NRA Needs A Proven Leader, Now More Than Ever

Opinion by Marion Hammer

Wayne LaPierre
Wayne LaPierre is one of the most humble guys I know. He routinely turns down profile pieces, and he always tells people that it’s the members who are the bedrock of the NRA. Wayne doesn’t just say that. He believes that. More so than anyone else.

Florida – -(AmmoLand.com)- My name is Marion Hammer. I’ve written in AmmoLand News before…

I work as a gun rights lobbyist on gun rights for the NRA and for it’s Florida affiliate – Unified Sportsmen of Florida. I tell you this for three reasons:

  1. To give full disclosure
  2. To provide a better context
  3. And frankly, because I’m incredibly proud of what we have accomplished in Florida and beyond for our members and all law-abiding gun owners.

Every morning I am honored and humbled to wake up and fight for our rights here in Florida. And, I would be lying if I didn’t say that I do get a sense of satisfaction when we defeat the gun control zealots and anti-hunting fanatics.

But, my fights have not been confined to Florida. Roughly twenty years ago, I was engaged in another battle. This time it was a fight for the leadership of the NRA. Wayne LaPierre was on one side.

On the other side was Neal Knox – Jeff Knox’s late father. As some of you may remember, I was the President of the NRA at that time. Many may have been too young to remember.

Jeff is correct that Wayne won the confidence of the NRA Board of Directors during that battle. But, Jeff fails to disclose that it was his father, Neal Knox, who was trying to oust Wayne — and who engaged in an all-out, no holds barred, brutal fight in his failed attempt to take control of the NRA.

I bring this up, not to disparage the memory of a fellow Second Amendment activist who was a long time personal friend of mine but to give the truth to those who may not know the truth.

Make no mistake: The senior Knox had his own philosophy, and he had his own team of consultants and vendors that he wanted to bring in. He was an ambitious man who wished to control the NRA. BUT, it is essential for readers to have that disclosure to provide full context to the narrative that his son, Jeff Knox, now provides.

Jeff also talked about financial difficulties. What he doesn’t mention is that there is a coordinated corporate and political campaign orchestrated by Mike Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York to intimidate banks and insurance institutions into not doing business with the NRA.

Undoubtedly, many of you have read about it post-Parkland. But, I ask you to go on your computer and do some research. You’ll find that the Cuomo actions were viewed as so treacherous that even the ACLU joined with the NRA to fight this action. That’s a significant fact.

Jeff doesn’t mention that the leadership team at the NRA has worked very hard to get everything back on track and has achieved some settlements that were favorable to our cause. He also misstates that NRA employees have been laid off at Fairfax. That isn’t true. Due to budget cuts, one of our vendors laid off a number of their employees. And, frankly, that’s a sensible course of action given the circumstances.

Jeff says that NRA folks are well paid – but he doesn’t mention that all the rights we have today are because of these talented folks at NRA. Or perhaps more significantly – the gamut of gun bans and ammo bans that we DON’T have because of the NRA and its work.

We have great Right-to-Carry laws in more than 80% of our country – thanks to the NRA. I was proud to work with the folks at the NRA as Florida became the state that started a nationwide revolution for the right to carry. Make no mistake; when we started this “shall issue” Right-to-Carry battle, there were less than a handful of states that had any pro-carry laws. There was only one organization leading the way – the NRA.

We have Castle Doctrine laws because of the NRA. Preemption, hunter harassment, range protection, no gun confiscation during emergencies, more hunting lands and let’s not forget that thanks to the NRA, the American firearms industry exists today because of the NRA. And, so much more. That’s a pretty good return on an NRA membership if you ask anyone.

I know that many of you will bring up the issue of bump stocks. Yes, it is complete “heifer dust” to think that banning bump stocks will make us all safer. Bump stocks blur the line and alter the performance of a semi-auto and made it function like a full-auto.

That’s why the NRA said that it ought to be regulated – NOT banned.

Why? Because politicians [had the votes] and were building steam [in 2018 Congress] and moving toward a ban on all semi-automatic firearms. Frankly, I find it curious that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump stocks, to begin with – but that’s another debate for another day. [the call for regulation by the NRA took the wind out of this legislative effort and moved the bump stock ban, now a “rule” instead of a law, into the regulatory realm where it can now be argued against (lawsuits have been filed ) and ruled on by the courts.]

Make no mistake: every single day there are very smart and well-compensated people in NY who wake up with one mission – destroy the NRA. Why the NRA? Because they know that the only thing that stands in their way of their unbridled desire to destroy the Second Amendment is the NRA.

To be clear, it is the NRA and Wayne LaPierre. Wayne is one of the most humble guys I know. He routinely turns down profile pieces, and he always tells people that it’s the members who are the bedrock of the NRA. Wayne doesn’t just say that. He believes that. More so than anyone else.

But, behind his unassuming nature lies the soul of a shrewd and courageous fighter. Unlike some, he will fight like hell to protect your rights. He will stand up and tell the truth – as ugly as it is – in front of the whole world and take the hits. And, you know he has. He doesn’t give a rip about those DC social circles and country clubs. He’s just one heck of a freedom fighter. Wayne is who the NRA and the Second Amendment need today and in the future.

Now is not the time for auditions for Wayne LaPierre wanna-bes, particularly those who aren't fit to hold his coat. And it is indeed not the time for a son who’s carried a father’s grudge for decades to try to stoke the flames to settle the score.

It’s a time for all of us to fight. And, our best warrior is Wayne LaPierre. Our enemies know that. I hope you do too.


Marion P. Hammer
Marion P. Hammer

About Marion Hammer

Marion P. Hammer is a past president of the National Rifle Association and current executive director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida.

  • 146 thoughts on “NRA Needs A Proven Leader, Now More Than Ever

    1. I fully support the courageous efforts of the NRA and its leaders. My membership is set on “auto renew”.

      “Know thy enemy.” It is NOT the NRA.

    2. Until the NRA starts standing up for the full scope of our 2A GUARANTEED Rights, they’ll get no more from me than annual membership dues so I can maintain mbrship in my local Gun Range. Supporting unconstitutional legislation such as bans of any kind, BG Checks, Red Flag Laws, etc. is NOT defending the 2nd Amendment.

    3. In my days with the Bell System we used to say:
      Q: How many “attaboys” are wiped out by one “Ah Shit!”
      A: All of them
      Ms. Hammer has done quite a few things she can rightly be proud of in defense of 2A rights.
      OTOH there are her occasional “Ah Shit!” moments that wipe all of the credit for her good deeds away.

      Make no mistake about it, this column is an “Ah Shit!”

      DDS — NRA Endowment Member

    4. I let my NRA membership lapse but I also know this…

      1) No other orgamization will be able to pick up the slack anytime soon before the Democrats will be able to do real and lasting damage.
      2) The Left is trolling every pro-2A site pretending to be compatriots and trying to do damage/kill the NRA because they know that is their primary opponent.

      There’s only one way the NRA survives this….they gotta F’n clean house and get rid of the old wood and do a mea-culpa to the membership.

    5. I’ve been a member of the NRA for thirty nine years and I let my membership expire just last month. When the leadership is purged of these compromising Fudds and replaced with no compromise 2A absolutists, I’ll come back.

      1. In today’s world, nothing gets done without compromise. Such an extreme view will make zero progress. Nice ideals, but not realistic. You think NOT being a member somehow is a better option to protect 2A?

        1. What did we get out of the bump stock rule? We got to keep rights we already had? BS that wasn’t a compromise it was a surrender. I didn’t own a bump stock but we don’t stop marching backwards we will run out of room. We either hang together or hang separately, it was true 250 some years ago and still true today. This from a patriot life member.

        2. Anthony, that is a deception on your part. A compromise
          is a loss and defenitly not a gain. There is a real battle going on now within the NRA. Victory in any battle goes to the winner. If you take away all the manmade interference and reduce it to a cave man existance, the problems become glaring and indefenceable. Comprimise is nothing more than a
          delaying tactic and the problem still exists. No matter how you cut it or ramble over it is still in your face… Failures are noticed by those who want resolution not compermise. Man can live with many things unwanted but violation of his freedom, physical or mentally is a challenge that rubbs him raw. No matter how many times you compermise something is lost creating resentments. The three solutions, lose, compermise or win, all effect the membership. We must not lose and we must not compermise or the solution disappears.
          As I see it according to the Supreme Court in 1803, any law against the 2nd amendment or any amendment is “NUL and VOID” and any law or taxation of firearms is infringing on that amendment.
          Not only the citizens but also the government must obey the Constitution or it becomes criminal.
          I feel that the NRA today does not support or defend the Constitution but uses subterfuge to supplicate the membership. One law and probably the most important is “That everything changes” if it does not then it dies. The NRA is slowly withering as others replace it. Anytime and organization fails to support its membership then it is also insulting and subjugating the membership. It is a sorry sight to see the NRA failing the Constitution and the most important reason for it’s existence. I hope that the board can rectify the problems instead of ignoring them otherwise the organization will just become a note in history, shame on the board if they fail.

    6. I wish I had the closing bit on video. Just so I could put it next to Wayne LaPierre’s comments where he actively fights FOR universal gun registration and gun free zones, in addition to his comment stating he supports a ban on the most common firearms in the world.

    7. “But, behind his unassuming nature […]” (check the article for the full quote. The comment section doesn’t like me including it)

      I wish I had this on video. Would be fun to splice it next to these comments where he actively fights FOR universal gun registration and gun free zones, in addition to his comment stating he supports a ban on the most common firearms in the world.

    8. “But, behind his unassuming nature […]” (check the article for the full quote. The comment section doesn’t like me including it)

      I wish I had this on video. Would be fun to splice it next to these comments where he actively fights FOR universal gun registration and gun free zones, in addition to his comment stating he supports a ban on the most common firearms in the world.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvJ2kHpbC1g
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXl4p02EaTk
      https://youtu.be/2pk2LqqqtDs?t=4m9s (go to 4:09).

    9. “But, behind his unassuming nature lies the soul of a shrewd and courageous fighter. Unlike some, he will fight like hell to protect your rights. He will stand up and tell the truth – as ugly as it is – in front of the whole world and take the hits. “

    10. Isn’t it funny how these people are so devoted to destroying the NRA never attack the leadership, even those that’s standard tactic they use against anything they try to destroy? Rule 13 is to “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”, yet the NRA is never personalized. Further they ignore many obvious tactics to destroy the NRA. If just one person asks Wayne LaPierre “If full autos can be banned under the second amendment, why can’t semi-autos?” the NRA is toast. The only rational explanation for their continued survival is that for the left they are controlled opposition or useful idiots.

    11. Isn’t it funny how these people are so devoted to destroying the NRA never attack the leadership, even those that’s standard tactic they use against anything they try to destroy? Rule 13 is to “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”, yet the NRA is never personalized. Further they ignore many obvious tactics to destroy the NRA. If just one person asks Wayne LaPierre “If full autos can be banned under the second amendment, why can’t semi-autos?” the NRA is toast. The only rational explanation for their continued survival is that for the left they are controlled opposition or useful idiots.

      “But, behind his unassuming nature lies the soul of a shrewd and courageous fighter. Unlike some, he will fight like [is this blocked] to protect your rights. He will stand up and tell the truth – as ugly as it is – in front of the whole world and take the hits. ”

      I wish I had this on video. Would be fun to splice it next to these comments where he actively fights FOR universal gun registration and gun free zones, in addition to his comment stating he supports a ban on the most common firearms in the world.

    12. “But, behind his unassuming nature lies the soul of a shrewd and courageous fighter. Unlike some, he will fight like hell to protect your rights. He will stand up and tell the truth – as ugly as it is – in front of the whole world and take the hits. ”

      I wish I had this on video. Would be fun to splice it next to these comments where he actively fights FOR universal gun registration and gun free zones, in addition to his comment stating he supports a ban on the most common firearms in the world.

    13. (chopping this next bit up since something in it is blocking submission)
      “Make no mistake: every single day there are very smart and well-compensated people in NY who wake up with one mission – destroy the NRA. ”

      So they aren’t actually a threat to gun rights, just Mrs. Hammer and her cronies? Ego-centrism is a sign of all manner of psychological problems. Perhaps we should try these “red flag” laws the NRA supports on her?

    14. “Make no mistake: every single day there are very smart and well-compensated people in NY who wake up with one mission – destroy the NRA. ”

      So they aren’t actually a threat to gun rights, just Mrs. Hammer and her cronies? Ego-centrism is a sign of all manner of psychological problems. Perhaps we should try these “red flag” laws the NRA supports on her?

      Isn’t it funny how these people are so devoted to destroying the NRA never attack the leadership, even those that’s standard tactic they use against anything they try to destroy? Rule 13 is to “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”, yet the NRA is never personalized. Further they ignore many obvious tactics to destroy the NRA. If just one person asks Wayne LaPierre “If full autos can be banned under the second amendment, why can’t semi-autos?” the NRA is toast. The only rational explanation for their continued survival is that for the left they are controlled opposition or useful idiots.

      “But, behind his unassuming nature lies the soul of a shrewd and courageous fighter. Unlike some, he will fight like hell to protect your rights. He will stand up and tell the truth – as ugly as it is – in front of the whole world and take the hits. ”

      I wish I had this on video. Would be fun to splice it next to these comments where he actively fights FOR universal gun registration and gun free zones, in addition to his comment stating he supports a ban on the most common firearms in the world.

    15. “That’s why the NRA said that it ought to be regulated – NOT banned.”
      I called the NRA on multiple occasions over many months. Every spokesperson I spoke to confirmed the “regulation” sought was like full autos. Something you can’t make or buy anymore is absolutely a ban. Maybe if you’re paid 316k+ a year to do nothing like Mrs. Hammer is you can afford enough grandfathered examples it doesn’t matter.

      “Because politicians [had the votes] and were building steam [in 2018 Congress] and moving toward a ban on all semi-automatic firearms”

      And? We have a Senate majority that was endorsed by the NRA and an NRA endorsed President that could easily stop this bill from going anywhere. All this would do is show the American people that the Democrats want all guns banned. Unless Mr.s Hammer is telling us her organization’s ratings are absolutely and utterly worthless…

      “where it can now be argued against (lawsuits have been filed ) and ruled on by the courts.]”
      Mrs. Hammer is seriously arguing that only regulations, not law, can be fought in the courts. This reason alone is enough to dismiss the entire NRA leadership.

    16. “And frankly, because I’m incredibly proud of what we have accomplished in Florida and beyond for our members and all law-abiding gun owners.”
      Mrs. Hammer is proud that Constitutional Carry has been stuck in committee for a decade. She is also proud of the bill Scott signed last year. And MY generation is supposed to be the one with low expectations!

      “Many may have been too young to remember.”
      Mrs. Hammer thinks she’s being subtle in her insults, but everyone who reads this INSTANTLY notes she is using youth of LaPierre’s opponents as an attack. Marion Hammer is a decade older than me and my congressman put together.

      “Jeff is correct that Wayne won the confidence of the NRA Board of Directors during that battle. But, Jeff fails to disclose that it was his father, Neal Knox, who was trying to oust Wayne — and who engaged in an all-out, no holds barred, brutal fight in his failed attempt to take control of the NRA.”

      What Marrion Hammer fails to disclose is that this was brought on by Wayne LaPierre being caught red handed EMBEZZLING money from the NRA by dumping it into a fake PR company that in turn paid him, then refusing a direct order to stop. Over 70% of the board voted to dismiss Wayne LaPierre over this, only failing because it needed 75%. Mrs. Hammer, why don’t you tell us what your position on that vote was…

    17. “And frankly, because I’m incredibly proud of what we have accomplished in Florida and beyond for our members and all law-abiding gun owners.”
      Mrs. Hammer is proud that Constitutional Carry has been stuck in committee for a decade. She is also proud of the bill Scott signed last year. And MY generation is supposed to be the one with low expectations!

      “Many may have been too young to remember.”
      Mrs. Hammer thinks she’s being subtle in her insults, but everyone who reads this INSTANTLY notes she is using youth of LaPierre’s opponents as an attack. Marion Hammer is a decade older than me and my congressman put together.

      “Jeff is correct that Wayne won the confidence of the NRA Board of Directors during that battle. But, Jeff fails to disclose that it was his father, Neal Knox, who was trying to oust Wayne — and who engaged in an all-out, no holds barred, brutal fight in his failed attempt to take control of the NRA.”

      What Marrion Hammer fails to disclose is that this was brought on by Wayne LaPierre being caught red handed EMBEZZLING money from the NRA by dumping it into a fake PR company that in turn paid him, then refusing a direct order to stop. Over 70% of the board voted to dismiss Wayne LaPierre over this, only failing because it needed 75%. Mrs. Hammer, why don’t you tell us what your position on that vote was…

      “That’s why the NRA said that it ought to be regulated – NOT banned.”
      I called the NRA on multiple occasions over many months. Every spokesperson I spoke to confirmed the “regulation” sought was like full autos. Something you can’t make or buy anymore is absolutely a ban. Maybe if you’re paid 316k+ a year to do nothing like Mrs. Hammer is you can afford enough grandfathered examples it doesn’t matter.

      “Because politicians [had the votes] and were building steam [in 2018 Congress] and moving toward a ban on all semi-automatic firearms”

      And? We have a Senate majority that was endorsed by the NRA and an NRA endorsed President that could easily stop this bill from going anywhere. All this would do is show the American people that the Democrats want all guns banned. Unless Mr.s Hammer is telling us her organization’s ratings are absolutely and utterly worthless…

      “where it can now be argued against (lawsuits have been filed ) and ruled on by the courts.]”
      Mrs. Hammer is seriously arguing that only regulations, not law, can be fought in the courts. This reason alone is enough to dismiss the entire NRA leadership.

      “Make no mistake: every single day there are very smart and well-compensated people in NY who wake up with one mission – destroy the NRA. ”

      So they aren’t actually a threat to gun rights, just Mrs. Hammer and her cronies? Ego-centrism is a sign of all manner of psychological problems. Perhaps we should try these “red flag” laws the NRA supports on her?

      Isn’t it funny how these people are so devoted to destroying the NRA never attack the leadership, even those that’s standard tactic they use against anything they try to destroy? Rule 13 is to “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”, yet the NRA is never personalized. Further they ignore many obvious tactics to destroy the NRA. If just one person asks Wayne LaPierre “If full autos can be banned under the second amendment, why can’t semi-autos?” the NRA is toast. The only rational explanation for their continued survival is that for the left they are controlled opposition or useful idiots.

      “But, behind his unassuming nature lies the soul of a shrewd and courageous fighter. Unlike some, he will fight like hell to protect your rights. He will stand up and tell the truth – as ugly as it is – in front of the whole world and take the hits. ”

      I wish I had this on video. Would be fun to splice it next to these comments where he actively fights FOR universal gun registration and gun free zones, in addition to his comment stating he supports a ban on the most common firearms in the world.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvJ2kHpbC1g
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXl4p02EaTk
      https://youtu.be/2pk2LqqqtDs?t=4m9s (go to 4:09)

    18. The NRA, like Gov., needs to return to Constitutional principles, not caving to every “common sense gun law” that the lefties cook up.
      Been too long in the poisonous atmosphere of DC, it seems.

    19. Take a hike you corrupt blight on our rights jack wagon. I’m getting sick of Ammoland giving you a place to post your tripe. You and the NRA need to burn to the ground and new leadership needs to be installed. Otherwise, go away. You’ve negotiated our rights away my entire life. Fact.

      Appeasement isn’t a strategy. Fight for once, you cowards.

      As for you, you’re a Fudd. “We were appalled the ATF ever allowed bump stocks” and “The NRA never wanted us to have machine guns.” Gun owners of Florida despise you and your endless “compromises”.

    20. Comments don’t seem to be posting; let’s try it again:

      “Bump stocks blur the line and alter the performance of a semi-auto and make it function like a full-auto.”

      Umm… No, they don’t.

      If you don’t believe me, I invite you to try this test. Get a rifle with a bump stock installed (while you still can,) then do the following:

      After the trifle is loaded, charged and ready to fire, place your finger directly on the trigger and hold it down as far back as the trigger will travel.

      Did the rifle fire repeatedly until you lifted your finger from the trigger?

      What? You say it only fired ONCE?

      Well, then the bump stock DIDN’T alter the semi-automatic performance of the rifle, and it is STILL a semi-auto.

      Bump stocks work by resting the finger in a stationary position, and pulling the fore-end of the firearm until the trigger is pulled into the stationary finger. For EACH AND EVERY SHOT, THERE IS A SEPARATE PULL OF THE TRIGGER (that’s how all semi-autos function.) Now this does happen much faster than non-bump-stock firing, but a bump stock does NOT “alter the performance of a semi-auto and make it function like a full-auto.” That’s a bald faced lie, plain and simple.

      Bump stocks do not alter the semi-auto function any more than Jerry Miculek’s finger

      Even in today’s post-truth world, technical facts should matter.

    21. NRA supports bump-stock ban and “red flag” laws. One is an ex post facto taking of property without due process or compensation, under Article I, Section 9. The other is deprivation of liberty or property, also without due process or compensation, under the Fifth Amendment.

      I’m a Life Member, but if I have any activism money to spare, I send it to the Oregon Firearms Federation instead.

      1. LET ME THINK, OREGON IS BECOMING A SOCIALIST STATE LIKE CALIFORNIA AND NEW JERSEY
        HOW IS SENDING YOUR SUPPORT TO THEM WORKING OUT FOR YOU

    22. “Bump stocks blur the line and alter the performance of a semi-auto and made it function like a full-auto.”

      Umm… No they don’t.

      If you don’t believe me, just try this test:

      Hold down the trigger of a rifle with a bump stock installed.
      Did the rifle shoot repeatedly until you lifted your finger from the trigger? No? It didn’t?!?

      Well, then the bump stock didn’t “alter the performance of a semi-auto and made it function like a full-auto.”

      Shooting with a bump stock involves a stationary finger, and pulling the fore-end of the rifle so that the trigger hits the finger. For each and every shot, there is a separate, individual pull of the trigger. This is done much faster than normal, but it’s still performing in semi-auto mode, and the rifle is NOT made to function like a full-auto.

      Technical Facts should matter, even in today’s post-truth society.

    23. NRA sells out over and over again… they call it compromise, negotiating the **best** deal.
      I’ve “cancelled” my life membership, already paid so i guess a moot point.
      GOA seem to stand by what they say.. we’ll see.
      Mind you if there is nothing to fight for, they all out of work. Kinda explains it…

    24. Ok, so after reading many posts here (but not all), it would seem 11 out of 10 opinions want to ban, burn and bury the NRA. And the sooner the better. Great, I say do it!
      However, I have a few questions. Once the NRA is total history, who or what is going to replace them? How soon? How much political clout do they have? How good is the legal representation that will fight in federal or state courts? What about financial capital? A paltry 2-3 million will get eaten up in no time. Where will the continuous funding come from? I’m sure there are many other questions that need answers as well. I for one sure would like to hear answers to all these questions.
      Before the bath water is thrown out, make sure junior is out of the tub.

        1. If I understand correctly the nra has been very very good to larry pratt. He started out with 190K/year, now that is north of one million.

        2. I did check the link you posted and the numbers look a lot like the numbers my (corporate) employer post. My company does multi millions of dollars a year yet the annual report looks like they hardly do a few million worth. I’m no corporate accountant and this numbers crap is way above my understanding. But I do know thru simple common sense, it will take millions to [properly] defend the 2A. If you’re opposition is spending millions to take away your rights, would it not make sense you’ve got to spend a “few” bucks defending it?

          1. BTW nobody has actually answered my questions. Just sayin think logically about these things. As I said burn the NRA if you want but then what??? I’m not trying to defend them, just asking questions.
            Cary on and always cary.

    25. I am a NRA Life Member and since last year a GOA Life Member. We need to vote to clean out the NRA and direct our contributions to where they are best used. I don’t want to forget the NRA, I just need them to have a complete change in leadership and direction… We can’t give an inch.

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