New York Attorney General Finally Pulls the Trigger on the NRA

Next Wednesday, sections of House Bill 1284 (2019) will go into effect.  A five-year License to Carry a Handgun will now be free to obtain.
New York AG Finally Pulls the Trigger on the NRA IMG NRA-ILA

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- New York Attorney General Letitia James declared her intention to tear down the NRA years ago, even before her election as AG, and she’s finally making good on the threat. The AG’s office filed suit against the Association, claiming that executives and leaders in the NRA had grossly abused their positions, and misappropriated some $64 million dollars from NRA funds. Her remedy for the corruption and malfeasance is to dissolve the Association and dole out its assets among other charitable organizations within the state of New York.

While there is no doubt that the investigation into the NRA and the suit are politically motivated and intended to damage the gun rights movement as well as Donald Trump’s reelection bid, the brutal truth is that the suit has merit. The NRA leadership has been corrupt and complicit in corruption for at least 20 years.

In response to the suit, the NRA immediately filed a counter-suit against the state of New York for using the power of the state to squelch the Association’s First Amendment rights.

In a letter to NRA Board Members, NRA CEO and Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre declared his intention to fight the attack to the bitter end, and I have no doubt that he will absolutely do so, right down to the last penny in NRA’s treasury.

I have a problem with that, and so should you, if you’re an NRA member. The lawsuit against the NRA stems from improper use of funds on the part of LaPierre and his executive staff. Most of the allegations against LaPierre and company have never been adequately addressed, or even denied. Instead, excuses and counter-charges have been offered up, most of them blaming the messenger. The bulk of LaPierre’s dirty laundry was exposed in an article by reporter Mike Spies, who was working for Bloomberg’s anti-rights “newsroom” entity “The Trace.” Spies was given an assignment to flesh-out some rumors and see what kind of dirt he could dig up on the NRA and its leaders. It turned out that there was a lot of dirt available not far below the surface, and there were a number of NRA employees and former employees ready to share what they knew about the shady dealings of NRA’s top executives.

Spies is a good investigative reporter. His story has details of bloated contracts, cronyism, nepotism, self-dealing, and other chicanery, with documentation and corroboration from multiple sources. Like the lawsuit from New York, the motivation for digging into NRA’s financial affairs was unquestionably political, but the results aren’t based on the motivations of the person doing the digging. As always, I wear my own bias on my sleeve, encouraging readers to recognize that, in spite of my efforts to be fair and accurate, my family’s long and tumultuous history with the NRA could be tainting my reporting, so I encourage people to always explore multiple sources. The NRA brass led with their chins. AG James has obliged them with what could be a knockout blow.

Despite the merit of Letitia James’ lawsuit, her remedy – dissolution of the Association – is nothing short of ludicrous. Her obligation and responsibility is to protect the owners of the organization’s assets. In this case, that means protecting the NRA members who fund the organization. Removing top executives, LaPierre in particular, would be reasonable and justifiable, as would removing the entire Board of Directors and possibly restructuring the leadership. Anything beyond that would be punishing the victims – NRA members.

But that’s exactly what James and Cuomo want to do.

That is because at its heart, this is all about their disagreement with the political positions of the NRA, and not at all about protecting the Association or its members.

The NRA could make a very sound argument to that effect, and probably resolve this whole mess in a matter of days, rather than the long years that I expect this to actually last. If the NRA actually had leaders who cared about the members, leaders who were looking out for their best interests, everyone with even a hint of scandal would have already been removed from their positions, and a series of reforms and protections would have been put into place to ensure that the Association could move forward without repeating the mistakes of the past. The guilty parties who were getting rich off of the largess of NRA members, might even be brought up on criminal charges, and sued to recover some of what they improperly took.

Over a year ago, I said the NRA Board of Directors had two choices in the face of the revelations of malfeasance at the top of the organization:

  1. They could remove the miscreants and fix the problems, admitting any wrongdoing, and facing whatever uncomfortable music might come along with that admission, or
  2. They could circle the wagons around Wayne LaPierre and keep circling right down the toilet.

That same choice is presenting itself once again, but this time the stakes are even higher and the crowd is watching. The Board of Directors will soon have a convenient opportunity to replace Wayne LaPierre with a simple majority vote. If they take that opportunity, and follow-up with other reforms and course corrections, they could be in a reasonable position to walk into court and convince a judge to dismiss the suit against the Association with minimal damage.

Not taking that opportunity will mean years of continuing legal wrangling with the authorities in New York, costing the Association millions of dollars every month in direct expenses, and costing them millions more in lost revenue because so many people see LaPierre as a problem and refuse to support the organizations as long as he remains in office. It also means foregoing any chance of recovering any of the tens of millions of dollars that were improperly sucked out of NRA’s coffers over the years by LaPierre and his cronies.

The NRA has canceled, rescheduled, and canceled again their Annual Meeting of Members. They are now saying that they will hold the meeting on October 24th in Tucson, Arizona, the same day that the Second Amendment Rally is scheduled in Washington DC. If this date holds, I hope thousands of NRA members from around the country will make it a point to attend and demand that the Board of Directors take meaningful action to stop the lunacy and put the NRA back on track again.

If Letitia James and Andrew Cuomo get their way, the NRA will spend the next several years spending every dime they can raise on various lawsuits and complaints, rather than fighting for the rights of their members, and in the end, whatever remains will be confiscated and distributed to other causes that James and Cuomo consider “worthy.” While they might not be able to legally dissolve the Association, they most certainly are able to capture its focus and spending to keep it from effectively accomplishing its core missions, and wasting its money on worthless causes.

The NRA is more important than any one person or small group of people. It is stupid and corrupt for the Board of Directors to allow Wayne LaPierre and John Frazer, who are both cited for their roles in the misdeeds the NY lawsuit is based on, to select and supervise the attorneys responsible for defending the NRA in court. At a minimum, the Board of Directors should hire independent counsel with explicit instructions to defend the Association, not any officers, or employees. LaPierre, Frazer, and any other NRA officers, employees, or contractors, should not even have a hint of control or management of those attorneys or their conduct of the case.

As things stand, the NRA attorneys were hired and are controlled by Wayne LaPierre, and it is clear that they are treating LaPierre as their primary client, protecting him over the NRA membership, and sucking millions of dollars a month from member assets, in the process.

The lunatics are indeed in control of the asylum.


About Jeff Knox: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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Don in 805
Don in 805
4 months ago

Great piece Jeff – you said what we all are thinking. If Wayne TRULY respects the 2A, its time for him to fall on his sword!

KK
KK
4 months ago

James and Cuomo are just mad because their NY SAFE Act has a meager
4% compliance rate.

Cruiser
Cruiser
4 months ago

Wayne and his cronies need to leave, they have proven they are just a self promoting organization within our organization, and it is OUR organization. It belongs to us, not the board of directors. What they have been doing over the years is nothing short of embezzlement.

UncAl
UncAl
4 months ago

As dues paying members of the NRA, isn’t it time to file a Class-Action Lawsuit against the NY Attorney General/Gov’na Cuomo, to prevent them from taking OUR money to disperse amongst the “more deserving”; which will probably be Antifa for their Neighborhood Watch Program! Time to tell this dizzy headed bitch, and her handler, to take a “flying^%$# at a rolling donut”

MBeach222
MBeach222
4 months ago
Reply to  UncAl

Class Action suit for calling us Terrorists and Criminals. The state of New York insults millions of Americans.

pigpen51
pigpen51
4 months ago

No matter how much WLP and company have done for the NRA, there is no hiding the fact that they have used the money from the members as their own personal slush fund, to the tune of millions of dollars. And the members have had enough, from the many various places that I see them saying that so long as WLP is in control of the NRA, they will not see a dime of contributions to their coffers. I doubt that WLP et al, will be leaving on their own, any time soon. They need the funds from the NRA… Read more »

CourageousLion
CourageousLion
4 months ago
Reply to  pigpen51

The NRA members have known for years what the salaries of the top echelon are and still paid their membership dues. If they didn’t like it, they should have said something. Well here we are, and I’m saying that I am a life member who for all intents realized YEARS ago that the NRA is useless as a rights organization. We can count the wonderful idiocy they have been behind all these years. Bumpstock ban…NRA. Support of the 1994 Assault weapons ban, the 1968 GCA…heck they even supported the NICS system. Useless if you ask me. I wish I had… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by CourageousLion
RayJN
RayJN
4 months ago
Reply to  pigpen51

of course the lawyers are going to drag this out as long as possible, they are not going to stop the gravy train.

h87111
h87111
4 months ago

I have vague recollections of the “Knox wars” within the NRA back during the 70’s, but I was still a kid. The experience did set me on the path to a 42 year NRA membership resulting in a Benefactor Life Member status. My personal experience with working around Wayne came about from being a volunteer worker at the annual National Police Shooting Championship for twelve years when it was held in the 505, before our new Democrat Mayor kicked the NRA out and would not renew the contract because “all those police” made our city look bad… The thing I… Read more »

RoyD
RoyD
4 months ago
Reply to  h87111

I too have those same vague recollections.

Jeff
Jeff
4 months ago

As a Life Member of the NRA, I do wish there was a way for individuals to express our displeasure with Wayne & Co. I’ve sent emails which I’m sure are ignored, or occasionally I’ll receive a “thank you for sharing your concerns” response. And I’m sure I’m not unique when it comes to voting in that I have no clue as to who the players on the Board are. When I get the <MANY> phone calls requesting donations, I tell the person that I’m not willing to donate any more until the Board deals with the situation – but… Read more »

Chuck
Chuck
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

I agree Jeff, and as a fellow Life member, I’m as troubled by the allegations of financial improprieties that keep coming to the surface during the last decade or more under LaPierre’ leadership. Wayne did a lot for the NRA, but that was then and this is now. As the author stated, “even the hint of a scandal” is enough to sway judgement by the public in general, and those are the very people the NRA needs to continue to grow. In the public’s eye, whether Wayne and crew are guilty matters little, the suggestion alone that things aren’t 100%… Read more »

Darkman
Darkman
4 months ago

I fear the time has come to “Scuttle the Ship” as it were. In order to save what remains of the NRA Ideal. Those who truly support that Ideal can always build a new ship. The sum of the parts is Greater than the whole.

KDad
KDad
4 months ago

Even considering Wayne LaPierre’s faults, which are many, you have to admit that he’s the only one who’s been “in your face” with those who hate the 2nd Amendment and our gun rights. He tells it like it is in no uncertain terms, calling a spade a spade and exposing all those who want to take away our rights. With him, there are “no holds barred” ! That being said, I think it’s time we fight fire with fire ! New York AG Letecia James has on more than one occasion, publicly called the NRA a TERRORIST ORGANIZATION ! That… Read more »

Vanns40
Vanns40
4 months ago
Reply to  KDad

What most don’t realize is that Wayne hasn’t written a word that’s been attributed to him in years. “His” columns and speeches have been carefully orchestrated by others, namely Ack/Mac but now an inner cabal. He’s been known, inside NRA, as “the ghost” because he’s so seldom seen.

h87111
h87111
4 months ago
Reply to  KDad

I agree.

MICHAEL J
MICHAEL J
4 months ago

So these vipers destroy an institution and divide the spoils? That in itself sounds sinister.

Coelacanth
Coelacanth
4 months ago
Reply to  MICHAEL J

Predatory buzzards, kinda like lawyers and quacks?

AggregatVier
AggregatVier
4 months ago
Reply to  Coelacanth

…and the news media in general.

Xaun Loc
Xaun Loc
4 months ago

By the time the lawsuit grinds to an end there won’t be any NRA assets to distribute. With WLP’s attitude of L’état, c’est moi and Après moi, le déluge there can be little doubt that the “NRA” is doomed — it was doomed even without the NY lawsuit, but the lawsuit will certainly hasten the collapse. The sad thing about the lawsuit is that there are still millions of idiots who will continue writing checks to support WLP. With WLP and a few of his cronies in jail, maybe then the average American gun owner will recognize that the NRA… Read more »

Tionico
Tionico
4 months ago

Lettie the Lout AtG of New York State is salibating heavily at her prospects of finally making her most hated political organisation to disappear. Her suit against the miscreant “leadership” of the organisation has merit, and should be persude, since the organisation itself remains neutred in regards cleaning their own house. BUT.. she takes her lawful and just actions far too far when her final goal, as stated over many years, to be the dissolution of the NRA and the reassignment of their assets to “charities” that meet her approval. This would be an evil and likley illegal form of… Read more »

David
David
4 months ago

I am fully convinced 90% of the posters and editor here, are by standards of U.S. CONSTITUTION and esp SHALL BE INFRINGED are simply NAZIS TRAITORS just as bad as NAZIS SS STORM TROOPERS AND NAZIS CIVILIAN LAW ENFORCEMENT GESTAPO AND THE JUDAS JEWS WHO LEAD THEIR OWN BREED TO THEIR DEATHS. Just as most by far do on this website , the trojan horse it is. Anyone who wants any ARMS CONTROL including gun control anywhere including schools and other government property i.e. lakes dams and churches and bars and whore houses ball games etc of any measure no… Read more »

ShooterOne
ShooterOne
4 months ago
Reply to  David

I strongly disagree, 90% of the posters and the editor here are strong Second Amendment supporters and your post will only serve to divide us. I am a 2 year member of NRA and yes LaPierre need to come clean or the membership needs to boot them out on their ears. I wasn’t aware the government owned any churches, bars, or whore houses. I do believe ALL infringements on the Second Amendment should be removed and it should stand as written and intended.  “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people… Read more »

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

Shooter One, Thanks, We won’t be divided regardless of what David says. His comments shows that even though he’s been here and listening he is one who does not hear. I must have missed the part where I said, “Anyone who wants any ARMS CONTROL including gun control anywhere.” I don’t remember EVER coming out for any kind of gun control that didn’t involve aiming. Some, make that MOST of us, still take our Oaths seriously. We may be old with a foot on a banana peel, but we aren’t dead yet. The Gov did own one whorehouse, The Mustang… Read more »

SEMPAI
SEMPAI
4 months ago
Reply to  David

If you don’t get help at CHARTER BY THE SEA get help somewhere.

Last edited 4 months ago by SEMPAI
Vanns40
Vanns40
4 months ago
Reply to  David

And yet, here you are!

AggregatVier
AggregatVier
4 months ago
Reply to  David

Just another troll. Move along people – nothing to read here from David.

Chuck
Chuck
4 months ago
Reply to  David

Pardon me, but for the most part, the overwhelming majority of the comments I read, are 100% Pro 2A. Yes, there’s always a troll or three in any of the Pro 2A sites, but in my experiences, they are a minority, and are usually easily rooted out.
When it comes to Gun Control legislation, nothing is OK. No Law infringing upon that right is reasonable when viewed in the opinion of the Framers of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago

The NRA doesn’t have a chance unless members intervene in the lawsuit. As long as Wayne is “representing” the NRA’s interest only he will be protected.

Capn Dad
Capn Dad
4 months ago

I’m an average Joe who just pays my taxes, votes the US Constitution, served my country and loves the 2nd Amendment. Seems every day I read about how this one hurts the NRA or that one helps the NRA. Everyone has something to say about everything and it constantly reminds me of a dog chasing its tail…round and round and never getting anywhere. All I see though is something noble and worthy being destroyed by the very people who claim to love it. I continually marvel at our total dedication to seemingly destroying ourselves. In the end we are our… Read more »

TStheDeplorable
TStheDeplorable
4 months ago

La Pierre has long had the bearing of the snake about him. No one should ever become rich running a not-for-profit organization. I have the exact same impression and criticism of Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse. We need major adjustments to the laws governing not-for-profits, especially concerning compensation of board members and executives, and conflicts of interest of the same.

That said, the remedy in this case, if proven, is a suit by members seeking recovery of the unjust enrichment and a new board of directors and executives.

Watch um
Watch um
4 months ago

Jeff Knozi you go to hell. You and your old daddy are part of the problem.

Dave in Fairfax
Editor
Dave in Fairfax
4 months ago
Reply to  Watch um

Watch um, I’ll assume that you are a voting member of the NRA, as are many of us. Can you explain what part of the problem you see either of the Knox’s as being? Their attempts to keep the NRA BoD and WLP from running the organization behind closed doors seems like a laudable effort. Remember that the actions of the BoD have constrained the ability of membership to call for , or implement, change. That is an unusual action for a group and smacks of defensiveness. The Cinci Revolt and all the later attempts to reform the NRA have… Read more »

Tionico
Tionico
4 months ago

Good shot, Dave. The absence of return fire is, uhm, shall we say, NOTABLE?

h87111
h87111
4 months ago

Girl friends?

Dave in Fairfax
Editor
Dave in Fairfax
4 months ago
Reply to  h87111

87111,
Thanks for applying, but I’m married.

Vanns40
Vanns40
4 months ago
Reply to  Watch um

And here we see ignorance rearing its ugly head from someone who has no facts but just wants to rant. I’ve known Jeff, Chris and Neal Knox, when he was alive, from the very beginning. Neal was honest to a fault, something Wayne will never be accused of.

nrringlee
nrringlee
4 months ago

We are not a nation of laws. Never were. We are a nation of political will. Right now the left has mustered enough political will and has gained standing to destroy the NRA. That is a leadership problem. NRA leadership problem.

JDL
JDL
4 months ago

Great article, Jeff, a little late on the timing based on when the suit was filed. I do agree with you, though. If the courts strip Wayne and his cohorts from the NRA, they will be helping the gun rights movement significantly.

David
David
4 months ago

I will ride with Wayne L P any day or night anywhere before I would listen to any of you racist nazis commie fascist british red coat traitors to GOD THE BIBLE THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION AND THE REPUBLIC AND LIBERTY AND PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS and THE FOUNDING FATHER’S AND VETERANS OF THE WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE FROM BRITISH AND VETERANS OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE FROM MEXICO ….

YOU ARE THE TRUE EVIL WOLVES AND HAVE DONE NOTHING IN YOUR SORRY WORTHLESS LIVES.

JDL
JDL
4 months ago
Reply to  David

Wayne, when did you start going by the name “David?”

SEMPAI
SEMPAI
4 months ago
Reply to  David

I’m taking my comment down since the editor pretty much called you out and put you in your place, Learn from it.

Last edited 4 months ago by SEMPAI
Dave in Fairfax
Editor
Dave in Fairfax
4 months ago
Reply to  SEMPAI

Sempai, Please don’t remove your comment based on what I say. When I comment here unless it has a link to the COMMENT POLICY, it should be taken as a personal comment by me not as that of an editor. Until we changed commenting systems it just said member next to my name. that is how it should be seen the VAST majority of the time. You’ve probably noticed that there are several people who I’ve talked with here, over the years, who have no compunction with calling me out when they disagree. That is how it should, and MUST,… Read more »

SEMPAI
SEMPAI
4 months ago

Thank you sir but you said it best I think.

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

David, Repeating the same comment in two threads doesn’t make it worth more. Printing it in ALL CAPS is merely rude, it doesn’t make it a stronger argument. Incidentally, if you’ve run out of commas, I’d be happy to sell you some at a reduced/bulk rate. You’ve been here since January of 2019 and seem to have a fascination with calling people you don’t agree with NAZIs. That doesn’t make them NAZIs, it shows a lack of critical thinking skills. That same lack is shown by your adherence to WLP despite his actions. You reference a long military career and… Read more »

SweetOlBob
SweetOlBob
4 months ago

Dave in Fairfax:
Although some of the liberal weenies may try to use my previous comment and others like yours as ammunition against the 2nd amendment via criticism of the NRA, let me assure everyone that I am staunchly pro gun in every way and anything I have to say that shades the NRA through Wane LaPierre hasn’t changed anything. I will still vote with pro gun candidates and consider the 2nd Amendment to be my “hot button” in electing candidates ! Sorrily, I think my last
“last minute” membership contribution to the NRA may be my last one.

SweetOlBob
SweetOlBob
4 months ago
Reply to  David

David: The NRA does many good things and has much to its credit. But, sometimes people get an inflated opinion of themselves. Not too many years ago, Wane was cajoled into adding the into adding the weight of the NRA to a bill sponsored by none other than Chuck Schumer that was supposed to give members of the Armed Forces the means to retain their rights to keep and bear arms even after they had been adjudged to have PTSD. Althouh many had their rights removed, no move was ever made to help even one of them restore their rights… Read more »

Vanns40
Vanns40
4 months ago
Reply to  David

And David, your problem is that you’re operating on propaganda not facts. Rather than spewing forth with invectives, about which you have absolutely no inside knowledge, why not take a break and listen to folks who have actually been within the organization and seen what went on?

AZ Lefty
AZ Lefty
4 months ago

New York AG Letitia James declared her intention to tear down the NRA years ago, even before her election, and she’s finally making good on the threat.
La Pierre and his sycophants have allowed her to get plenty of ammo to do so with the BOD watching and enabling! Bush 1 had them figured out decades ago

JIAZ
JIAZ
4 months ago

N, R, A, Not Relevant Anymore. “Non-Profit” my A$$ “From the time LaPierre took over the group’s leadership in the early 1990s until 2018, when Phillips resigned, Ackerman was the NRA’s largest vendor, billing the organization $50 million for work done in 2017 and 2018 alone. During that two-year period, Ackerman billed the NRA an additional $18 million for expense reimbursements. A portion of those expenses were incurred by NRA officers, who would seek reimbursement from Ackerman, which would then submit to the NRA for reimbursement. The NRA used this arrangement to conceal expenditures by NRA executives … many of… Read more »

Dave in Fairfax
Editor
Dave in Fairfax
4 months ago

Jeff, I agree with what you’ve said and what you’ve been saying. I’ll repeat what I said a long time ago when this first started blowing up. If anyone has their personal property exhibited at the museum or on loan to the NRA, they should collect it NOW. If things get ugly, the inventory of the NRA could be seized under a variety of pretexts. It would “unfortunate” if your personal property wasn’t stored by NYS in a way that would keep it absolutely safe. It would be just as bad, if not worse, if it had inventory marks dremeled… Read more »

Vanns40
Vanns40
4 months ago

That especially includes anything on loan to the NRA Museum in Virginia as a court order in NY may well be upheld by a Virginia Court!

Last edited 4 months ago by Vanns40