NRA On The Hot Seat - Exposed or Attacked?

Big Fin

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This is not going to be pretty.

For those of you who are NRA members, as I am (Endowment Life Member), this might be of interest. Those of us in the hunting, public land conservation, and shooting world have a keen interest in the topic. Non-hunters who shoot fund over 2/3 of the Pittman-Robertson funds that go to state wildlife agencies. A robust recreational shooting community is helpful for many reasons, including the funding of wildlife conservation.

I knew that Ackerman-McQueen, the NRA's long-time consulting firm, had an incestuous relationship with the NRA. Those "in the know" will tell you that Ackerman-McQueen has decided who would be the NRA executive team, they have greased the skids for who would be the Board Members, who would serve as the corporate officers, who would be the "paid talking heads" of the NRA, etc.

This power of Ackerman-McQueen over NRA direction was no secret to anyone who is in the shooting industry and has the inquisitive mind to ask around. And if you ask too many questions, expect push back. I had no idea just how deep the NRA-Ackerman tryst was until recent articles started digging into it. If proven true, I doubt most NRA members are keen in the amount of money paid to "pals and promoters" with nothing but huge debts and failed PR efforts to show for it.

I have heard the NRA debacle rumors over the last two years. Most anyone asking questions or involved in hunting/shooting politics has heard the rumors the last two years. Personally, I attributed a lot of it to folks wanting to make a name for themselves.

I read an article in the New Yorker that covered this topic, but it was much more indepth than anything I had previously seen, read, or heard. Given the New Yorker is known to be left leaning, I searched for more information before using it as confirmation of the rumors that have been whispered about, even though the New Yorker is known for pretty high factual standards.

We didn't have to wait long or search hard to find more intel. A lot of chit is pouring out on this topic, with the lead up to the NRA Annual Meeting coming up later this week in Indianapolis.

This first series of articles is from a gun advocate, Jeff Knox, whose father was once on the NRA Board. If you know of his background, he is on the other end of the spectrum as would be a journalist from the New Yorker. Knox's pieces were printed in AmmoLand, a pretty large newswire known to most everyone in the shooting industry. This is not pretty stuff to read.

Part 1 - https://www.ammoland.com/2019/04/nras-dirty-laundry-exposed-as-pro-gun-group-cleans-house/#axzz5lxJZdxp3

Part 2 - https://www.ammoland.com/2019/04/nras-future-only-two-options-can-the-bod-save-us/#axzz5lxJZdxp3


In the Ammoland articles, Know references the New Yorker article I mentioned above. Knox claims in his Ammoland pieces that even though the New Yorker is left-leaning publication, the article is factually accurate and opens the curtains on what Ackerman-McQueen has been doing with/for/to the NRA. If the facts in the New Yorker article are correct, there needs to be some questions answered and some people sent down the road.


New Yorker article here and it paints an even uglier picture than the Ammoland articles - https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/secrecy-self-dealing-and-greed-at-the-nra


I am not sure how the NRA is going to handle this blow up that has come out in the last few days. If the facts prove to be true and the NRA has squandered so many millions of donor's/member's money and if the NRA is as far in debt as is claimed, there are dark days ahead.

Having sat on a national non-profit Board of Directors, it is hard for me to imagine this kind of self-dealing being allowed. Or, how this type of fiscal irresponsibility could unfold, to the benefit of a few and at the expense of the donors/members/mission? If proven true, what sort of governance protocols exists, if any?

Folks I talk to in the shooting/hunting industry whisper, "It was only a matter of time." Whether or not the facts will hold out to be true, I'm not sure. The fact that the NRA, under pressure from a revolt, has filed a lawsuit this month against Ackerman-McQueen, tells me there is probably more fire to this smoke than most know.

If I learn more, I will post it here. I won't be at the NRA show, but with a lot of friends there, it will be interesting to hear what the tone/mood/response is at the gathering.
 

npaden

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Sounds like you should try to pitch Fresh Tracks as an NRA show. Under Wild Skies seems to have a little bit bigger budget than you do. Right at $2 million per year.
 
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I read the same New Yorker article a few days ago, and also similar but less in depth elsewhere before that, , , and it all seems to ring true.

That said the strength of the NRA has never been money, it's in the endorsements. If the NRA withholds or gives endorsements it can be the crucial four or five percent of the vote, especially out west. Tester and Reid spring to mind. The anti gun folks always accuse the NRA of buying elections, but truth is the anti gun crowd often outspends by large margins. The NRA flexes it's muscle the old fashioned way, democratically, via it's membership which is committed and active, calling and voting. . And then there is legislation supporting sportsmen, and the NRA contributions via lobbying is inestimable.

Money will be tight, and there will be re organisation, more transparency and fiscal responsibility. End of the day the NRA is it's members, and I don't think they are going anywhere.
 

Pelican

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I doubt this will negatively affect there membership any more than Trump being elected did. They seem to have a cult-like following among some. I’m sure there are members chalking the story up to liberal conspiracy.

I stopped giving them money when they decided to stay out of the public land transfer issue. I know some don’t think the issues aren linked, but they are in my mind. No public land = less hunters in the west= less gun owners.
 

MTGomer

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I stopped giving BHA money when they decided to stay out of the gun rights issue. I know some don’t think the issues aren linked, but they are in my mind. Less guns, ammo sales = less PR funds for the west= less conservation money .
I didn’t actually do that just drawing some irony.

Myself, I quit giving to the NRA when they wouldn’t stop calling me for money and started compromise on gun rights with republicans.
 

Tradewind

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I gave up my membership a while ago over some of the tactics.
I am sure there would be a large resurgence of people like me once they clean house or reorganize or close shop and reinvent.
 

WapitiBob

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I gave up caring about the NRA when they chose to make the YETI cooler sales program about the 2nd.
 
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LopeHunter

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Life Member. The Russian spy (alleged, perhaps) was at the NRA convention. That tidbit set off my radar that something odd was going on. Maybe not related to anything. Seemed odd.
 

beginnerhunter

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As frustrating as the NRA can be, there really isn't another gun rights organization with the kind of influence they have. Sure, there's NSSF or NAGR, but they don't have much power. Kinda like DU compared to Delta waterfowl. So this is disappointing and I hope they make it right.

Does anyone know of any role RMEF CEO Kyle Weaver played in this? I always felt a little uneasy about his move from NRA to a conservation organization. Maybe that was one of the reasons he left. I'm not privy to that type of information as a generic member but maybe some of you guys know the deets.
 

Trial153

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But but but but........wait for all the apologizists that will come out of the wood work and claim we would have been doomed long ago had not been for the NRA. I have witness the organization(life member) of become nothing but a profiteering by product of the two party system.
 

Sytes

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But, but, but...
The truth of the matter is the NRA has been instrumental in protecting our 2A rights and one of the premier suppliers of outdoor conservation funding, as Randy mentioned.

I hope it turns to be a great shakeup and strengthens from this crap.

That’s why the lawsuit against Ackerman McQueen gave me a smile of vindication. It confirms many of the things that we have been saying for so long. But the celebration was tinged with concern about the harm the whole debacle would cause our historic organization. Then all of that turned to anger and a sense of doom as I read the exposé in The New Yorker.
There are some very good people on the NRA Board of Directors, and they need to step up now and get to the bottom of all of this. It’s going to be a mess, no matter how it’s handled, but taking aggressive action to cut out the cancer is the only way to save the organization.

Presidents or past-presidents of state associations might need to step up to help out. LaPierre needs to walk away without the golden parachute, and much of the executive staff needs to go with him. Virtually all outside NRA contracts beyond electric service and internet access, need to be canceled in the most cost-effective way possible.
I'm a life member gifted when I was given my .22 Marlin bolt action. It was a child's, right of passage... I value my membership even though I become nauseous over the b.s. Obama's going to take all our guns rhetoric, etc...

The board really exposed a potential wound that those who oppose American law abiding citizens right to bear arms will now try to infect with deception and manipulation.
 

elkmagnet

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I didn’t actually do that just drawing some irony.

Myself, I quit giving to the NRA when they wouldn’t stop calling me for money and started compromise on gun rights with republicans.
The difference is that 90% of the time I'm using a gun I require public lands to use it but only about 25% of the time I'm on public lands I am using a gun.
One has a disproportionately higher impact on my life. So I am forced to make a decision based on the facts that the nra typically pushes politicians who are openly anti public land.
Most gun USERS that I come in contact with have similar ratios.

Also the tactic of scaring old men into sending the NRA money every election so that they can keep their guns is likely coming closer to an end with each day that goes by.
I have always been appalled by the NRAs half true scare articles. And the one's buying it are getting fewer/older by the day.
Its obvious things need to change quickly because there are benefits from pro 2A groups with some political power.
I hope they they take some genuine actions.
 
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beginnerhunter

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The ammoland article is pretty sad. I guess I just ignored all the ridiculous stuff the NRA was doing (carry guard, nra-tv) as fluff for the far out loonies to play with, kinda like a pay-to-upgrade smartphone game app. But I should've been more suspicious when I saw the "Coalition to impeach Obama" or whatever mailers at an elderly relative's house in 2016, just months away from the end if his term.

Have a look at the list of the BOD. There's a former rock star, country music star, mustached actor, a Brownell, and a Nosler. Interesting names. Y'all would probably recognize more names than me.
 

elkmagnet

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The truth of the matter is the NRA has been instrumental in protecting our 2A rights and one of the premier suppliers of outdoor conservation funding, as Randy mentioned.

.
If you could quote for me where randy said "the NRA is one of the premier suppliers of outdoor conservation funding."
I just cant find it
 

beginnerhunter

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If you could quote for me where randy said "the NRA is one of the premier suppliers of outdoor conservation funding."
I just cant find it
Well, It was more implicit than explicit. Via the promotion of guns and ammo:

"For those of you who are NRA members, as I am (Endowment Life Member), this might be of interest. Those of us in the hunting, public land conservation, and shooting world have a keen interest in the topic. Non-hunters who shoot fund over 2/3 of the Pittman-Robertson funds that go to state wildlife agencies. A robust recreational shooting community is helpful for many reasons, including the funding of wildlife conservation."
 

noharleyyet

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Perhaps they can finagle taxpayer bailout dough to fund executive bonus payouts (graft). TIC...
 
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Gut Shot

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The issue isn't with the programs that the NRA sponsors. Law enforcement and civilian training, gun safety and shooting sports endorsed by the NRA are great and the NRA, generally, does a good job with them. The issue is with the ILA branch and their PR/consulting firm. That, and the corruption in the leadership. Do-nothings like Wayne LaPierre and that cat herder from Florida Marion Hammer who are milking the organization for millions have given the organization bad stench.
 

elkmagnet

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Well, It was more implicit than explicit. Via the promotion of guns and ammo:

"For those of you who are NRA members, as I am (Endowment Life Member), this might be of interest. Those of us in the hunting, public land conservation, and shooting world have a keen interest in the topic. Non-hunters who shoot fund over 2/3 of the Pittman-Robertson funds that go to state wildlife agencies. A robust recreational shooting community is helpful for many reasons, including the funding of wildlife conservation."
How did we not give credit to the recreational shooters who contribute to the pittman Robertson fund. The majority of recreational shooters are not NRA members and there are plenty who don't like the NRA. So why did the NRA get the credit? This website and magazines such as Field and stream are likely a stronger promotional puller to the Pittman Robertson fund. Do they get the credit for the Pittman Robertson fund? Im a strog supporter of the 2A can I claim that I'm a "premier" provider of Pittman Robertson conservation funding.
This reasoning stinks of wanting more credit than is due.
Big ol back pat for myself!
 
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