New York Files Charges Against the NRA – More Charges on the Way

Opinion

Dana Loesch NRA Carry Guard
Dana Loesch NRA Carry Guard

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- The first shoe has dropped in the legal assault on the NRA. The New York State Department of Financial Services has formally filed a Statement of Charges against the NRA for violating a variety of New York insurance laws, including producing and selling insurance without a license, selling unlawful insurance products, and “unfair and deceptive marketing materials” regarding their endorsed insurance products.

This is not just about NRA’s much-maligned Carry Guard program, which the Statement of Charges labels as an “unlawful insurance” product, but covers all of NRA’s insurance offerings. According to the Statement of Charges, NRA’s endorsement of, advertising for, and receipt of “royalties” for their various endorsed insurance products, constitutes “operating as an insurance producer without a license.”

In other words, they’re saying that the NRA was “engaging in the business” of producing and selling insurance without acquiring the necessary licenses.

The legal action is seeking monetary penalties against the NRA and the repercussions could go well beyond fines and future restrictions on their activities in New York. Insurance carriers that were working with the NRA have already reached settlements with New York enforcers, agreeing to pay over $13 million. Fines and penalties against the NRA could easily approach the $50 million mark.

The Statement of Charges (read below) also includes a Notice of Hearing, scheduled for April 6, 2020, just 10 days prior to the kickoff of the 2020 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Nashville, TN. Expect the NRA to try and delay that hearing until after the Meeting of Members, so they can tell the members who gather in Nashville that it’s all just political smoke and mirrors.

I have been predicting that the AG’s of New York and DC would hold off on filing charges until those filings would do the most possible damage to the Association’s efforts in the 2020 election. I’m sticking by that prediction, as I expect that this insurance matter will prove to be just the first of several actions brought by regulators in various jurisdictions.

Investigations into the NRA’s insurance programs are just the tip of the iceberg. Regulators are known to be looking into revocation of the NRA’s tax-exempt status, and the New York AG has threatened to revoke the Association’s charter and lock-up NRA’s finances – to protect the members. Those watching the case closely will recall that current and former members of the NRA Board of Directors, along with current and former NRA employees, have been deposed by investigators from New York – where the NRA is chartered – and legal experts have suggested that the lines of questioning suggest the AG’s office could be preparing to file criminal charges against some NRA employees and Directors for fraud, misappropriation of funds, self-dealing, and dereliction of fiduciary responsibility.

Wayne LaPierre
Wayne LaPierre

For their part, it appears that the NRA strategy is going to continue to revolve around a claim that NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre, is the victim of a conspiracy, led by his long-time friends and allies at the PR firm Ackerman McQueen (AcMc). The claim is that LaPierre discovered some questionable billing and payment issues a few years ago and when he tried to right the ship with a “good governance” campaign, his friends at AcMc, along with their operatives on the Board and elsewhere in the Association, turned on him and launched a concerted campaign to smear him, trying to stage a coup against him.

Joshua Powell
Joshua Powell

Recent events, including the suspension and eventual termination of LaPierre’s Chief of Staff, Josh Powell, suggest that Powell, who LaPierre installed as Executive Director of General Operations and lead executive in charge of the Carry Guard program, will be painted as the primary culprit in the insurance matter. LaPierre will again claim that he discovered the problems and took “decisive action” to rectify them by suspending, investigating, and terminating Powell.

Of course, the major flaw in official NRA’s strategy, is that LaPierre has been the CEO of the NRA for nearly 30 years, with authority and responsibility for the oversight and operation of all facets of NRA operations.

Every person who has been in any way implicated in any of the scandals at the NRA has been closely associated with LaPierre, and in most cases they owed their positions and influence within the Association directly to LaPierre. So either Wayne LaPierre was aware of, and complicit in the various schemes and scandals, or he is the worst judge of character, and the most inept manager to ever run an organization. In either case, the responsibility lies with LaPierre and so should the consequences.

It is impossible to separate LaPierre from the actions of his subordinates, especially when those actions span decades under his watch, and especially when he has seen substantial personal and familial benefits from these actions.

There’s no question that the legal attacks on the NRA, from the expose's from the Trace and the New Yorker, to the investigations by the New York and DC AG’s offices and the inquiries from various members of Congress, are all politically motivated. That’s been clear from the outset. But just because the impetus for the investigations was political, that doesn’t nullify the findings. The Trace reporter set out looking for dirt and he found it – lots of it – and he found documentation to back up the dirt he’d found. Similarly, the dirt that’s come out of the lawsuits involving Ackerman McQueen is tainted with various personal motives and has been couched in the most inflammatory terms imaginable, but the core issues revealed are serious and NRA members deserve serious answers, not just childish finger-pointing and name-calling.

NRA Lawyer William Brewer
NRA Lawyer William Brewer

As I said at the outset, these charges from the New York State Department of Financial Services, are just the tip of the iceberg, and more charges from other agencies will undoubtedly be forthcoming. Meanwhile, NRA members have been paying something in the neighborhood of $2 million per month for the past 2 years, for an attorney whose primary focus appears to be the protection of Wayne LaPierre, with little or no apparent concern for the NRA itself or its members.

NRA’s legal and financial troubles are just beginning. More will most assuredly be on the way. There’s a slight chance that the members might be able to affect some positive change at the NRA Members’ Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee on April 18 2020, so every NRA member who can make that meeting should try to be there. Attending the meeting is going to cost me something in the neighborhood of $1000.00 out of my pocket, but even a slight chance of saving our organization makes that expense worth it to me. I hope you’ll join me there and let your voice be heard.

You can read the Statement of Charges here.

New State's Statement of Charges Against NRA February 2020


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.

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Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
4 months ago

It should be noted that NRA Carry Guard Insurance and Training was a poorly executed carbon copy of the USCCA’s business model and designed to take away the USCCA’s business and revenue. The NRA even copied the USCCA’s Concealed Carry Expo and named it NRA Carry Guard Expo. That is also the reason why the USCCA was kicked out of the 2017 NRA Annual Meeting on extremely short notice and has not been allowed to return since then.

Arizona Don
Arizona Don
4 months ago

I believe very little I read on the internet any more regarding gun or better said anti guns or gun organizations. No matter what negatively is said on this site by anyone about our guns I submit the following; Any law promoting or approving any gun confiscation could and very likely would cause an armed conflict within the United States of America whether the second amendment is in place or removed somehow. If or when it was attempted to be enforced. At this point the second amendment remaining in place intact is inconsequential. Americans will just not comply with any… Read more »

Doszap
Doszap
4 months ago

He is not alone,Chris Cox quit, and other good folks are leaving.

Jim
Jim
4 months ago

It has always been a little disturbing to me that the NRA would move into areas where private concerns have pioneered. The carry insurance is one newsstand magazines are another. The reason is simple, the need for money to support money paid out to McQueen (for many years felt to be crooked by those of us in the know) and Wayne and another dozen insiders who are buddies with really big salaries in various positions in the NRA. I still value the power of the NRA but damn, these folks after this long have really hurt it big time. Bylaws… Read more »

Buster
Buster
4 months ago

I don’t see the NRA as being a factor in the 2020 elections.

The chasm between conservatives and liberals grows wider and deeper by the day. At this point, NOTHING Trump could do or say would cause a Trump supporter to vote for a democrat – ANY democrat.

A lot of democrats, on the other hand, are repulsed by the immoral, unethical, perverted, repugnant, communist leadership of the democrat party.

Whatzit
Whatzit
4 months ago
Reply to  Buster

I agree, the NRA is fading into irrelevance. How sad. Very common for a large, well-funded organization like NRA to get off track and become a wallowing money-burning machine. Lots of charity organizations have done the same thing. Where once they were on fire for their cause, they devolve into hungry, money begging rat nests that use a huge portion of their income for advertising and “administrative expenses”, and smaller and smaller portions for the “cause”. Another thing that really worries me is the number of young people who are eager for socialism. Their numbers are growing quite quickly. We… Read more »

Rattlerjake
Rattlerjake
4 months ago
Reply to  Buster

Even though “A lot of democrats are repulsed by the immoral, unethical, perverted, repugnant, communist leadership of the democrat party”, they will still vote for the left, so it makes no difference!

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
4 months ago
Reply to  Buster

A rather simplistic viewpoint! There are moderate Democrats, batshit crazy socialists, President Trump supporters and Never Trumpers. The people in the middle that do not fall in any of these categories decide the election. President Trump and the Republican party won in 2016, but lost the House in 2018. I agree with you that the NRA will be a non-factor in 2020. They were already a non-factor in 2018! It was the NRA’s choice to be absent in 2018, just it was the NRA’s choice to be absent in the VA election in 2019. The NRA leadership is busy with… Read more »

JPM
JPM
4 months ago

The very FIRST thing you should do is join your local/state gun rights organization and fight the fight at home to stop your state from passing unconstitutional laws and sending morons like Waters, Schumer, Schiff and other scum to Washington D.C.. Then, if you can afford it, send money or support a National organization that isn’t a shameless ineffective scam (NRA). If everyone took care of their home state first and fix the problem there, then the rest of the fight would be much easier.

Doszap
Doszap
4 months ago
Reply to  JPM

JOIN ALL THREE.

Wass
Wass
4 months ago

If it’s indeed true that the NRA violated NYS law by selling insurance without a license, this is only, as they say in law school, malum prohibitum, just an arbitrary regulation, not a violation of morality. By the way, did I not hear, within the past two years, a call by NY Senator Schumer that gun owners must get insurance as part of gun licensing?

Stone
Stone
4 months ago

Warning. The GOA will not send you notices about a Wine club or Cigars. But I never need help finding wine (prefer Bourbon) and I don’t smoke. I went with the National Foundation for Gun Rights. Since I am a NRA RSO, I will stay connected for the time being. I hope they turn it around. I just retired, I’d consider the job and work for a bit less….but I don’t wear suits.

Littlejohn1411
Littlejohn1411
4 months ago

The good thing is the democrats are going after the nra and leaving the groups that are actually doing anything pretty much alone.

Duke
Duke
4 months ago
Reply to  Littlejohn1411

Annnnnd….the anti-NRAers are out in full force! Divide and conquer!

KenW
KenW
4 months ago
Reply to  Duke

Most of the NRA’s critics here are in fact NRA members. Lapierre’s motives have been questionable ever since her formed a coup, forced Neal Knox out, and took over the NRA. If the NRA stayed focused on fighting for our rights rather then padding their own pockets with bravo sierra mailings stupid Chinese trinkets that a child would throw away, wine and truck raffles, they’d be better off. I’m a life member but get mailings about renewing my membership. When they call they don’t ask for $35- 50 bucks like GOA the bastards ask for 8 or 9 hundred dollars.… Read more »

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
4 months ago
Reply to  Duke

, That is a conclusion based upon the assumption that the NRA is still on the up and up. I believe that WLP has turned the NRA into his personal cash cow, and the millions of dollars in donations that should go to preserving our Second Amendment Civil Rights are going into WLP’s pocket.

Knute
Knute
4 months ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

Wild Bill: The trolls have no interest in truth or justice. Only in spewing their hate all over anybody who will listen. It is soooo infantile, its sad.
Don’t hate the trolls, pity the poor, pathetic, little haters of anyone who won’t join their cult of personality.

Ej harbet
Ej harbet
4 months ago
Reply to  Duke

This one million times!!! Wlp needs crushed after watching everything he holds dear crushed in front of him! We may not be able to punish him for his crimes but we can hope the government does! I doubt if anything can be saved of the weapon tyrants once feared.

Duke
Duke
4 months ago
Reply to  Littlejohn1411

And you know this for a fact?

Rattlerjake
Rattlerjake
4 months ago
Reply to  Duke

Just ask yourself, what does that attorney (or his firm) do to earn 2 million $$$$ per month! Ask yourself why the NRA didn’t fight to stop the bumpstock prohibition. Why hasn’t the NRA made ANY attempt to fight the NFA? Why isn’t the NRA front and center in the fight against the illegal gun laws being proposed and even passed in states like Virginia? Instead, they pass out 30 round magazines at the rally. Why isn’t that 2 million $$$$ attorney filing numerous lawsuits against states like VA for violation the Constitution that that state ratified and agreed to… Read more »

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
4 months ago
Reply to  Duke

@Duke, under Wayne LaPierre’s leadership, the NRA organization already lost $100,000,000 with the failed NRA Carry Guard Insurance. That’s close to a third of the NRA’s total annual revenue. In the same year this happened, the NRA’s CEO Wayne LaPierre was compensated with over $2,000,000 in salary. Any other CEO who loses close to a third of the company’s total annual revenue in an ill-planned and ill-executed business endeavor would have been fired. This is just one example of the mismanagement and corruption going on at the NRA. Note that the $100,000,000 number does not include the legal fees and… Read more »

Dave in Fairfax
Editor
Dave in Fairfax
4 months ago
Reply to  Duke

Duke I have to assume that you aren’t a voting member. Many, if not most, of us are and have been for scores of years. You’ve been here since June of ’18, under different names, so you’ve heard the facts and seen the discussions. It seems a bit late in the day to be asking for facts. You’ve been consistently, if not vehemently pro-NRA. We were too until the Cinnci Rebellion or a bit before, say when it became obvious that the BoD and WLP were tipping the table to their personal advantage. You can look this up, the videos… Read more »

Stone
Stone
4 months ago

It is hard for me to believe that knowing the NRA has to have business lawyers, that someone didn’t check to see if it was legal for them to sell Carry Guard in New York (or any other state for that matter). It is not hard for me to imagine that Cuomo, Bloomberg or de Blaiso would have their fingers involved in bringing suit against the NRA. I also have to wonder if the several other “Self-Defense Shooting” insurance groups may not be in the same boat. They want to push for responsible gun ownership, some politicians have pushed for… Read more »

Tionico
Tionico
4 months ago
Reply to  Stone

My understanding has been that NRA did not provide and SELL the Carry Guard plan.. they simiply middled it for the actual insurance company. That does not make them an insurance provider, only an insurance arranger. The Auto Clubs (AAA and thelike) are not actual insurance companies, they middle various policies for their club members. New York State don’t seem to be all knicker-be-knotted about Triple A now, do they? This whole thing stinks like dirty underwear, and it stems from the State of New York and teir political aim to disarm everyone, so NRA are their biggest target. Are… Read more »

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
4 months ago
Reply to  Stone

The USCCA and ACLDN are somewhat in the same boat! Neither are actual insurances! The regulators in NY, WA and CA think different.

CourageousLion
CourageousLion
4 months ago

Yea, New York wouldn’t have any dogs in the fight would they?? NAAAAAAA…move along little bovine.

OSR
OSR
4 months ago

Time to let it go The NRA is terminally infected with corruption, embezzlement and deception.
Everyone remember the to big to fail debacle of the automakers? Well here it is again! But this time we should let those responsible for the NRA’s demise pay for their crimes and once the dust settles start from scratch. Recreate the NRA focusing on the original NRAs core mission!

I am not wasting another penny on the NRA, focusing my efforts and resources on local groups and local organizations.

Duke
Duke
4 months ago
Reply to  OSR

The left despises the NRA and that is a big reason to be a member. At $35.00 a year that is pretty cheap to get under the skin of our haters!

Doszap
Doszap
4 months ago
Reply to  Duke

Went up to $40.00 and are in deep Doo (legally an financially). Suggest still maintaining membership, BUT JOIN GOA FOR SURE.
Less dues and NO COMPROMISES with the Pratt Family.Eric and Larry are 100% NO DEALS when it comes to our 2A Rights.
Try and call the NRA and speak to Wayne(LOL).
Call GOA and Eric will usually answer the phone and talk TO YOU!.
They have gained over another million members since the NRA LaPierre fiasco, and diverting funds spent on SUPER high salaries and special trips and clothing.
BAD JUJU!.

KenW
KenW
4 months ago
Reply to  Doszap

We signed up for easy pay life and paid it off, this was before all of this. The NRA doesn’t even get “round-up” or “add-a-buck” from me anymore.
GOA gets a donation periodically and with an actual membership renewal yearly.

Rattlerjake
Rattlerjake
4 months ago
Reply to  Duke

There are plenty of other ways to get under the lefts skin without handing Wayne douchebag more money to waste. That $35 will buy a Trump/MAGA hat, shirt, flag, and bumperstickers. Been a life member since 79-80, and stopped supporting the NRA shortly after LaPoobrain took over.

Degforyou
Degforyou
4 months ago
Reply to  Rattlerjake

I payed life member, been 20 to 30 years since I’ve had any mail or email and magazine. No wanting me to send money eithet.

Degforyou
Degforyou
4 months ago
Reply to  Duke

You must be 1 of NRA’s BOD members reason your defending them.

JW
JW
4 months ago

I joined the GOA two months ago. I know this because I chose the monthly contribution and they’ve taken my money for the past 2 months. Now, I don’t need a cheap duffel bag or stiff hat like others give, but I got not so much as an email, letter, or anything to even acknowledge my membership.
I’m really hoping this group isn’t a money pit like the NRA, too.

J Gibbons
J Gibbons
4 months ago
Reply to  JW

GOA is legit. You should receive a mailer shortly. Year-end is a very busy time for all non-profits, and GOA was also involved in the Virginia lobby day activities. I got a sticker, a membership card and a donation card (which all non-profits should be sending out for OPTIONAL additional donations).

Doszap
Doszap
4 months ago
Reply to  JW

I have been a reluctant member of the NRA for years due to Multi million $$$ begging campaigns and full color COSTLY mailings begging for more $$$$$$.
The mailing cost MILLIONS, and often more than they bring in.
TO survive they MUST get TOP down new leadership.

Dave in Fairfax
Editor
Dave in Fairfax
4 months ago
Reply to  JW

JW, GOA is a SMALL group. The have an unmarked door (they were getting harassed by the Left), in an innocuous building, in an industrial park, in Fairfax. They don’t spend the money on huge staffs or cafes or shooting ranges. Their entire outfit is the size of a single floor of your average townhouse. The few people they have work very hard to keep up with people from all over the country, and try not to waste money. That’s why you have to wait for them to get mail back to you. You can always call and talk to… Read more »

Loricatus Lupus
Loricatus Lupus
4 months ago

About the only reason to toss a few dollars towards the NRA is it’s Bloomberg Inc’s boogie man. As long as they stay focused there, the real gun groups can get work done.

JIAZ
JIAZ
4 months ago

Wayne LaPierre is the NRA’s “Bernie Madoff”. He and his BOD co-conspirators have stolen and/or wasted at least tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars from membership funds.

I’ve never seen or known of any organization where the executive staff “employees” have authority over and complete control of the BOD.

LaPierre and his accomplices laundered membership cash, and diverted it into their own pockets to sustain their elitist, bloated lifestyles.

“Non-Profit” my A$$. Indictments are inevitable.

CourageousLion
CourageousLion
4 months ago
Reply to  JIAZ

The problem I see is that it COULD be a conspiracy against the NRA and it’s BOD. Because the ANTI GUNNERS will stoop to any measure they can to attack any pro gun groups.

Buster
Buster
4 months ago
Reply to  CourageousLion

@CourageousLion You’re exactly right. With unlimited funding, any person with a bone to pick could go after any organization and find a variety of deceptive marketing instances – probably fraud as well.

NY wants to do their part to destroy the NRA, and they have the luxury of using taxpayer dollars to do it.

Doszap
Doszap
4 months ago
Reply to  Buster

Well their Expensive Home office is in VA, and what’s happening there.

Rattlerjake
Rattlerjake
4 months ago
Reply to  Doszap

AND you hear nothing from the NRA. If the NRA was truly pro 2nd amendment they should already have that governor “hanging from a rope”!

Doszap
Doszap
4 months ago
Reply to  CourageousLion

Nope, fast and losses with millions of dollars of OUR DAMNED dues and gifts.
LaPierre shit the nest.(used to be a Democrat)
He MUST GO.

Duke
Duke
4 months ago
Reply to  JIAZ

Keep cheering the demise of the NRA and if they ever fall you will wish it had never happened!!!

Ej harbet
Ej harbet
4 months ago
Reply to  Duke

Wouldnt even notice their failure.

Ron Carter
4 months ago

As LaPierre said at the winter board meeting, “the NRA has taken a $100 million dollar hit” in regards to the NYAG’s investigation. No specifics on how many Zegna dress suits that amount purchased (sarcasm).

Yeah, in all of this the NRA member is the one paying the tab. Egregious. Unacceptable. Treacherous. Please attend the Members’ Meeting in Nashville on April 18th, 2020.

Ron Carter
4 months ago

Spot on commentary, Mr. Knox.

TheRevelator
TheRevelator
4 months ago
Reply to  Ron Carter

Now we just have to wait for the resident Shill (tetejaun aka “toto”) to show up and start screaming “Lies, its all lies!”