret ballot for Allen West. Their names and contact information can be found on the back pages of every NRA magazine.

I hope to see you in Houston.

NRA Needs New Leadership, Time for 2A RINO’s to Step Away

NRA Leadership Board of Directors
NRA Leadership Board of Directors

Tombstone, Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)-  I reported last week that a group of influential NRA reformers was attempting to draft LTC. Allen West, to run against Wayne LaPierre for the CEO position in the NRA, and today West has confirmed that he is officially a candidate for the NRA’s top job.

Readers should all be aware by now that there are some serious problems at the NRA, and those problems revolve around long-time EVP/CEO Wayne LaPierre, and a small contingent of NRA Directors, determined to shield him and keep him in power, regardless of the damage to, or total destruction of, the NRA, this is causing.

NRA members have been paying LaPierre between $1 million and $2 million dollars per year for the past decade (last year it was $1.6 million), and almost that much for the two decades before that. But while LaPierre has been scraping by on this meager pittance – which amounts to more per month than the average NRA member earns in a year – LaPierre has also been awarding himself certain perks at NRA members’ expense.

Including personal trips on private jets for himself and his family members, luxury accommodations everywhere he goes, lucrative contracts to friends and spouses of NRA executives and former executives, and acceptance of a wide array of gifts and favors from NRA vendors, including repeated use of a fully-staffed, luxury yacht in the Bahamas. not tom mention over three-quarters of a million dollars worth of clothing, and African hunting safaris for him and his wife.

LaPierre admits to these things, and to failing to report most of them to the NRA Audit Committee as potential conflicts of interest, as required by NRA policy and New York law. He also admits to unilaterally granting these same vendors multi-million dollar contracts, with no competitive bidding or consultation with the NRA Board of Directors.

During his testimony in the failed NRA bankruptcy trial – a bankruptcy which LaPierre initiated without consultation with the Board of Directors, in violation of the Association’s Bylaws, and which was thrown out for “bad faith filing” after an investment of millions of dollars of NRA members’ money – and in his official response to a lawsuit filed against him by the Attorney General of New York, LaPierre admitted to the above, and multiple other, breaches of policy, ethics, and state law, any one of which would be ample justification for his immediate removal from office. Yet he refuses to accept responsibility, and a small band of influential NRA Directors continues to shield him from administrative repercussions.

In fact, this cadre of LaPierre loyalists, has guided the Board through the reelection of LaPierre three times since reports of his transgressions first came out in early 2019.

Many of LaPierre’s actions formed the basis of the lawsuit filed against the NRA and four of its current and former officers and executives – including LaPierre – in late 2019. That suit is expected to finally get to the discovery phase this fall, and go to trial at the end of the year. Knowledgeable observers say that’s unlikely to be the end of it though, as the attorney retained by LaPierre to represent the NRA, has a reputation of delaying and delaying, before finally settling, or, if the case does go to trial, appealing the decision, as long as there’s money available to pay his fees (which have been topping $2 million per month!).

The LaPierre apologists argue that this is a fight between the evil New York AG, and the virtuous, pure as the driven snow NRA, but that’s not the case.

While the New York Attorney General is indeed pretty evil, and there’s no doubt that her investigation into the NRA, with her admitted intent to destroy the Association, was absolutely politically motivated, her original motives play no role in what her investigation discovered: deep-seated corruption and abuse of power on the part of LaPierre and others at the top of the NRA hierarchy.

Letitia James vs Wayne LaPierre
Letitia James vs Wayne LaPierre

A good bit of that corruption and abuse has now been confessed to by LaPierre, yet he and his apologists dismiss his bad behavior as “trusting the wrong people” and not realizing that accepting expensive gifts – and giving expensive gifts at NRA expense – was a problem. They argue that, when he learned of an impending investigation by the NY AG, LaPierre initiated a thorough, top-down investigation into NRA’s dealings, cleaning up problems, instituting new policies, and off-loading vendors that wouldn’t go along with retroactive updating of invoices and other questionable bookkeeping requirements.

What they neglect to consider, is how the problems, shortcomings, invoicing issues, and other matters requiring “cleaning up,” got in that condition in the first place.

  • How did it become standard practice for vendors to bill the NRA for millions of dollars, with no details on the invoices?
  • How did it become standard practice for retiring NRA executives to be given consulting contracts worth as much or more than their salaries as employees, with no requirement that they provide any value at all to the Association?
  • How did it become standard practice for former executives to receive severance payments equal to their full annual salary, for years after they quit or were fired?

As a member of the NRA Board of Directors in 2019 when these allegations first became public, Allen West questioned and challenged LaPierre and his supporters, and there was discussion of nominating West for EVP at that time, but there were arguments about “best” picks and “working on reforming the Association from the inside.”

In the end, West, and those who supported him, or otherwise demonstrated any disloyalty toward LaPierre, were purged from the Board.

Former NRA President, and leading LaPierre apologist, David Keene has written an attack piece, deriding LTC. West as a “good orator” who is otherwise totally incompetent. Keene suggests that the objective of those supporting LTC West is more about getting Wayne LaPierre out, than it is about getting the best-qualified person in, and I’ll agree with that last point.

The most important thing that needs to happen at the meetings in Houston, is the removal of Wayne LaPierre. He’s a cancer and stain on the Association, costing millions in lost contributions, and sending politicians running in the opposite direction. Personally, I would support a stuffed weasel for the position over LaPierre.

While I like West, and I believe he’ll do a good job as EVP of the NRA, I’m not sure he’s the absolute best person for the job. I don’t know if there is an absolutely best person for the job, and I’ve been seeking that unicorn for at least a decade. But I am absolutely sure that West is a better person for the job than Wayne LaPierre. And, since the position of Executive Vice President comes up for election in the Board of Directors every year, if it turns out that West is not a good fit, the Board can replace him with someone else next year, if they can find a better candidate.

The thing that every NRA member, and especially every NRA Director, needs to be looking at right now though, is not what good Wayne LaPierre has or has not done in his position as EVP of NRA in the past…

But rather how effective he is right now and is likely to be in the foreseeable future, and how much it is costing the Association – in money, trust, and influence – to keep LaPierre in power.

LaPierre had the opportunity to do the right thing back in April of 2019 when his misdeeds were suddenly splashed across the pages of the New Yorker magazine, and numerous people close to LaPierre advised a quick and as quiet as possible retirement. But instead, LaPierre chose to go with a scorched earth attack on anyone and everyone who expressed anything less than unflinching loyalty to him personally. He accused Olliver North of extortion, accused Chris Cox of mutiny, fired dozens of long-time NRA supporters and outside attorneys, and manipulated the removal of over a dozen Directors, while spending multiple millions of dollars per month of NRA members’ money, on the attorney who he described as “the only one keeping me out of jail.”

It is sad and frustrating that this lunacy has gone on for over three years now, and that it has come down to a test of loyalty, not to the NRA or the Second Amendment, but to Wayne LaPierre personally. LaPierre and his apologists have declared war on anyone who refuses to bow and kiss LaPierre’s ring. They keep paying him over a million-and-a-half dollars per year while paying his attorney over two million per month, and they say that those of us calling for reform are the ones trying to destroy the NRA. It’s pure lunacy.

Tell your NRA Directors to stop the madness and vote for Allen West for EVP. It only takes a simple majority to win.

You can write to any (or all) member(s) of the NRA Board of Directors by snail mail to: (Name of Board member), NRA Office of the Secretary, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030, or via email by sending to NRABoD@NRAHQ.org. You can also call 703-267-1021 to leave a message for a Director. You must include your name, contact information, and your NRA membership number (it’s printed on the mailing label on your magazine, usually preceded by 3 or 4 zeroes). The names and states of all Directors are printed in the Official Journal of the NRA magazines, usually a page or two from the back cover.

Let them hear from you, and please try to attend the Members’ Meeting in Houston on May 28th,  2022.

Why is Wayne LaPierre Still Controlling the NRA? LTC West as Replacement?

Tombstone, AZ- -(Ammoland.com)- On May 2, 2022, the New York Attorney General’s Office filed its Second Amended Complaint against the National Rifle Association.

Not only the Association but its Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre, Secretary, and General Counsel John Frazer, Former Treasurer and CFO Wilson “Woody” Philips, and Former Deputy CEO Josh Powell.

As with the original complaint and the previous amended complaint, this one is full of very specific, largely verifiable, and utterly damning charges against NRA’s top officers and executives. Many of the previous accusations have been admitted to by some of the various parties, while Woody Phillips has refused to answer most questions, based on his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

It needs to be understood that LaPierre and the others are not named in the suit based on their positions within the NRA, as when someone sues a state and names the Attorney General or the governor as a representative of the state. The four named defendants were named for specific actions each is accused of, and the NRA itself is named for failing to stop them. With that in mind, legal experts said early on that the NRA’s best defense against the suit would be to adopt the following policies:

  • Remove the named defendants from any position of power within the Association – particularly any position that would allow any of them to have any oversight or influence over the Association’s legal strategy in battling the suit.
  • Initiate a thorough internal investigation by a Board-appointed committee with the power to get answers to its questions.
  • Adopt a policy of full cooperation and transparency working with state regulators.
    Institute strict policy and oversight rules to correct and avoid future problems, that would be backed up by consequential enforcement.
  • Plead victim status to the court, declaring that, if the named defendants (or others) abused their positions, then the NRA was the victim, not the perpetrator, and therefore should not be penalized.

A genuine response to the allegations would go a long way toward blunting the very real political motivations involved in the suit. New York Attorney General Letitia James is a highly motivated political actor, and she has not been shy about expressing her animosity toward the NRA, its mission, and its members. The Association should deal cautiously with her office, and request that the judge make sure that this personal and political bias doesn’t taint the case or cause undue injury to the Association.

This animosity on the part of AG James has actually been one of the strongest arguments from defenders and apologists of Wayne LaPierre. They point to James’s hatred of the NRA, and her political ambitions, and conclude that the whole case is just trumped-up lies and political theater.

The problem with that assertion is that LaPierre himself has admitted under oath that most of the charges against him are true.

He admits to billing the NRA for personal travel for himself and his family. He admits to improperly accepting gifts from major vendors, and awarding those same vendors multi-million-dollar contracts with no competitive bidding. He admits to giving multi-million-dollar severance packages to retiring and even fired employees, usually in exchange for them signing a strict nondisclosure agreement about NRA activities.

And he admits to giving contracts to family members and former staffers, often with little or no performance requirement attached. He also admits to doing all of this without clearing it, or even reporting it, through or to, the NRA Board, as required by state law and NRA policy.

His main defense in all of this, is to claim that either, it wasn’t improper, he didn’t know it was improper, and/or he didn’t know what other people were doing. Not a very impressive defense from a CEO who’s being paid in excess of $1.6 million per year.

One is reminded of Bart Simpson’s all-purpose defense: “Nobody saw me! I wasn’t there! You can’t prove a thing!”

So the big question is: Why is Wayne LaPierre still controlling the NRA?

Why would any organization facing existential threats – most of those threats based on accusations of misconduct and dereliction on the part of its chief executive – allow that executive to continue to hold inordinate sway over the organization? And why would any organization facing this kind of turmoil in its executive offices allow that same executive to retain control over the legal strategy of the organization in addressing the charges?

An equally perplexing question, is why the Board has so far not even attempted to rein in its rogue executives?

As noted above, NY AG Letitia James hates the NRA and all it stands for, and she wants to see it destroyed. The judge in the case has already taken dissolution of the Association off the table as a potential punishment, should the AG win her case. Her latest Amended Complaint focuses less on the NRA as a target, and more on the officers and directors – as it should – with the complaint calling for severe financial penalties and restitution payments from the Association’s wayward “leaders.” The complaint calls for the removal of LaPierre and his followers, but only as part of the penalty phase of the trial. That isn’t going to happen until sometime next year.

Meanwhile, LaPierre and company remain in control of the Associations resources, and most importantly, in control of its legal strategy – which amounts to shoveling millions of dollars into the pockets of New York lawyer William Brewer, who was originally hired by LaPierre to head off a threatened lawsuit from the NY AG back in 2018. Obviously Brewer failed in that mission, but he’s been very successful at extracting cash from the Association.

Brewer has reportedly been drawing over $2 million per month, averaging around $30 million per year, for the past 3 years. At the same time, NRA membership numbers have been in a nosedive, fundraising has collapsed, and the Association has cut practically all of its core programs to the bone.

If LaPierre and his enablers were to be removed from power now, the Association might do what they should have done from the beginning: Claim victim status and reorganize, without the crippling payments to the Brewer law firm. With that, they should be able to start recovering membership and see improvements in their fundraising, not to mention begin to recover the trust of its members. But that would not be seen as a good thing by Letitia James. Those steep legal bills, along with the potential of a court-mandated lawsuit against the NRA from the NRA Foundation, if things go as expected in a lawsuit filed by the AG of Washington DC, could totally bankrupt the NRA, and that would be a big win for Letitia James.

I’m not an attorney, but I’ve spoken with knowledgeable attorneys, and they keep coming back to the need for the NRA to distance itself from the accused “leaders,” even if only with temporary furloughs or compartmentalizing them away from certain aspects of the Association, particularly the legal strategy. They have also suggested that the NY AG could – and should – force this action by filing a request for partial summary judgment based on the admissions already submitted by LaPierre and some of his supporters. LaPierre has admitted to a variety of offenses, any one of which would fully justify his removal from office. Other NRA “leaders” have also admitted to various transgressions and failures in their fiduciary duties. With those admissions, it should not be difficult to convince the judge to remove LaPierre and the offending officers on the basis that they are using the NRA’s resources to protect LaPierre and themselves, rather than fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities to the NRA and its members.

Wayne LaPierre, along with NRA President Charles Cotton, 1st VP Willes Lee, and 2nd VP David Coy, should be the subjects of a motion pointing out that they have all admitted to actions that should disqualify them from participating in the management of the Association, and especially anything to do with setting legal strategy.

If protecting the assets and interests of the Association’s members is of any concern at all to the attorneys in the NY AG’s Office – as the law states are their primary obligation – then they would have such a motion filed within days.

While we would hope that such a motion would be filed and addressed by the court prior to the Members’ Meeting in Houston on May 28, 2022, that seems unlikely, so NRA members must press the attack from different directions. The primary tactic must be to pressure NRA Directors to do what they should have done at least three years ago: Remove Wayne LaPierre. The best opportunity for the Board to take this action will be at the Board meeting on Monday following the Members’ Meeting. At that time, it will only take a simple majority of Directors to elect new leadership.

New NRA Leadership ~ LTC Allen West?

A group of concerned NRA members, including former and current members of the Board of Directors, want to draft former Director, LTC Allen West to run for the Executive Vice President position at the meeting in Houston. West has the support of many and could work with reformers to clean up the NRA and get it back on the right track, and he has a record of integrity and effectiveness.

Along with electing LTC West to the position of Executive Vice President, the Board needs to elect a slate of officers to back West in his reform efforts, and to lead the NRA’s legal strategy going forward. All of this makes it absolutely critical that every NRA Director attend the meetings in Houston, and be prepared to stand up for the membership. It’s equally critical that NRA members attend the Members’ Meeting on Saturday the 28th, 2022, to call out the lies and corruption, and to put some starch into the backs of the Directors. We also have a campaign underway to recruit, nominate, and elect a slate of reform candidates for the Board of Directors in the 2023 election.

Much more information about all of this is posted on our website, www.FirearmsCoalition.org, with both the first and second Amended Complaints, along with the Responses to the first one from LaPierre and the NRA. It’s a lot to digest, but it’s critical reading for anyone concerned about the future of the NRA.

I hope to see you in Houston.

NYS Second Amended Complaint against the National Rifle Association, May 2022

2020 People of the State of NY v NRA & Co May 2022 Amended

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.

What No One On The NRA Board Of Directors Is Saying

Amid the claims and counter-claims, suits and counter-suits, and all of the other nonsense swirling around the National Rifle Association these days, something significant has been missing.

While our new NRA brass like President Meadows, Vice President Cotton, Vice President Lee, and directors like Marion Hammer, Tom King, and Joel Friedman have repeatedly told us that everything that Wayne and his cohorts have done was “reviewed, vetted, and approved,” what none of them, nor any other member of the board has said, is “I knew all about that, examined it, and approved it before it was done.”

They all seem happy to insist that there’s nothing to see here, so move along, and anyone asking questions is a traitor to the cause. The NRA leadership insists collectively that “the board knew,” and “the board approved” things…. But so far no one has stepped up to claim personal, direct knowledge or responsibility for what has been going on, nor have they explained exactly what it was that was “reviewed, vetted, and approved.”

Is President Meadows saying that she knew about and approved payment of over $4,000 per month for a luxury apartment for an intern? Was Vice President Cotton personally aware of and did he approve Wayne LaPierre buying $30,000 worth of clothing – on our tab – from a swanky, Beverly Hills clothing store in one day? Did Vice President Lee directly approve LaPierre’s $274,000 shopping sprees from that same-store over a period of years?

If they knew about it and approved it, why wasn’t it reported on the Association’s tax forms as compensation to LaPierre? And since it apparently was not reported as required by law, are those directors who vetted and approved all of that, ready to pay the penalties out of their own pockets?

Are NRA officials saying that they personally “reviewed, vetted, and approved” payments from the NRA Foundation to charities that have nothing to do with firearms or firearms education, in violation of the Foundation’s charter? Are they saying that they personally “reviewed, vetted, and approved” having NRA executives and their spouses working for, and receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from NRA vendors? Are they saying that they have personally “reviewed, vetted, and approved” the details of the services and payments being made to attorney William Brewer and his firm?

At the same time that the above-mentioned officers and directors have been telling us that “the board knew all about these things” and that “the board reviewed, vetted, and approved” everything. At least a dozen different members of the board have told me personally that they didn’t know anything about a wide variety of the activities that were going on at headquarters. Or that they have not seen any detailed explanation as to what precisely the NRA is getting for the 2 million dollars a month, or so, that NRA is paying to the Brewer law firm. Those directors who have had the temerity to ask to see any of that information have been called “unprofessional,” been denied committee assignments, and been threatened that they won’t be renominated by the Nominating Committee.

Just a few months ago, President Meadows herself, signed onto a letter demanding a comprehensive review of Brewer’s invoices and services, but now she is punishing and marginalizing any director who dares to ask for that same information. Since her election, she has insisted that every director has always had full access to all of the information on everything going on at the NRA and within the various committees and that if they don’t know something, it’s their own fault for being lazy or incompetent. But then she and her cohorts in leadership, punish and publicly chastise any director who asks for more information.

The argument now appears to be that certain directors can’t be given access to certain, “highly sensitive” information, because those directors aren’t trustworthy and might be secretly working for an enemy of the Association. Meanwhile, the criteria to determine who is worthy of trust is whether they are asking questions or requesting more information.

How’s that for a Catch-22?

Many NRA members have been challenging directors with uncomfortable questions over the past couple of months, primarily whether the director supports replacing Wayne LaPierre as Executive Vice President. That’s a good question, but it leaves lots of weasel room. Better questions would be things like:

“Did you personally know about and approve paying Wayne LaPierre an extra $274,000 under the table, for Italian suits, on top of his $1.4 million compensation package and expense account?”

“Have you personally reviewed the work and working agreement for William Brewer and approved paying his firm $100,000 per day?”

“Do you support stripping committee assignments from board members who ask questions about how the Association’s resources are being spent?”

Actually, NRA directors should be asking themselves these questions, and they should be paying their own lawyers to ask them too and help them formulate some excellent answers because it’s looking like they are about to be asked by other lawyers – in court.

A group of NRA members, lead by well-healed NRA donor David Dell’Aquila, has launched a plan to return transparency and accountability to the NRA. They started by withholding funds and pledged donations in the millions of dollars. Now they’ve published a report card grading directors’ performance, along with a letter strongly suggesting that directors have only a narrow window in which to demonstrate that their loyalty lies with the NRA membership, not with any individual or group within the board or the staff.

It seems pretty clear to me that Dell’Aquila and his group are planning to file suits against individual directors for failing to fulfill their fiduciary obligations to the members. Even though the NRA maintains an exorbitant amount of liability insurance for directors, New York law allows individual directors to be held accountable if they are negligent or corrupt in the performance of their duties.

This should be causing some serious concern for those directors who have just been going along to get along, and even more for those that have been riding the gravy train.

A brief disclaimer:

Some 23 years ago, my father tried to correct a problem he saw growing within the NRA, and he failed. He was pushed out of the leadership of the organization and eventually dropped from the board. I have some hard feelings about that, but I try very hard not to let my personal feelings shade my judgment or my reporting. For me, as it was for my father, the critical issue is that the NRA be strong, effective, and true to the principles of the Bill of Rights.

Each time I write one of these articles reporting on issues inside the NRA, I am accused of squeezing sour grapes and grinding my dad’s old ax. I’ve also been accused of “attacking the NRA” for my own financial gain.


It’s reasonable to believe that my own experience and feelings might color my view of the happenings within the NRA, and it’s reasonable to take my reporting with that grain of salt. If you see some fact that is incomplete, or that might be interpreted in a different, less negative light, perhaps that’s my bias showing through, but please don’t discount the facts. Do your own research, and if you ever find that I’m unfair or inaccurate, please provide details in the comment section.

As to me benefiting financially off of my “NRA bashing,” I sure wish that were true because I could use the money. The reality is that I get paid very little for my articles, and typically see a bump in contributions to my organization of about $40 to $100 dollars whenever I publish one of these pieces. That’s nice, but it’s not going to pay for a new Italian suit. I’m pretty sure that GOA and SAF get significantly more financial support from the readers at Ammoland.com than The Firearms Coalition does, as is typically evident in the comment section, where there is invariably a slew of comments saying something like; “Jeff’s right. I’m sending my donations to GOA.” Or SAF. Or FPC….

I feed my family with the words I write, but I don’t write for the money. I write for the cause.