Vote “Yes” On The 2017 NRA Bylaw Amendments

by Allan D. Cors, President, National Rifle Association

Editors Note : Below is a message from Allan Cors, President of the National Rifle Association. In addition to the election for the Board of Directors, you will also have the opportunity to vote on changes to the bylaws. Please take the time to review and vote on these important changes modernizing the bylaws for your National Rifle Association.

NRA Member Vote
Vote “Yes” On The 2017 NRA Bylaw Amendments
Allan D. Cors
Allan D. Cors

Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- If you’re a voting member of the National Rifle Association, you’ll soon receive your ballot for this year’s NRA elections.

As usual, you’ll have the chance to vote for candidates to fill one-third of the NRA Board’s 75 seats (and, sadly, one additional vacancy due to the death of Board member Buster Bachhuber). But you’ll also have the opportunity to vote on a comprehensive package of important NRA bylaw amendments that have been unanimously recommended by the NRA Board.

These proposals deserve your support and your “YES” vote.

To understand the importance of the proposed amendments, a little history is in order. In 1977, NRA members who wanted to ensure that the NRA would be an effective force in the fight for the Second Amendment, not just another gun club, took action at the NRA’s Annual Meeting of Members in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.

In an epic meeting that lasted into the wee hours of the morning, we adopted a series of bylaw amendments that strengthened the members’ voice in the Association.

The centerpiece of the Cincinnati changes is a petition process that allows individuals to qualify as candidates for the NRA board by gathering signatures from 250 of their fellow members. The petition process has played a critical role in bringing fresh voices to the leadership of the NRA, and in making it the potent political force that it remains today. Also in Cincinnati, the members voted for a process under which some member-passed bylaw provisions are considered so important that they can only be changed by a later vote of the members – which is why these amendments are being submitted for your approval.

The following year, NRA members voted to further strengthen their role in the Association by creating a recall process. Similar to laws in many states, the NRA Bylaws now allow for a member petition, hearing, and vote to remove one or more officers or board members before the expiration of their terms in office.

A few years later, in 1985, another amendment enhanced member participation by allowing the Bylaws to be amended by mail—not just by the small minority with the time, money and commitment to attend the Annual Meeting of Members.

However, the old provision allowing amendments at the Members’ Meeting was also kept on the books.

I’m proud of my role in fighting for the reforms that started in Cincinnati, and they have been important in strengthening the role of NRA members in guiding our Association. But nearly 40 years have passed. We are due for some updates.

For starters, the NRA has grown enormously, and the petition requirements established in the 1970s haven’t kept pace with that growth, or with modern communications technology. Together, these developments may leave our Association vulnerable to the few, while not protecting the voices of the many.

Let’s look at the numbers. In 1977, when the members at Cincinnati voted to require 250 signatures for a candidate petition, the NRA had only one million members, and only about 200,000 voting members. And to gather signatures, candidates had to go out looking for them personally, at gun shows, club meetings, and competitions.

Today, we have five million members, with nearly half of them eligible to vote in our 2017 elections – and Internet forums and social media have made it far easier to gather signatures on both candidate and recall petitions.

The Board’s recommended package of bylaw amendments offers the same solution to both of these situations: a change to a percentage-based system, in which signature requirements are based on the number of valid ballots cast in the previous board election. It’s the same type of system used in many states for qualifying ballot initiatives, and will keep the signature requirements in sync with the NRA’s growth as we head toward six, eight, or 10 million members.

The Board also recommends petition thresholds that would increase the signature requirements based on typical turnout. The requirement would be somewhat higher for candidate petitions (at 0.5 percent of the previous board election vote), and significantly higher for recall petitions (at 5 percent of the previous vote). The reason for the difference is that a recall petition is an extreme measure that shouldn’t be undertaken lightly. After all, a successful recall can undo the members’ vote for a director, or the elected Board’s vote for an officer – even though the person targeted could be removed by ordinary means in one to three years, depending on his or her office.

(It’s also worth remembering that the NRA Bylaws already have a process for ethics complaints, which can be carried out faster and cheaper than the six-figure cost of holding a recall election.)

In addition, since the creation of the recall petition process in 1978, only one recall petition has been put to a member vote. That campaign – just last year – was fought hard and fairly, and although it was unsuccessful, it exposed a number of concerns about the administrative procedure and basic fairness of the current recall process. The proposed bylaw changes would address those issues by allowing the targeted individual, or the NRA itself, to seek dismissal of a future petition that might be frivolous, malicious, or disruptive, with fair appeals of those decisions by both sides.

Finally, the proposal would repeal the outdated process for bylaw amendments at the Members’ Meeting, specifying instead that all bylaw amendments voted on by the members could only be decided by mail ballot. Since 1985, this is the only way the members have actually voted on bylaw amendments – and it’s much fairer to the overwhelming majority of NRA members, who deserve a full voice in our Association regardless of their ability to travel.

On November 8 2016, NRA members and millions of other concerned Americans voted to preserve and restore freedom in America. But if you’re a voting member of the NRA, your work isn’t done, because these bylaw amendments are critically important for the long-term health of the organization. Please watch for your February issue of the NRA magazines (or for your first-class ballot mailing, if you don’t get a magazine); study the proposals carefully; and join me and your NRA Board in voting “YES” on the bylaw amendments.

About:
Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

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Texas Marco
Texas Marco
4 years ago

The lack of a line-item-veto style ballot is what has gotten our country in the majority of our troubles and debts. As a matter of principle I will be forced to vote NO.

C A
C A
4 years ago

I am a long-time Life-member and I voted NO. The bylaw changes are too broad and too diverse to earn a blanket vote from me. Some I would agree with but starting with the first amendment (Art II, Para 1) there is no need for change unless you are a lawyer…and my vote goes down hill from there.

David Bartholomew
David Bartholomew
4 years ago

I’m inclined to vote NO on the bylaw changes. But would prefer a line item vote. And in the next vote, should this one fail, I would suggest some method of defining a weight to each member’s vote based on the longevity of their membership. The idea is to defend against a liberal infiltration of our membership by sponsored liberal new-bees. By defining baylaws that weight each member’s vote based on length of membership, we might prevent anti-gun forces trying to hijack or neuter the NRA from joining just to change the course of the organization, while at the same… Read more »

Ed williamson
Ed williamson
4 years ago

Only a five year annual member or a life member may vote. I think this negates the need to weight the period of membership. It would require a tremendous investment to purchase life memberships for enough lefties to influence an election. Of course George Soros has the money if he chooses to spend it, and he might well do so. I do not have the answer but the proposed amendment is not it If it were broken into individual amendments I would vote yes on several of them. As it stands I am vehemently opposed. I am attempting to reach… Read more »

Capt Mitch
Capt Mitch
4 years ago

I am a longtime Life Member. Most of the current bylaw changes are ‘housekeeping’ better wording but not significant. The one on bylaw amendments needing mail vote of whole membership makes sense. The changes in nominating process and recall do seem like protecting the ‘Establishment’. I certainly remember Chris Knox’s dad, thanks for weighing in on this.

Chris Knox (@ChrisKnox_AZ)
Chris Knox (@ChrisKnox_AZ)
4 years ago

I have a personal history with the “Cincinnati Reforms.” I wasn’t there, being in the Army at the time, but my late father, Neal Knox, was the guy who introduced the bylaw changes on the floor. The ensuing fights as the “Old Guard” of the Board and paid staff fought to regain their control over the NRA from its members took up much of my family’s time and attention for the next four decades. Every time the NRA management knocked down another pillar of member control, they have piously claimed to be protecting the Cincinnati reforms. This latest move is… Read more »

James Cochrane
James Cochrane
4 years ago

I found this while looking for an online summary of the proposed by-law changes. I, too, would prefer that they be split out as individual proposals, but reluctantly agree that they are needed. A search for “NRA by-laws” produced at least one copy hosted on a left-wing site, I don’t think they’d have it there if they weren’t trying to exploit weaknesses in the NRA voting procedures, as Michael Moore called for several years ago. President Cors references a six-figure cost to hold a recall vote, how many could the NRA sustain, even if they were unsuccessful, if the anti-gun… Read more »

David M
David M
4 years ago

The fight to preserve the Second Amendment is changing and I am not confident in the old guard of the NRA to stay engaged in the fight where it needs to fought. Instead of focusing on feel good measures like the right to hunt and fish in safe, 2A friendly states, the NRA should focus the majority of their efforts in states where the Second Amendment is truly under attack. New leadership may be needed to do this and this attempt to consolidate power makes that more difficult. I am voting no.

Ed Williamson
Ed Williamson
4 years ago

I have never publicly disagreed with the NRA. I do so now reluctantly. It appears this is an attempt to make it even more difficult for a member not nominated by the board to run.

Ken Rhodes
Ken Rhodes
4 years ago

Excellent job describing in detail, the NRA By-Law Amendment in the February 2017 Shooting magazine which also contained a member individual voting ballot. In addition, the Nominating Committee recommendations are listed along with a short summary of each candidates positions and qualifications. Makes it easier to be an objective informed voter. With a Pro-Second Amendment President Trump, working together with a cohesive NRA Board, we now can make lasting inroads to preserve our Second Amendment weapon rights. Those of us who filed for an ATF tax stamp for (Class III) suppressors may see our $200 returned if we EACH respectively… Read more »

Yumeng Bell
Yumeng Bell
4 years ago

I vote yes because ammo well scares and soon unless people vote yes.

P Dortmund
P Dortmund
2 years ago
Reply to  Yumeng Bell

Do you speak ENLGISH.
We don’t understand GIBBERISH

CarlosPerdue
CarlosPerdue
4 years ago

This is some Orwellian spin. The Ruling Junta is consolidating control and protecting their $$$.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
4 years ago

A percentage is a fuzzy rule subject to who is doing the counting and how the counting is done. Two hundred and fifty is a bright line rule. I prefer bright line rules. Last year’s recall attempt was well worth the effort. Absent some really good and well presented reasons for change, I’m thinking a NO vote is in order.

Brian
Brian
4 years ago

No link to where we can read the proposal? I agree with Jim, if all that Mr. Cors stated in his article are part of a single proposal then my vote will be, NO.

John Waltz
John Waltz
4 years ago

I agree with “Jim says”:
Far to many issues in one Amendment. Address each one as a separate issue and you have my support. Otherwise I am forced to vote No.
Benefactor Member

jim
jim
4 years ago

The proposal seeks to address too many issue at once. Separate them and you will get support from me in one or two of the areas discussed; otherwise. no