What’s Really Going On at the NRA?

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What's Really Going On at the NRA?

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- The news and drama flowing out of the NRA keep running at a pace that makes it difficult to keep up with, much less write about them. As I write this, I have three other almost completed articles that have been abandoned as new revelations have made them largely obsolete. Here's hoping that this one will make it all the way to the publisher before some new revelation bursts onto the scene.

So what's really going on? I don't think anyone actually knows – not even the primary players. That’s because there are just too many moving parts, and too many different agendas and potentially hidden motives, all intertwined.

Keeping track of what’s going on is not helped by the obfuscation and disinformation being deployed as a tactic by some players. Also not helping are the various partisan keyboard warriors who either have reading comprehension problems, or are purposefully distorting and misrepresenting information for the purpose of either propping up, or tearing down Wayne LaPierre.

If this story were fiction being written by John Grisham, we would all discover in the end that the main characters of the drama – LaPierre, Ackerman McQueen, and William Brewer, the lawyer brought in to manage the whole mess by LaPierre (who happens to be Angus McQueen's son-in-law) – were all in league, with their only purpose being to suck every last dollar out of the NRA before it sinks into obscurity.

While I don't actually think that's the case, that scenario seems less far-fetched every day.

As of today, Ackerman McQueen has declared that they are formally withdrawing from all NRA-related activities, claiming that the NRA has made it impossible for them to fulfill their contractual obligations [primarily because of budget cuts made by the NRA board at their last meeting]. This would include shutting down NRA TV, and America's First Freedom magazine, both of which are controlled and produced by Ack-Mac. This announcement will undoubtedly be followed by additional lawsuits from both parties, with each claiming that the other is in breach of contract.

Of course there are already three separate suits between NRA and Ack-Mac. The first was filed by NRA against Ack-Mac just days prior to the NRA Annual Meetings in Indianapolis last April. That suit demanded that Ack-Mac produce detailed billing invoices for charges they had billed to NRA, and also demanded more information about the employment contract entered into last year between Ack-Mac and then NRA President Ollie North.

Shortly after the close of the meetings, a second suit was filed by NRA against Ack-Mac, accusing the PR company of intentionally leaking confidential documents for the purpose of harming the NRA and its leaders. That suit demands $40 million in compensation, and was quickly answered with a suit from Ack-Mac against the NRA, demanding $50 million for sullying Ack-Mac's good name. The “confidential documents” that were “leaked,” primarily consisted of a pair of letters and supporting documentation, snarkily responding to NRA's initial suit by asking for details and receipts for expenses that NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre charged to Ack-Mac. LaPierre’s expenses included over $276,000 charged to a high-end clothing store in Beverley Hills over a span of fifteen years, and another $270k on a number of very expensive plane tickets, limo service, and meals in exotic locales. LaPierre also billed to Ack-Mac several months worth of rent for a high-end luxury apartment near NRA headquarters, apparently on behalf of an attractive summer intern.

Official NRA has made no denials of the accuracy of the charges, saying only that “most” of the travel was related to official business, and suggesting that LaPierre's frequent personal and TV appearances warrant some attention to his wardrobe.

Many LaPierre defenders have opined that since the charges occurred over about a 15-year period, the average of $33,300 dollars per year doesn't seem extravagant for a person in LaPierre's position. What these apologists fail to note is that Mr. LaPierre was paid between $800,000 and $1.4 million each year during that period, and also had a generous expense account on top of that. For him to then spend $20,000 to $30,000 or more per year on clothes alone, and charge those expenses to the PR company, rather than his direct NRA expense account, is not only excessive, but suggests he was intentionally hiding the charges. There is no indication that these personal benefits were included in any of the NRA's tax statements, and it is pretty doubtful that they were included on LaPierre's personal income taxes either.

The new NRA President and Vice Presidents [including AmmoLand New's endorsed Board Member Wiles Lees as 2nd VP], have put out a couple of letters claiming that the NRA Board of Directors was fully aware of all of the reported charges, and had an opportunity to fully discuss them, but numerous directors have disputed those claims, saying that they only saw some of the material after it was leaked to the press, and that the only opportunity they'd had to discuss the issues that were brought up to them, was cut short by the leadership. None would go into specifics, so this was obviously during the marathon, closed-door board meeting in April. It is considered a serious ethics violation for any director to discuss events that occur in a closed meeting, so they are extremely cautious to avoid such disclosures. None of the directors I spoke with reported receiving any new information from leadership on the various issues since that meeting adjourned.

Meanwhile, NRA members have been paying the Brewer law firm between $1.5 million and $2+ million per month for over a year now, and board members who have requested an audit of those charges have been stymied.

Allen West Headshot
LTC Allen West

Lieutenant Colonel Allen West, a former congressman who was elected to the board several years ago, after being nominated by petition of the members, was widely suggested as an alternative to LaPierre prior to the April board meeting, but for some reason his name was apparently never offered into nomination during the meeting. (We have still not received any explanation as to why those elections were not held during the open portion of that meeting.) West is one of the only directors to publicly denounce official claims that the board is unified in support of LaPierre, and call for LaPierre's resignation. Colorado activist Tim Knight, another director originally nominated by petition of the members, has also publicly expressed his lack of confidence in LaPierre. Numerous other directors have made off-the-record statements of dissatisfaction with the status quo, but are being cautious in their public statements for the time being.

LTC West would certainly be a reasonable choice for an immediate replacement for LaPierre. Having an African American, combat veteran with a sterling reputation, as CEO of the NRA right now, would not hurt the organization's image, and I suspect that LTC. West would not be very tolerant of excuses and financial chicanery, nor would he be cavalier with the members’ money. He has expressed his willingness to hold the position for no more than a year or so, as an interim manager to help get the organization's issues corrected and get it back on track, before passing the baton to someone else of the board's choosing.

The unfortunate reality of the situation is that a small contingent of directors unified behind LaPierre, can probably hold off any alternative options offered, because they are unified in their objective, while the rest of the board has doubts and questions. With the waters muddied as they are, it is very difficult to get the directors to agree on any particular course of action, so the opposition to LaPierre might constitute a strong majority of the board, like herding cats, if they can't all get on the same page behind West or some other candidate, they won't be able to overcome the inertia of the status quo.

The long-standing problem of how the members can let the board know their opinions is still a problem. NRA management has a vested interest in keeping members of the board shielded from the opinions of the unwashed membership. There are ways to get a message through, some more effective than others. NRA members can send emails to the board of directors by writing to [email protected]

Unfortunately, rather than going to the individual directors, those emails are posted on a “Directors Only” section of the NRA website, and it has been reported that many directors never visit the page. Snail-mail to directors can be sent care of NRA Headquarters, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030. Letters addressed to individual directors will probably be forwarded to them, but open letters to the entire board are more likely to be scanned and posted on the website like emails are. To learn the best way to communicate with directors, members can call NRA HQ at 703-267-1000 and ask for the Secretary's Office. Members wishing to get face-to-face with their elected directors will have the opportunity to do so at the fall board meeting in September in Anchorage, Alaska.

[AmmoLand News will also publish all open letters from members to the NRA board as Letters to the AmmoLand Editor.]


Jeff Knox
Jeff Knox

About Jeff Knox:

Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father Neal Knox led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.

The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona and Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org.

  • 55 thoughts on “What’s Really Going On at the NRA?

    1. NRA like so many other organizations has become a get rich opportunity for those at the top. United Way, RedCross etc. Money and power corrupt. Every time. Catholic Church, televangelists, and now the NRA. If those at the top of NRA really believe in protecting our rights they would step down.

    2. lol- if you think a director is not going to a website to read current documents you are mistaken. however to properly judge whether the membership interest instead of mass reproduced emails snail mail is the way to go. which is why the personal attention is usually applied to the snail mail and the mass reply is given to the email (if any)

      as for the article- it should be surprising that such as this one” LaPierre (who happens to be Angus McQueen’s son-in-law” when ollie was being paid by ackermann mcqueen and tried to push LaPierre out in a sneaky way- let’s make no bones about it. should tell you that being family means nothing when it comes to business.
      also comments regarding whether or not something went onto LaPierre’s tax return- what – do you want to see his tax return? sound’s like house dem’s and trump!!

    3. Just STOP giving the N.R.A. $MONEY$! When the well runs dry, the roaches will travel on to the next rain barrel! If you feel the need to “give”, then support Gun Owners of America (G.O.A., the only non compromise gun group).

      1. The problem with that is not one firearms club in my area will let you join without a NRA membership.I would have dropped my membership long ago if not for that!

        1. You need to look elsewhere for a club. I answer their surveys, but I don’t give my money to them anymore. That’s a shame, because I’m a Benefactor Life Member.

    4. Come to think about it, they are using member money to fund these lawsuits. Anyone that gives them any more money is peeing into the wind.

    5. I am a Benefactor Life Member of NRA and have been an NRA member for over 50 years. I believe three things need to occur.
      1. The Board needs to be 5 member only elected by the membership.
      2. Wayne LaPierre needs to resign, not retire.
      3. The 5 Board members need to appoint a President, VP, Secretary and Treasurer all separate from the BOD.
      Maybe then things will swing back.

    6. Lifetime Member, a couple levels above the initial. After our pet charities, most remaining shekels have usually found their way to the NRA. Do notice, not just lately, for some time that my mailbox is hit at least weekly by some faction of the NRA, NRA-ILA, etc., advising they ABSOLUTELY have to have a donation to ward off the gun grabbers, for whatever scary reason. Like a couple ‘charities’ I have shut down, after finding that the Top Dogs and their progeny are sucking hundreds of thousands in salaries, if this HIGH ROLLER life style, funded by NRA members, is the truth I will, with sadness, no longer support the “family!”

      These guys: https://www.mc-lef.org; Samaritan’s Purse; St. Jude, I’m sure can use those “extra shekels!”

    7. I’m done. All these years, we have been members of the NRA. But after all the requests for more and more and more money to donate…
      THIS EXTRAVAGANCE?
      no more. LaPierre, and the rest of the big money click must go. I will join the Buckeye Firearms, and the GOA.
      I’m done. This mess won’t go away soon. Maybe later, NRA.

    8. We get the ballot for BoD in Am Rifleman magazine.
      When are the results (including vote count for each person on the ballot) published and where? Who elected Oliver North president and what’s his explanation of the FUBAR mess? Anyone..

      1. The position of president is a honorary one and also one with no power in the organization and appears as if Ack Mac has more involvement with the position than who is appointed as being compensated by Ack Mac.

    9. NRA since 1953. Patron Life member. I never have felt I had a clear grasp on what’s happening within the NRA (welcome to the club!) but have withheld judgement until I heard from an impeccable source. I now have my impeccable source of information. There is no American I admire or trust more than Lt.Col Allen West.

      Thank you Col. West for providing me with absolutely credible, clear information. So essential before making judgements. I will not leave the NRA but will keep a wary eye on what goes on from now on.

      1. That will be hard for you to do when WLP lies out his @$$ to both the BoD and the public, all the while defrauding the membership.

        The only way the rank-and-file membership – including Life and Patron members – can hold the executives accountable is to vote with your wallet; that is, stop giving them money till they shape up and fly straight.

    10. I think far to many are missing sight of the huge successes enjoyed under current leadership. Seems the haters always have side agendas. I am #NRA

        1. Let me get this straight “You support what is going on now”
          Criminal and unethical activity and you support that
          SHAME How can you claim justification of their actions.
          The Past was good years ago. The NRA is not a “thing” it is an organization for supporting Gun Owners and protecting the 2nd amendment. I can see why Oliver North resigned when he saw what was going on. The only gun organization getting a bad reputation ti the NRA. To BAD it used to be a good outfit to be in but appears to be run by a rotten bunch of people now. I wish dueling was legal so I could solve the proble, but man made laws rchain me from that. I hate Crooks that want to rob me.

      1. The supposed successes you claim are not there. The current leadership has packed their own pockets full of membership money and keep asking for more. When was the last time you heard LaPierre call for the TOTAL repeal of the NFA? NEVER! LaPierre is only there to get rich and get out! I am a Patron Life Member and want LaPierre REMOVED with NO FURTHER COMPENSATION! He has made enough off of US! LaPierre has given in too many times to the anti-gun crowd!

      2. @CARL R GOTTSTEIN, and any other that couch for the 77 Hollier Than NOT!

        We, The PEOPLE were handed the 2nd Amendment along with the other 9 of the first 10 amendments which was the Bill of Rights on December 15th, 1791. Since then it HAS ALWAYS BEEN the responsibility and duty of WE, THE PEOPLE to protect and defend it. Not 77 people that have been totally unaccountable for their transgressions against us members. Each and every one of them guilty for either, 1) having their fingers in this mess, 2) for knowing about this mess and not exposing it or 3) not being totally aware of what was going on around them in order to be FULLY ACCOUNTABLE TO THE 5 MILLION DUES PAYING MEMBERS! Anything less is adjoining the crimes and for ANYONE to support, find excuse in what these BOD members did or did not do is thereby adjoining these crimes as well! Choose your side of the law!

    11. Patron Life member. Two weeks ago I received 2 communications from NRA. First was letter was everything was under control and the board is managing everything great. Second letter was from Wayne begging for more money or the NRA will cease to exist. WTF? Wayne has to go along with a few others or I’m done. I have already joined another 2nd Amendment organization, we all should to spread the word, and I hope the NRA will straighten their business. This fight is too important.

      1. I too am a NRA Lifer, rand I do feel somewhat betrayed.
        – G.O.A is much more effective.
        Focused action over yonder at GOA.
        Go to GOA and see for yourself.
        While the kids fight in the sandbox at the NRA….
        GOA takes ACTION.
        and BTW. Oliver North was…and still is a genuine ass clown
        Facts matter.

        1. When it comes to Oliver North, what you don’t know won’t hurt you but it can sure make you look dumb. Don’t judge someone unless you have walked in their shoes or have had direct dealing with them.

    12. It’s worse than anybody could have imagined. These clowns are acting like a mafia and no good ever come from it.
      Walk away now. 33 years, 1964 to 1997, wasted, poof!
      GOA all the way.

    13. Until this mess is straightened out, my donations are going to the SAF and GOA. Back when I was invited to join the NRA Wine Club I was suspecting that there was something wrong. The NRA has turned into a bureaucracy, and the main objectives of any bureaucracy are its own survival and the enrichment of its elites.

    14. I have written to the BOD over the years,any guess of the number of replies I’ve received back from any of the directors,exactly Nada,Zip,Zero.

    15. The NRA has done a lot of good for gun owners over the decades since they were founded, unfortunately as history has proven, absolute power corrupts absolutely and this may be happening within the NRA. No member wants to think that leadership is pocketing their hard earned donations or all their donations are going to cover the cost/results of multiple lawsuits, so it may be time to start supporting other pro Secondary Amendment organizations instead of the NRA until such time the NRA can sort out their internal problems and to get new leadership.

      1. Hers a rather current list of the “Good Things” Negotiating Rights Away since 1934 has done for it’s members and Americans,in general regarding the 2 nd. amendment.

        History
        1791: The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified.
        The amendment reads:

        “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,
        the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

        After That
        1871: The National Rifle Association was formed by Union Army veterans Col. William C. Church
        and Gen. George Wingate.

        After that, they start going the other way

        The NRA actively supported the National Firearms Act of 1934.
        The NRA actively supported the Federal Firearms Act of 1938
        The NRA actively supported the Gun Control Act of 1968
        The NRA actively supported the misnamed Firearms Owners Protection Act including the Hughes Amendment (1986)
        The NRA actively supported the final version of the Assault Weapons Ban (1994)
        The NRA _proposed_ the bump stock ban
        The NRA is actively supporting “Red Flag” laws at the state and federal level.

        “Good Things” you say.

        1. HEY GMB, you are full of shit and I am sick of seeing keyboard pro-2A-fakes show up and tear down the NRA.

          You fake history of the NRA is actually the complete opposite of the truth.

          – The NRA actively OPPOSED and ATTEMPTED TO MODIFY the National Firearms Act of 1934 but a Democrat named Franklin D. Roosevelt forced it through.
          – The NRA actively OPPOSED the Federal Firearms Act of 1938 but Franklin D. Roosevelt not satisfied with NFA rammed it through anyway.
          – The NRA actively OPPOSED And HELP AMEND the Gun Control Act of 1968 but it was eventually passed and signed by, you guessed it, a Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson.
          – The NRA actively AMENDED and HELP REMOVED the worst language while getting Protection for Traveling with your gun, reform of FFL oversight and a ban on the use of federal databases for gun registries the properly named Firearms Owners Protection Act including the Hughes Amendment (1986)
          – The NRA actively OPPOSED the final version of the Assault Weapons Ban (1994) and lobbied relentlessly against its renewal until it expired.
          – The NRA proposed a bump stock REGULATION in order to diffuse and head off political momentum to pass laws outright banning them. Now as regulations they can be easily amended.
          – The NRA is actively OPPOSING “Red Flag” laws at the state and federal level as not a single one has met the standard that the NRA laid down with protections for due process.

          So stop with your fake history and out right lies. Fucken liar.

          1. 1934–present

            The NRA formed its Legislative Affairs Division to update members with facts and analysis of upcoming bills,[33] after the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934 became the first federal gun-control law passed in the US.[34] Karl Frederick, NRA president in 1934, during congressional NFA hearings testified “I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I seldom carry one. … I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.”[35] Four years later, the NRA backed the Federal Firearms Act of 1938.[36]

            Courtesy of Wikipedia.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Rifle_Association

          2. So I’m full of it well I’ll let a former Negotiating Rights Away president determine just how full of it I am.
            Go back and read the congressional testimony of then NRA president Karl T. Frederick during the hearings for the abominable affront to God and country known as the 1934 NFA.  Frederick didn’t want us leaving our houses with a handgun, without being licensed i.e. a government permission slip.  The NRA: the largest wealthiest most powerful gun control organization in world history,since 1934. Perhaps the truth hurts

            NRA President’s Testimony During Congressional Debate
            of the National Firearms Act of 1934

            http://www.keepandbeararms.com/NRA/NFA.htm

          3. Having just read the actual testimony of NRA president in 1934, the criticism of the NRA’s support of the NFA of1934 is totslly justified. When will today’s NRA start to work rolling back these egregious violations of our Constitutional rights?

          4. bobinNY Wow you sound just like Cuomo, maybe he is your hero. It takes a lot of antisocial matter to call a person what you did.

          5. That’s a fracking LIE and you know it! The internet is littered far and wide with contradictory proofs that expose the NRA for the compromisers they are. And you sir are a fudd for blindly defending the NRA without actual facts.

          6. Even if you were right, and you aren’t, all you did was list many, but still not all, of the NRA’s FAILURES! Another LaPierre ass kisser, this one from New York.

      2. The nra, over the years, has done a lot of good for the nra board. For gun owning, law abiding citizens- not so much. La Pepe and board have caved at every opportunity. And for some inexplicable reason, they embrace lawyers. Those with no cause and effect genes. No moral compass, no honor, no dignity, no self respect, no spine, and no right or wrong switch. Their rheostat switch starts at gimme some money, and rotates to gimme some mo money! La Pepe deserves a salary commensurate with his performance, like about $50k a year, plus expenses, like your average American high end gun owner. But no more!

    16. The same old thing that has been going on for 40 years and more with the corporation of the NRA….MONEY. We all saw this problem when GHW Bush was attacking the FFL dealers and ALL gun owners through out the 80’s and leading up to Ruby Ridge and then WACO. BUSH, the republirat, was behind BOTH. The attack on Waco for propaganda purposes was ordered and practiced for more than a YEAR before the attack. A full size mock up of the home and church was set up and the event was to be a money maker for the ATF. SAME THING IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW IN DC WITH TRUMP, the ATF and the NRA. We have seen it all before. You are NOT being sold out because in their mind you are not part of the “click” to begin with. Royalty always thinks that way and their black uniformed enforcers like it when the neo-cons or open soviets tell them what to do. IT IS FAR WORSE TODAY THAN IN 1988 with the Bush gun grabs and attacks on gun owners and manufacturers and it was VERY bad then. Buy more ammo and food. Both are weapons. Liberty1775 http://www.libertytreeradio.4mg.com

    17. 76 member on a board of directors? That’s asinine. The board is stuffed with no show status seekers, instead of directors focused on a goal and mission. There are some good members, but you can’t turn a ship that big on a dime.

      1. The nra also stocks it’s board with liberal anti gun pogues like Asa Hutchinson, who single handedly destroyed the DEA firearms program, and forbade teaching agents about the Constitutional ammendments!

      2. The NRA Board is designed to be ineffective.

        At 75 members it is full of factions who cannot work with each other. Since the Neal Knox reformers lost by 1 vote in Seattle and all were purged, 95% elected on the “We will follow Wayne into the shredder” promise. Proven state activists compromise less than 10% of the Board. Neither the industry folks nor the celebrities show up at meetings and until Selleck’s and Brownell’s resignations they have been “Friends of Wayne”. Until recently (if you believe a change has occurred), the execurives always took controversial action just before the next Board meeting so it was a feit a accomplé before the Board knew if it, the senior executives played “hide and seek” when Board committees sought information, and the senior executives (primarily Wayne) simply ignored Board mandates (which the Board is too weak to enforce). Everything that was wrong in 1997 is still wrong but tenfold in magnitude.
        Disclosure — For 9 years I was a Director during the Knox reform attempt.

    18. IF the NRA actually fired Whiny LaPierre and replaced him with LTC West, I would renew membership with them immediately. If the NRA did that, then fixed all the problems going on at HQ, I might even obtain a new, 2nd life membership. Until then, though, I want nothing to do with the NRA. They’ve compromised away our Rights and danced with the Devil way too often.

    19. “This announcement will undoubtedly be followed by additional lawsuits from both parties, with each claiming that the other is in breach of contract.
      Of course there are already three separate suits between NRA and Ack-Mac.”??????
      I have to wholeheartedly disagree. And it will be easy to make a prediction that will either prove or disprove the author’s opinion above. I not only don’t think that we will see MORE lawsuits between A-M and the NRA, I think we will see the pending lawsuits quietly(publicly, but without fanfare) withdrawn. I believe that it is in both A-M’s AND the NRA’s interests to never go to the discovery phase. Far too many dirty skeleton’s in BOTH closets for either party to ever see them possibly exposed to the light of day.
      Just watch and see…

      1. The law suits have nothing to do with justice, or correcting any wrongs. Both sides legal staffs are just there to drain the coffers of as much of the membership dues as possible. You don’t see anyone, on either side, funding their own legal battles, do you?

        1. That is exactly why they will be withdrawn. Neither side ever wanted to file them, because both sides have committed multiple felonies, and would like to continue their thefts. I think it was all just posturing and mutual bluffs to see which faction( A-M or the NRA) would take the brass ring, and only now are they beginning to see that the bluffs and threats, and counterbluffs and counterthreats, are actually going to decimate both of them.
          So now they will try to sweep it all under the (necessarily very thick) carpet and hope it will all just go away. But I predict that it will NOT just “go away”, but will instead haunt the both of them forever. Oh, they will survive, there are always some that love to be fooled. Some of them are right here leaving comments on this page. But over the next few years I see SAF and GOA picking up millions of new members, and gaining lots of money and power. Good news for all gun owners because those orgs fight back, and don’t just take bribes to betray their members by taking dives all the time.
          This is a good time for gun owners. Without that giant millstone of the NRA hanging around our neck, we will find swimming in the anti’s powercontrol soup sooooooo much easier.

    20. The Left loves to bash the NRA , but they prefer it to G.O.A. because the NRA is the swamp. The Left knows as many now also know the NRA will make ” deals ” with the Devil because they are compromised from within. The fact that N.R.A. is so ‘ cozy ‘ with helping the BATF write new illegal ” regulations ” should give every thinking gun owner chills.
      Subversives do not just exist in government.

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