Top officials of the NRA have been caught wantonly spending members' dues money on themselves (called "stealing"). As I write this, a trial is proceeding in New York. Wayne LaPierre (who once brazenly declared himself to be "your freedome fighter") is a defendant, and has recently resigned his office with the NRA. But this is apparently not the end of it.
The power structure that has governed the NRA for decades, and under whose leadership the NRA has apparently been so thorougly corrupted, will not let go so easily. At least one insider reports they are maneuvering to by-pass the NRA By-Laws and keep themselves in power. The following letter was recently issued by Buzz Mills, who is the current owner of the Gunsite Academy and a member of the Board of Directors of the NRA. The letter follows in its entirety:
So, now we are all looking towards New York and Justice Cohen’s courtroom. Our attention is diverted here while chicanery continues in Fairfax.
The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) is at a watershed moment in its 153 rd year. Our leadership has admitted in courts and depositions to misappropriation of donor’s funds and unauthorized use of assets. They have admitted condoning the misuse of donor funds by others employed by the NRA. The leadership has for years abused their position and trust placed in them by our members and benefactors. The Board of Directors (BOD) is solely responsible for this victimization of the members.
Thanks to the New York Attorney General, we are halfway to fixing our organization, bringing the NRA up to par with other non-profit specialinterest groups.
The judge will hold the victimizers responsible, and they will have to account for their deeds.
Meanwhile, in Fairfax the selected leadership is scheming to continue the abuse suffered over the last few decades instead of following the bylaws for the succession of the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer (EVP). The selected leadership wants a special election to install the enabler and facilitator of all the previous chicanery. None other than our duly selected President, he is the man more responsible than any other for permitting our selected leadership to rampantly run roughshod over our membership and benefactors.
As the chair of the Audit Committee for many years, Charles Cotton was responsible for holding our employees accountable and ensuring theirconduct beyond reproach. Our chair and “moral compass” approved every single act of malfeasance brought to the committee for decades, multiple acts approved retroactively, months and years after the fact.
When restitution was mandated, a bonus was awarded the miscreants including enough money to pay the restitution. This bonus also includedenough for the miscreant to have the cash to pay the taxes on his misappropriation. Talk about rewarding bad behavior!!
Again, I emphasize, it was not miscreant’s money, and it was not the facilitator’s money! It was the MONEY OF OUR MEMBERS and theMONEY provided by the BENEVOLENCE OF OUR DONORS. There is something deeply wrong when you continually permit and encourage thisserial abuse.
Also do not forget spearheading the deceit and lying to us about filing bankruptcy that the judge called “a fraud.” The BOD was never advised weneeded to file for bankruptcy, nor was it ever justified to the board. We read it in the papers.
As we violate the bylaws again – accepting, justifying, and participating in some kind of sham election to make the selected president our EVP.
Is the principal facilitator of the misappropriation of tens of millions of dollars (members and donors’ money) causing the hundreds of millionsof dollars of legal fees (again members and donors’ money) really have any business with access to the treasury?
Does he have any right to represent any moral, honest person or organization?
The normal, conventional way this type of business is conducted:
1. Select a search committee of business professionals from the BOD, selected from the floor by the BOD,
2. Retain professional employment agencies to recruit, screen and interview potential candidates,
3. Committee shall interview candidates,
4. BOD meet and greet,
5. BOD votes to select a candidate,
6. Committee sets forth terms and conditions of employment contract.
Now we have a professional to run the business of a world-class organization, in accordance with applicable laws, customs and traditions.Oversight will be provided by a professional BOD congruent with the by- laws in effect prior to ceding all monetary responsibility to the EVP (circa2015).
Next we hire a celebrity “FACE” of the NRA as a spokesperson with no access to funds. Using a similar process as finding an EVP.
This is how a professional Board of Directors of a world class not-for-profit begins to heal itself.
We have an opportunity to carefully choose to correct the path we are on. We have the opportunity to recover all of the membership that hasabandoned us over these issues (2 million members +/-). We have the opportunity to recover the trust of our most benevolent donors. We have an opportunity to recover the respect of our industry and of the American people. There is no downside to doing this correctly.
Let’s not squander this opportunity, we must move forward smartly and with all the courage of the champions of freedom.
Update: On February 23, 2024, the jury in the case against Wayne LaPierre and other NRA officials found that Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s former treasurer, Wilson Phillis, and its general counsel, John Frazier (who is still engaged as counsel for the NRA) misspent millions of dollars in members’ money on vacations, yacht rides and personal expenses for Wayne LaPierre. The membership paid for Mr. LaPierre’s use of helicopters to avoid traffic during trips to NASCAR races, and mosquito treatment and landscaping at his house.
Jurors found that Mr. LaPierre had misspent $5.4 million. He has repaid some of that, must still repay $4.35 million. Under the verdict, Mr. Phillips must repay $2 million.
The NRA itself was found to have ignored whistle-blower complaints and submitted false filings to the State of New York.
Exposure of this blatant corruption within the NRA will undoubtedly hurt efforts to protect Second Amendment rights. Anti-gun groups are already using this scandal to their political advantage.