What’s REALLY Going On Inside NRA Operations

Opinion

NRA Day by Day
What’s REALLY Going On Inside NRA Operations

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)-The purpose of this column is to explain what has recently transpired at NRA, and to refute the false narratives being spread about the Association.  Responsible board members have remained silent until now for legal reasons, but I believe what follows should be said.

Over a year ago, as NRA’s former treasurer was departing, Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre called for a renewed emphasis on transparency and compliance with best practices for the Association and all of its vendors.  Among other things, every vendor was required to provide extra detail backing up their invoices, and additional levels of detail on NRA operations were included on the Association’s tax returns.

LaPierre’s efforts proved to be prescient.  Officials in several jurisdictions began targeting the NRA, investigating how legal loopholes might be used to permanently shut down the Association. But it turns out that LaPierre’s good governance program may very well have created legal impediments to that, blocking efforts to harm NRA.

Ironically, some of those same transparency measures that may protect NRA from hostile public officials were spun by the anti-gun media to fuel a false narrative about NRA’s financial health and spending habits.  The media painted a fake portrait of a sputtering organization in decline, led by selfish executives lavishly spending member monies. That the media should present such a false narrative is not surprising. The surprising part is that some gun owners actually believed them.

In any event, LaPierre’s initiative to ensure that every NRA vendor provide extra invoice detail required cooperation from the vendors themselves.  Apparently, all but one vendor fully complied. That vendor was among the NRA’s largest, a public relations firm deeply embedded in the NRA’s highest-profile, most sensitive operations. The vendor was so deeply entrenched, for so long, that it apparently had developed independent financial relationships with several NRA officials – including former NRA President Oliver North.  Instead of simply providing the required additional invoice detail, the vendor apparently resisted.

LaPierre nevertheless insisted that the required detail be provided. Unfortunately, rather than provide it, there instead came an orchestrated effort to force LaPierre out. An ultimatum was delivered to LaPierre at this Spring’s annual meeting by high-profile NRA officials with apparent financial ties to the vendor (and resultant conflicts of interest): either resign immediately and receive a comfortable exit package, or else face the public disclosure of supposedly damaging and embarrassing information.  The threatened information dump included details of LaPierre’s wardrobe expenses, apparently incurred directly by the vendor on its own recommendation over almost 15 years, for LaPierre’s national TV and other high-profile appearances.

LaPierre’s response to the ultimatum was swift and decisive: he refused to step down, disclosed the threats that were made, and accelerated legal efforts to force the vendor to provide the invoice detail.  Then, just as had been threatened, the supposedly damaging information about LaPierre was publicly released. The anti-gun media predictably ate it up, and some gun owners fell for the spin.

As an aside, to those that know him, LaPierre is actually noted for his modest everyday wardrobe. As the public face of over 100 million gun owners, appropriate clothing for high-profile appearances is a justifiable corporate expense.  The cost over the 15 years cited in the information dump was less than 0.007 % (7/1000ths of one percent) of the nearly $4 billion in revenue LaPierre helped raise during the same period to preserve our Second Amendment rights.

NRA has since severed its nearly 40-year relationship with the vendor.  Former NRA President Oliver North abruptly left the NRA annual meeting midstream, missing key appearances, and was not re-elected.  Other high-profile relationships have been severed. Lawsuits are now flying between NRA and the vendor, government officials are reveling in their investigations, and the liberal media is eating it up.  And some gun owners are still swallowing it.

Had LaPierre bowed to the threats he received and “retired,” the vendor and its agents would likely now control NRA and its considerable resources.  LaPierre’s good governance program likely would have been abandoned. The NRA likely would have been left much more vulnerable to hostile government officials.  And a steady, potent voice that has skillfully led the organization through both triumph and tragedy for decades would have been silenced, just as the most contentious presidential election cycle in U.S. history is getting under way.

The future of freedom itself is at stake in the 2020 elections, and gun owners need LaPierre’s proven experience and leadership if we are to prevail once again (LaPierre is credited with making the key difference in electing U.S. Presidents, and countless legislators). LaPierre’s absence at this critical, historic time could dramatically affect the 2020 outcome, and pave the way for an attack on the Second Amendment like we’ve never seen before.

Despite this, a small wave of dissent cascades among a few NRA board members, who for varying reasons of their own seek LaPierre’s immediate ouster. Some seek personal advancement at LaPierre’s expense.  Others fear personal liability and think, wrongly, that calling for LaPierre’s head will insulate them. Some have succumbed to media spin. And others either can’t take the heat, or mistakenly think that political winds have shifted against LaPierre (they haven’t). Ironically, they have unwittingly aligned themselves with the former vendor in calling for LaPierre’s departure.

A handful of gun owners have been misled by this faction of board members, or by biased media reports, or both.  They don’t realize that LaPierre himself is the one who insisted on disclosing the very things they now incorrectly blame him for.  They don’t realize that they wouldn’t even be aware of those things if not for LaPierre.  And his program of transparency has postured the organization to survive a regulatory onslaught bent on destroying NRA.  Thanks to LaPierre and the accounting team led by NRA’s new treasurer, there is good reason to be confident in NRA’s accounting practices and commitment to good governance.

LaPierre has consistently done the right thing for NRA, not because it was easy or convenient, but because it was right.  He has not been the problem; he has been the solution.

LaPierre was re-elected unanimously by the NRA board at the annual meeting this Spring, just as these key events were happening.  Contrary to social media lore, every board member had ample opportunity to vote “no,” challenge him, or support someone else, under familiar procedures in use for decades.  No one did. Any board member claiming otherwise is not telling the truth.

We have incredibly difficult and consequential battles ahead. No one is better equipped, more experienced, or has a better track record to take gun owners through them, than LaPierre.  Further division will only damage the Second Amendment. Now is the time for everyone to heal, to stand together, and to prevail over the real enemy: those trying to destroy freedom itself.


Scott Bach
Scott Bach

Scott L. Bach is an NRA Board Member and is Executive Director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs. Email: [email protected]

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Pathfinder
Member
Pathfinder

I’ve read a lot about the LaPierre issue and Bach’s defense is not credible. Wayne’s lack of defense is notable. I feel that the NRA is structured to insulate decision making from the members. There’s a real lack of transparency. As a Benefactor Member who has given a lot over the last view years, I’m done giving until LaPierre is gone. Personally I think he should be fired for caring more about himself than the Second Amendment. He has become one of the elites he rails against.

Seriously?
Member
Seriously?

In todays politics there is truth and mistruth, half truth and flat out lies. Apparently too many are no longer interested in the truth but rather the illusion or what they want to hear; or perhaps their agenda. And as the NAZIs said “tell the lie long enough and it becomes the truth”. What I see here seems to me that Mr Bach is trying to convey some of the facts that I’m sure very few to no one have all the inside details of yet hes now a liar, sycophant and a LaPierre loyalist. Whats his motive to lie?… Read more »

Will
Member
Will

Can you imagine what that arrogant,obnoxious,narcissistic scumbag LaPierre is going through right now ? The POS is done,and he knows it ! He can’t lie himself,or con his useless ass out of this one !

Vanns40
Member
Vanns40

I’m sorry but your veracity rating, on this issue, is close to zero. If this weren’t so serious your column would be laughable. When the organization is hemorrhaging money and key players every single day, due, in large part to the actions of a “leader” who appears to be absent from the battlefield, you don’t keep making excuses, you remove that ineffective leader as quickly as possible, and start reassuring everyone that changes are being implemented immediately. NRA has failed on all accounts and this is, yet again, proof that they are willing to let the entire organization go asunder… Read more »

TheRevelator
Member
TheRevelator

@Vanns40

Glad to see you are still around and kicking. Hope you had a wonderful 4th during the last month.

DrMichaelSBrown
Member

I’d like to know why LaPierre isn’t speaking out himself? He could easily gather up some of his expensive suits and fly around the country holding town hall meetings with real NRA members. I’ve always believed the articles I see with his signature in the NRA magazines are written by a staff writer, so those don’t count. So far the actions of the LaPierre faction just make them look more guilty of…. something. Imaginations are running wild and not without good reason. Whoever is calling the shots for that group is just digging the hole deeper. Anyway, we can add… Read more »

TheRevelator
Member
TheRevelator

Its impossible to perjure oneself if one doesn’t speak out…

Will
Member
Will

@TheRev,how’s it going ?

TheRevelator
Member
TheRevelator

@Will

Not bad. Got to flex the neural pathways a little running circles around buster the other day, dragging him along bit by bit. Haven’t had an occasion that good since Green Watch Dog skedaddled out of here, as most of the others are more akin to playing whack-a-mole. There isn’t much skill needed, but they keep popping up one at a time over and over.

mlhtd51
Member
mlhtd51

Scott L. Bach, I Have A MEMO for You. NO More Money to the NRA Until “Wayne LaPierre” Is GONE. My Money is going to Organizations who Fight For My Rights.

TheRevelator
Member
TheRevelator

Scott Bach Considering Lapierre’s efforts at removing people over the years if they speak out against him, the cases we know where someone was calling for accountability, there is a saying you should have remembered before you wrote your little piece here. The Cat is already out of the bag. Wayne’s been following this playbook since 1998, always finding a scapegoat, always claiming an attempted coup. Not one thing you said here held water to change anyone’s mind, and now we can no longer trust you. However, for the sake of being fair and giving you a chance, I’ll give… Read more »

Buster
Member
Buster

The old-timers used to say “Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one”. It’s not hard to tell who the jackasses are on this forum – those trying to burn down what’s left of the NRA. It will soon become apparent who the jackasses are at the NRA – if any. New leadership, some common-sense changes to the by-laws, election ballots counted, and the NRA will be better than ever before. It’s not complicated, it’s not necessarily expensive, it won’t take a lot of time. I say we learn from the past… Read more »

TheRevelator
Member
TheRevelator

Ran away from the argument where you got caught in a lie just to come here and shovel more BS Buster? Don’t forget to go back and pick up your balls from where you dropped them. I love how now the lie you are trying to push is a twisting of things we have said, particularly it is a lie of omission. For those unaware, I will restate. “The goal from the start has always been with fixing the NRA as the goal. To do this, the current board and leadership must be fully removed from the NRA, protections added… Read more »

Pete
Member
Pete

Buster, I don’t think your analogy applies in this case. Nobody wants to destroy the NRA. We want want to remove Wayne and his sycophants and replace them with a team committed to the 2nd, to fiscal responsibility and to remove the policies, procedures and structures that prevent accountable leadership.

That is different than just trying to tear it down.

I also think most of us want to either see these changes with the NRA, or help build another organization to do this for us.

Buster
Member
Buster

@Pete

I hope you’re right, but I’m not seeing it.

ahhiyawa
Member
ahhiyawa

Don’t despair Buster. You are understanding it rightly while the NRA haters & bashers have got it all wrong. It takes intelligence and not sloganeering to correct the problems in our association.

TheRevelator
Member
TheRevelator

@ahhiyawa

Something you nor buster have not shown since you have ben here.

Talking to someone like buster, who just spent the last several days posting comments boasting about “being completely ignorant” about what has and is happening in the NRA,, about intelligence is antithetical to the purpose of your comment.

Never mind the fact that the both of you have not yet realized why you have gotten such stringent pushback, though admittedly you have done less than buster so you do deserve credit for that.

Will
Member
Will

You and Buster really are the original Frick and Frack. You will be Frick,and Buster is Frack !

Will
Member
Will

@Frick,I really doubt Frack is in despair.

Pete
Member
Pete

@Buster, As I’ve read more of your posts, I gather that you value the 2nd and disagree on how to address the issues at the NRA. I have a whole new level of concern that I wanted to point out to you. There is an article on Ammoland in the gun rights section be Jeff Knox. In his article, he provides links to two other stories. Many have concerns about self dealing and lavish spending among Mr. LaPierre and his favored few. If these are true, its very likely that the NRA will lose its non-profit status when audited by… Read more »

TheRevelator
Member
TheRevelator

@Pete There is some validity in what you have said. Indeed, it could be turned back around on New York, since their lawsuit looked to be heading to the Supreme Court they tried to change their law to say it was no longer necessary to move forward with the suit, it would be hypocritical if they denied the same reasoning if Lapierre and the entire board were replaced. Here is the problem with Buster’s comments however. He has tried to defend Lapierre at every turn recently, even using lies to do so. That in itself is a problem, if for… Read more »

Pete
Member
Pete

@Revelator, I don’t see how anyone who truly values the 2nd can stick up for LaPierre. None of us know all the truth, though enough info is out there to indicate that he has to go. The CarryGuard fiasco was such a mess that responsibility rests with the CEO. It looks to me like NY will find plenty of rule breaks to take away the non profit status. Sadly, I suspect the most likely outcome is that Wayne bleeds the NRA for everything possible before leaving, putting us all in the position of trying to get GOA and similar orgs… Read more »

TheRevelator
Member
TheRevelator

@Pete That is a prediction I share with you. Sadly, I believe the reason Buster was defending Lapierre is specifically related to the question I told you about. It is a fear based reaction based on the belief that the NRA and Second Amendment are connected irrevocably. In their minds, if the NRA looks bad, the Second Amendment will die, so they circle the wagons and defend it, even if that means defending those like Lapierre or the Organization itself when it pushes for infringements. It is why he resorted to lies on the last article I challenged him on.

MikeTX
Member
MikeTX

The hits keep coming: Three National Rifle Association (NRA) board members reportedly resigned on Thursday amid recent turmoil at the organization. Esther Schneider of Texas, Sean Maloney of Ohio and Timothy Knight of Tennessee resigned after saying that they lost their committee assignments after raising questions about certain spending by CEO Wayne LaPierre, The Washington Post reported. “While our belief in the NRA’s mission remains as strong today as ever, our confidence in the NRA’s leadership has been shattered,” Schneider, Maloney and Knight wrote to NRA officials, according to the Post. They added that they, as part of their duties… Read more »

Will
Member
Will

Scumbag LaPierre can see the writing on the wall ! ITS ALL OVER !

ahhiyawa
Member
ahhiyawa

This is the work of reformists who are increasing the pressure everyday. Lapierre is finished, not the NRA.

TheRevelator
Member
TheRevelator

@Ahhiyawa

Yes, the reformists that you here continuously attack. Stop misstating information.

Ej harbet
Member
Ej harbet

I would love to have a sitrep from RKB!

ahhiyawa
Member
ahhiyawa

Big news coming from ‘Save the 2A’ and ‘Retire Lapierre.’ They claim their reform campaign has received massive support from NRA members. They have received more than enough valid signatures for the first of 5 by-law petitions they’re intending to submit to the BOD. This is all great news and as time goes on the movement will grow and grow as more members realize this is an effort to save the NRA, not destroy it. This is exactly the effort needed to save the NRA, drive Lapierre and fellow vermin out and restore it to its former glory as the… Read more »

TheRevelator
Member
TheRevelator

@ahhiyawa And if the board rejects or neuters those petitions? What will you do then? The problem ahhiyawa is that you have attacked the wrong people here on ammoland, the ones trying to fix the NRA from the outside. You targeted us because you were incensed that we would dare stop giving money to the NRA, you spewed hatred at us attempting to claim we were spewing nothing but hatred because you didn’t like the fact that we were getting more and more people to stop donating. You were mad because we don’t listen to you and we are willing… Read more »

ahhiyawa
Member
ahhiyawa

Sounds to me like your whole screed is you talking about yourself.

You need to calm down, I’m not your enemy.

Green Mtn. Boy
Member
Green Mtn. Boy

Mr.Scott L. Bach

Tell Wayne NRA members are not buying his line of B S and to save you his sycophants the embarrassment of groveling on his behalf in public forums.

Will
Member
Will

@GMB,I agree 100% !

Ej harbet
Member
Ej harbet

First potterfield then this,,,,

Will
Member
Will

GOA !

phoenixmichaels
Member
phoenixmichaels

NO SALE. I don’t care if Wayne walks around in RAGS, his salary is outrageous! His position should be held by a vote of the MEMBERSHIP, not the BOARD. There are far, FAR too many suits garnering lush salaries and benefits at the national AND state levels. Most of these state positions would be eagerly filled with qualified volunteer members who are retired. Too bad Ross Perot passed away recently (RIP Ross) because he would tell you the same thing he told when consulting the US Post Office: “You are WAY too top heavy, with far too many managers being… Read more »

Will
Member
Will

@phoenix,plus,they are really proud of the wine collection !

Considerthis
Member
Considerthis

I can’t help but feel sorry for Scott L. Bach and the owners of firearms in his state. At this point in terms of their 2nd Amendment Rights, They are not much better off than slaves. I suppose they can imagine that the NRA is their savior. But they have the power to decide who their master is. Still they keep electing some of the worst politicians with the strongest anti-rights positions, that want to treat all Americans like they have treated the citizens of New Jersey. He and his fellow gun owners have already lost rights that were not… Read more »

Oldvet
Member
Oldvet

How many times does it have to be demonstrated ? To keep doing the same things and expect anything to change is sheer lunacy ! You keep sending money latrine will keep putting it in his pocket !

CigarPirate
Member
CigarPirate

Wayne has done a great job over the years. As stated by the author Bach, he is a humble individual and has done nothing but look out for the concerns and interests of the NRA and it’s membership. No man is the end all to be all for everyone. There are some reactions and actions that I don’t agree with. But there is more likes than dislikes. Most of the membership doesn’t understand how things work on a national level as it is outside of their wheelhouse. And that’s ok. 30 years ago the NRA was concentrated more on keeping… Read more »

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Pirate, you wrote, “Most of the membership doesn’t understand how things work on a national level as it is outside of their wheelhouse.” But you do understand how things work on a national level. You are smart. Elite, even!
So what percentage of the membership did you meet and get to know, so as to come to that conclusion or are you just another lying elitist snob?

Will
Member
Will

@Pirate,lies and BS damn sure don’t make you correct. Scumbag Lapierre will be leaving the NRA soon,very soon !

Oldvet
Member
Oldvet

They must be smoking some really good stuff in the board room !! I think they are getting really desperate !

Will
Member
Will

@OV,can you believe the nonsense and BS these fools come up with ? They are past desperate,dillusional !

Will
Member
Will

Delusional

Pete
Member
Pete

@CigarPirate, Here is the big issue I have with your comments and those posting support for Wayne. Most of you are making sweeping generalizations, things like the growth in membership since Wayne took over and the increased focus on the 2nd, etc…. The problem with that is that none of you are addressing, in an effective manner, the consistent concerns that many of us have. Things like demonizing Olliver North, the outrageous costs for Waynes clothing the NRA has paid for, the removal from committees of dissenting members of the BoD, the chartered flights, the size of the board and… Read more »

nrringlee
Member
nrringlee

Look at his track record. Long track record. Nefarious actors generally do not need Presidential pardons. Semper Fi