By Marion P. Hammer,
NRA Past President
Executive Director Unified Sportsmen of Florida
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Once again the NRA is being threatened by the enemy within and I’m reaching out to ask for your help. Unfortunately, NRA Board elections provide opportunities for people with interests other than those of NRA, to make moves to disrupt NRA, our mission and our cause. That is happening now.
People who are on the NRA ballot for election to the NRA Board of Directors deserve close scrutiny by NRA voting members. Being on the ballot does not automatically mean a person is qualified to serve on the Board. Most of the people on the ballot were nominated by the NRA Nominating Committee in a deliberative process designed to evaluate the motives and qualifications of the candidates.
However, some of the candidates on this year’s ballot were not nominated by the Nominating Committee, but rather they placed themselves on the ballot by collecting petition signatures. Petition signers had no way of knowing the real motives or qualifications of these petitioners.
At the bottom of this column is a list of the candidates on this year’s ballot that I believe are the best qualified people to serve on the NRA Board. Not only do I believe they are the most qualified, I believe they are the most dedicated to NRA and our cause.
The NRA Board of Directors has a specific role that is often misunderstood by people who seek positions on the Board for their own personal glorification and benefit. NRA Board members have no power. The power lies solely with the Board as a whole and only when the Board is in session. That’s why NRA’s detractors and dissidents organize in an attempt to quietly infiltrate the Board and gain a majority of the seats.
From time to time in the history of NRA, activists, critics and dissenters have sought to take control of NRA. Because I’m asking for your help, I thought you should know some of that history.
NRA Board History
In 1977, at the annual meeting in Cincinnati, a group of gun rights activists stopped the NRA Board from moving NRA headquarters away from Washington, DC to set up shop in Colorado Springs, Colorado. That Board’s intent was to be near the US Olympic Training Center where they could convert NRA to an organization devoted to shooting competition. The motive of the activist group in Cincinnati was to be sure that NRA remained in Washington, DC as a driving force in protecting the Second Amendment and the freedom to exercise those gun rights.
Twenty years later in 1997, during my term as NRA President, a group of dissidents and adversaries tried to take control of NRA. Their motives were not pure. They wanted control of NRA’s finances and jobs. Pretending to be strong gun rights advocates, they wanted control of NRA’s money and they wanted to install themselves as NRA’s top salaried employees.
They had worked quietly for several years to infiltrate the Board by electing their followers to the Board. They did this through the petition process for getting on the ballot. Failing to meet the qualifications and pass the scrutiny of the nomination process, they circulated petitions for signatures to get on the ballot. Nobody noticed or suspected they were planning to take over NRA.
The 1997 group of dissidents attempting to take control of NRA during my presidency were financially motivated. Their clear intent was to take control of NRA’s money and property then liquidate the portfolio to cash and make it easy to covert NRA resources to their own purposes.
The NRA Finance Committee had quietly fallen under the control of these dissidents. Against the strenuous objections of the NRA Treasurer, and without the approval of the President as required in the NRA By-Laws, the NRA Finance Committee held an unauthorized committee meeting in late 1996. At that meeting they began formulating plans to take control of NRA and to begin converting the NRA portfolio to cash. All they needed to implement their plan was control of the majority of the NRA Board.
Thinking they had majority control of the Board, their plan was to remove Wayne LaPierre from the Executive Vice President (EVP-CEO) position, remove me as President, install their own followers and take total control.
They made their move at the NRA Winter Board meeting in January, 1997. In a marathon meeting that began at 9:00am Saturday morning and did not end until 4:00am Sunday morning, we fought them off.
As president, I remained on the podium and refused to allow a recess for meals or breaks that would have allowed the dissidents to regroup. Food was brought in and we ate while we fought. For nineteen (19) straight hours Wayne and I, and a dedicated group of board members, remained in that room and battled for the heart and soul of the NRA. We won the day.
We then brought in Charlton Heston and helped elect him to the NRA Board as the 76th Director. Next we worked to elect him First Vice President to later follow me as President to be sure we could protect NRA and our standing as the nation’s foremost Second Amendment protector.
Twenty years ago, we won that battle and put down that group of malcontents. The NRA is alive and well today because we stopped dissidents who had infiltrated the Board by the petition process.
Current Day NRA Board:
Right now, a group of agitators — some of them devotees of the 1997 dissident group – have already quietly worked their way onto the NRA Board and others are now actively trying to get elected to the NRA Board.
It is time to wake up and stop it before it begins. I urge you to award your votes to the 25 most qualified people who have earned nomination by the NRA Nominating Committee and who are truly dedicated to NRA.
Although the Nominating Committee nominated more than the 25 needed this year, they did not nominate all 35 who appear on the ballot. It is important to vote for the 25 best qualified most dedicated people to serve NRA.
Below is the slate of the 25 candidates who will get my votes and whom I endorse.
I have known and worked with most of these candidates for years and I believe they all share my love of and dedication to NRA and our members.
I encourage you to join me. I encourage you to share this slate with NRA voting members and that you will give it your endorsement as well. With Bloomberg and other antigun groups targeting NRA from the outside, it is critical that we stop the enemy within. That’s why I’m asking for your help.
1. Scott L. Bach, New Jersey [endorsed by AmmoLand News]
2. William A. Bachenberg, Pennsylvania
3. Ronnie G. Barrett, Tennessee
4. Robert K. Brown, Colorado [endorsed by AmmoLand News]
5. Dean Cain, Malibu, California
6. David G. Coy, Adrian, Michigan
7. John L. Cushman, Patchogue, New York
8. Edie P. Fleeman, Durham, North Carolina
9. Joel Friedman, Henderson, Nevada
10 David A. Keene, Ft. Washington, Maryland
11. Herbert A. Lanford, Jr., Columbia, South Carolina
12. Carrie Lightfoot, Scottsdale, Arizona
13. Duane Liptak, Jr., Austin, Texas
14. Carolyn D. Meadows, Marietta, Georgia
15. Bill Miller, Beckley, West Virginia
16. Owen Buz Mills, Paulden, Arizona
17. Grover G. Norquist, Washington, D.C.
18. Robert A. Nosler, Bend, Oregon
19. Kim Rhode, Big Bear Lake, California
20. Wayne Anthony Ross, Anchorage, Alaska
21. Don Saba, Tucson, Arizona
22. William H. Satterfield, Birmingham, Alabama
23. Ronald L. Schmeits, Raton, New Mexico
24. John C. Sigler, Dover, Delaware
25. Robert J. Wos, Sarasota, Florida
Marion P. Hammer is past president of the National Rifle Association and is executive director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida.