NRA’s Bankruptcy Lurches Forward ~ But Who Speaks for NRA Members?


NRA Board of Directors
NRA’s Bankruptcy Lurches Forward ~ But Who Speaks for NRA Members?

USA – -( The slow-motion train wreck of the NRA, just keeps piling up in spectacular fashion.

A new investigative report by Bloomberg’s propaganda wing, “The Trace,”  ( and one of the Democratic Party’s online propaganda outlets, “The Daily Beast” has published excerpts of a presentation to the Board outlining a legal strategy to escape New York.

Despite the biased sources, the story appears to have sound legs. Meanwhile, the NRA’s bankruptcy case has seen some interesting action, as the NRA Board of Directors met in an emergency session on Sunday, March 28 to retroactively endorse the Association’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan. We’ll cover all that in due time, but let’s start with the under-reported, but critical issue of representation for NRA members.

On Friday, March 23, 2021, Phil Journey, along with two other current NRA Directors and one former Director, filed a motion in the NRA bankruptcy case, calling for the formation of a formal committee to represent NRA members in the case.

There is already a formal committee representing the interests of NRA creditors, and the NRA’s current management is represented as the “debtors,” but Journey and co-movers – Rocky Marshall, Buz Mills, and Esther Schneider – contend that NRA members have the most to gain or lose in the case, and those members are largely unrepresented. Gun writer and NRA Director Bart Skelton has now joined with Journey, Marshall, Mills, and Schneider in this motion.

In most non-profit corporations, the members or donors, are not actively involved in the organization, beyond writing a check now and then. Owing to its history and structure, the NRA is different. NRA members are much more like shareholders in the Association. We participate directly in the governance of the Association, electing Directors and voting on bylaws. We also invest based on our means and commitment to Association goals. The NRA’s five million members allow the organization to operate with a budget in the neighborhood of $300 million to $400 million per year. Tens of millions of dollars more are realized in time and effort donated by members who volunteer their time and talents to NRA at ranges, gun shows, and elsewhere in their own communities.

Though the NRA is often painted as a monolithic organization, with only one goal, it is in reality a very complex, multi-faceted operation offering a wide variety of activities and services for its members.

In the New York lawsuit, NY AG Letitia James named four current and former NRA executives and the NRA itself as defendants and called for the dissolution of the Association. The suit is based on accusations of misuse of funds by NRA executives, including sweetheart deals to cronies, self-dealing, and other activities that lined their or their friend’s or families’ pockets. Current estimates are that at least $68 million was diverted over the past several years. James says that the corruption runs so deep and has lasted for so long, that the only solution is to dissolve the Association and distribute its assets to other New York nonprofits.

Experts interviewed in the “Trace/Daily Beast” article pointed out that the NRA’s best defense against AG James’s attacks would be to hold itself separate from its allegedly corrupt leadership. They say that James has not come close to meeting her burden of proof that the Association itself is guilty and deserves to be destroyed, and that historically, courts go after the people who behaved badly, treating the organizations they worked for as victims, not co-conspirators.

But, they point out, this line of reasoning and argument has never been put forward in any of the NRA’s briefs, motions, or declarations.

If James can indeed prove that Wayne LaPierre and others at the top of the NRA food-chain, absconded with tens of millions of NRA’s dollars, then punishing the NRA would be punishing the victim of a crime.

The real victims would be the NRA members, but in that case, too, the members are not represented. Under the law, the members’ interests are supposed to be represented by AG James, but she has made it abundantly clear that she has nothing but disdain for NRA members, and is not the least bit interested in protecting their interests. Of course, member interests are not of concern to any of the named defendants who are focused on protecting their own assets, so that leaves the NRA itself, through its corporate governance structure, to defend its members.

Unfortunately, that’s not what they’ve been doing.

In fact, the attorneys for the NRA appear to be working on behalf of the named defendants and the Board of Directors, not the members. Not only have they not put forward the arguments that legal scholars suggest would be their best defense against dissolution, but the lead attorney for NRA also started out representing Wayne LaPierre, then shifted over to representing NRA, and installed a former partner and frequent compatriot to represent LaPierre, and that team has worked in unison right down the line. LaPierre also still retains the authority to maintain or dismiss the NRA’s attorney, as well as the attorney for the NRA Board.

That’s some pretty serious conflict of interest, but the NRA Board seems uninterested in addressing the issue.

So, we have a chief executive, LaPierre, credibly accused of corruption and self-dealing, his executive team accused of the same, and a Board of Directors who, at the very least, stood idly by and allowed the appearance of corruption and self-dealing to go unchecked, and which has refused to remove, sanction, or even limit the authority of the CEO accused of the corruption.

Wayne LaPierre
Wayne LaPierre

In fact, they just renewed LaPierre his contract, promising him a base salary of $1.3 million per year plus various benefits and expense reimbursement, as well as the possibility of a “performance bonus,” at the sole discretion of the three top officers of the Board.

In 2019, after most of the charges had come to light and the Association was struggling with the collapse of Carry Guard, significant declines in donations, and burgeoning litigation costs, LaPierre was given a performance bonus of $500,000.00, raising the question of just what sort of performance metrics are being applied. LaPierre didn’t get to keep all of that bonus though, $300k was returned to the NRA in repayment for monies LaPierre improperly spent flying his niece on a private jet to a Caribbean vacation.

William A. Brewer III
William A. Brewer III: Whose law firm the NRA paid over $17 million in just the 90 days preceding the bankruptcy declaration.

On March 28, 2021, the Board held an emergency meeting in Dallas. This is the only emergency meeting of the Board I can recall ever taking place. The meeting only lasted about an hour, with almost all of it being conducted in Executive Session, meaning that participants are sworn to secrecy and can’t divulge the details of the meeting, but the minutes and conclusion were reported to the bankruptcy court.

According to those minutes, the Board was asked to pass a resolution stating that Directors knew when they voted to approve Wayne LaPierre’s new contract in January, that they were delegating to him the authority to reorganize the Association, including going so far as declaring bankruptcy, without any need for further approval from the Board. The resolution goes on to say the Board knew that they were delegating similar authority to the Special Litigation Committee and then says the Board now explicitly ratifies and approves the actions taken by LaPierre and the Special Litigation Committee, in declaring bankruptcy.

The resolution also says that if the current Chapter 11 bankruptcy is dismissed, the Board approves the refiling of a bankruptcy petition, and further that the Board endorses the retention of Brewer Attorneys and Councilors (whom the NRA paid over $17 million in just the 90 days preceding the bankruptcy declaration) to represent the Association in the current or future bankruptcy filings.

The resolution passed on a vote of 44 Yea, 1 Nay, and 3 Abstain.

A reasonable question for those Directors who voted for this resolution: What the hell are you thinking!?

These lawyers and officers blatantly lied to you, kept you in the dark on one of the most significant decisions in NRA history, sneakily inserted trick language into LaPierre’s employment contract and the resolution formalizing the Special Litigation Committee, to be able to claim that you knew and approved of delegating the authority to file bankruptcy, and then, even though you knew that they lied and suppressed critical information from you, and bypassed you and your fellow Directors to file bankruptcy, you still approved their actions and choose to cover for them?

Do you not realize that you have a binding, legal obligation to know what’s going on in your Association, and to exercise your fiduciary responsibility from a position of knowledge? Do you understand that you can be held personally, civilly, and criminally liable for failing to meet your minimum obligations to the Association?

The members of the NRA Board of Directors aren’t stupid. They are, by and large, very intelligent, successful individuals, but the actions of the NRA Board over the past couple of years prove that smart people can sometimes do very stupid things.

I personally hope and pray that the bankruptcy is not dismissed. While I do believe that it was filed improperly and that the NRA Bylaws make it clear that such a major decision requires debate and a vote of the NRA Board of Directors – in advance – I also believe that the bankruptcy court offers the best opportunity for the Association to survive and thrive into the future, and it offers a mechanism for accomplishing that in a matter of a few months, as opposed to the years it’s going to take to get through the other litigation that the NRA’s involved in.

I also firmly believe that Phil Journey and the handful of other Directors who have joined him in his motions on behalf of NRA members are doing the best thing for the NRA and its members. Their actions are a long shot, but they’re still a shot.

David Dell’Aquila’s class-action suit is another worthy front in the same war, and Dell’Aquila’s position on the Creditors Committee gives him some pretty significant clout with the bankruptcy court, but right now, it’s Journey’s motion and activities that have the potential to right the ship, so I encourage readers who are able, to support those efforts with financial contributions. Tax-deductible donations can be made to their GoFundMe drive (with a small transaction fee) or by sending a check directly to:

CDFE c/o Phil Journey
PO Box 501
Haysville, Ks. 67060

Alternatively, contributions to support either Journey or Dell’Aquila’s efforts can be sent to The Firearms Coalition through our website, with a note designating where you want the money to go. We don’t take a cut of these donations, even though handling the funds costs us a bit.

The NRA is in a deep hole and the Board of Directors continues to dig furiously. If we want to save our NRA, we need representation in the courts. Please do what you can.

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:

Jeff Knox
Jeff Knox
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The answer is simple. Anything within the Washington DC loop eventually gets mired in the swamp. Such is the case with the NRA. I noticed this when I was a young Marine SNCO and went to DC for the first time to deliver briefings on real world operations with first hand knowledge. Of course, I was part of the Great Unwashed, the Fleet Marine Force and had not been properly baptized in the holy waters of the Potomac. That being said I noted a definite class difference between me and those stationed within the shadow of the Kabba, HQMC who… Read more »


In the opinion of some (well, ME) we didn’t need number 50 either. We have not needed a coaling station for our navy in a couple centuries. We should start by rescinding statehood from places that are un-American. Just spit-ballin’ here. But every time
I see Hirono open her mouth…….


That’s God’s Own Truth. I wouldn’t miss Hirono at all.


Excellent idea!


Those residing in the DC area have the option of registering to vote in either Virginia or Maryland, so the claim that they have No Representation is a Big Fat Lie.
Many people (not in DC), have to drive farther to Vote in Person, than DC Residents do.


The District of Colombia was never meant to be a state.It was also never meant to hold the unwashed mass it now does. I was stationed at Ft Meade for a couple of years (worse 2.5 years of my 27 years in the Navy). I often made runs into DC and found it amazing that within 3 or 4 blocks of the White House and Capitol, it looks like a combat zone, the likes of El Salvador of Falujah!

Autsin Miller III

Nothing lasts forever. The NRA was never very good and certainly never what they pretended they were, but they were the best we had. We can now do better. There are several organizations that are much more aligned with our needs than the NRA ever was. Let Wayne quake and blather and stew as fewer and fewer people support him while we go support Gottlieb and others like him. Wayne and the NRA are now irrelevant and ineffective. We can no longer afford to waste time and resources on them – in my opinion.


Well, NRA still does training better than anyone. We forget that the legal arm is really a small part of the organization. I want the NRA to try to get the funds that were misappropriated returned.

I like and support Gottlieb, but I have yet to come across any of his Handgun Safety training courses.


“Well, NRA still does training better than anyone.”

You need to get out more.

Charlie Foxtrot

The NRA’s Training Division was pretty much decimated as part of the NRA Carry Guard Training rollout. Then, the NRA lost $100 million in the NRA Carry Guard Insurance disaster. All the NRA tried to do with NRA Carry Guard Training was to copy the USCCA’s successful training program. They did it badly, lost long-term staff members in the Training Division and lost a significant amount of money. NRA Carry Guard Training and Insurance were both run by the NRA’s PR firm, Ackerman McQueen. The NRA and Ackerman McQueen have been engaged in an over 2 year long legal battle,… Read more »


Is there anything the NRA has done over the last 40 years that has not somehow enriched lawyers?

Thanks for providing the details on some of the disputes.


The members? Who cares about the members? What about Wayne LaPierre’s suits and being kept in the lifestyle to which he has grown accustomed? Where are your priorities?


NRA’s Bankruptcy Lurches Forward ~ But Who Speaks for NRA Members?

This was the name given the story. I don’t know if anyone will speak for us but I know LaPierre is to busy taking our money to care about the membership. I have been a life member for over 50 years but I will not give another penny until a BIG BROOM SWEEPS out the present trash. The NRA is so screwed up I get mail asking me to renew my membership about once a month and also a promise of a “prize”. WOW!.


For the foreseeable future my money gos to the GOA! I’m tired of being screwed, abused and ignored by the NRA! Not a dime to the NRA til LaPierre is GONE! The NRA coffers are a cash-cow for LaPierre and his buddies!


The Only Winners Here are the Lawyers.


Jeff, You are encouraging people to send money that will be spent on lawyers. If Journey’s effort is successful, can you please describe how the NRA will be different with Wayne gone? There has always been a lot wrong with the NRA. Will the NRA continue to support never-ending gun control like they have in the past? Will the NRA continue to spend vast sums of money on lawyers, marketing firms, and cheesy Chinese trinkets and not coordinate with grass roots people/organizations? How many people will be on the new board? Will board members be removed if they (or their… Read more »


Novel approach to fundraising.

Charlie Foxtrot

Until a few days ago, I had a good answer to some of your questions:


Yeah, I’ve seen that but as you point out, it doesn’t have much credibility at this point. Even if those two hadn’t stepped on themselves, it’s not clear that their goals are what the lawyers are working on. Additionally, that group did not discuss a change in strategy, away from continual compromise and toward education of voters who are most likely to change their mind in favor of firearm rights. After seeing their recent comments, it makes sense why they didn’t list an end to compromise as a goal. The website also didn’t discuss a shift in the NRA’s treatment… Read more »


The NRA, as you know, has stabbed gun owners in the back repeatedly since their inception. This “new” NRA will continue to recieve no money from me unless they come out acknowledging their past deeds and vow to take a no compromise approach in the future. Not one more inch. If they won’t do that then I hope they fade into history.


If they were serious about change, they would have clearly stated their plan, including a no compromise approach, before they started asking for money.

Lots of lawyers racking up lots of billable hours.




Jeff Knox,

The problems with the NRA go well beyond Wayne (and preceded Wayne), governance structure, and the number of board members.

I appreciate what you have done for firearm rights, but I’m not convinced the people who would take control if Journey’s efforts are successful will fundamentally change the way the NRA operates.


Any gun rights organization with Rob Pincus on its staff is a Trojan Horse.


I agree. That guy’s the stereotypical “Used Car Salesman.” My “This Person’s A Phoney” radar goes off everytime I see him pontificating.

Ej harbet

rob pinko? No thanks lol

Phillip Journey

I can only speak for myself through my writings at the moment. We can’t put the cart before the horse. Without our effort NRA would be on the way to the Chapter 7 conversion kill floor. It has to be saved before it is rebuilt. How it is rebuilt will hopefully be up to the members soon.

Phillip Journey

I dropped my NRA membership (started under Obama). I’ll rejoin when WLP goes.


I didn’t renew my membership. Basically because of a really bad taste left in my mouth by the self promoting liaison between the NRA, and Wayne La Pierre and the Liar, Chuckie Schumer ! This was trumpeted by Wayne to help Vets regain their gun ownership after being diagnosed with PTSD. As is usually the case, Wayne felt honored to be paired with a Senator like Schumer. Schumer received the great benefit of the NRA’s backing for the bill. The bill passed with flying colors ! More vets lost their gun owning rights, and nothing was ever said about helping… Read more »


I’ve heard organizations too big to fail fail big. Private institutions lose control when top heavy board members give away bonuses to people just for doing their jobs. Exactly who do these so called leaders represent? Unlike government who have unlimited tax revenues, membership dues make up a large portion of Income. More importantly a majority of these funds are from members of modest means. To squander these dues are a slap in the face to card holders who believed they were standing on principle. In addition the NRA giving millions away to defend scrupulous behavior as well as obscene… Read more »

Foe Pa

Thanks Jeff for telling it like it is. I have taken my share of abuse by either idiots or cronies of LaPierre et al.. I have a message for the jerk who tried to send me a virus the last time I blew the whistle on LaPierre….if I find out who you really are I plan on paying you a visit. Now….what I signed on to say is….the real NRA is the membership. It always has been. WE are the ones who worked hard to enlarge our membership and promote education and gun rights. WE are the ones who have… Read more »

Charlie Foxtrot

That would still be a 50-member or more Board, which no other non-profit organization has. The typical board size for an organization of this size is 7-12! So, let’s go with 9. We also need to have term limits for the Board and active participation by each Board member. Lastly, we need transparency!


I think if any of the NRA money has to be divided among other “non-profits”. It should go to another “pro-gun” non-profit, not just who the AG deems fit. She could send it to Bloomberg for all I know? I didn’t send in money to “Anti-Gun” or any other charity at that time. That could be just as big of a crime as what’s going on now as far as I’m concerned.


“The NRA is in a deep hole and the Board of Directors continues to dig furiously”

Yes but they are only burying themselves by kneeling to LaPierre. It’s time to clean house, reduce the Board to about TEN members, members who support and defend the membership rank and file. I was almost convinced to renew in November but am now hesitant, I know I’ll be getting mailers daily, that’s the cost of membership.


This is a complicated state of affairs. Shouldnt the top priority be a winning defense of the NRA from the NY State charges. As for the Brewer law firm the board has the right to hire and fire legal counsel as it sees fit, however negligent or corrupt they may be. And only after the NY case is concluded can the other lawsuits proceed. Perhaps the best outcome would be the complete dissolution of the NRA and its reconstruction from ground zero with a totally new mission statement, all new board and by laws, and all new management. One requirement… Read more »


Is there any Grass Roots organization being formed to represent the members? I want to join!


Wayne LaPierre is the head of the NRA, Maybe he should learn to shoot and get a Concealed Handgun License and become his own best defense, like the rest of us!

Ej harbet

He needs hard time until his time runs out


LaPierre has always been self-serving.

He doesn’t care about us … unless there’s a profit to be made.

Luxury for him.

Wayne LaPierre sought refuge on vessel owned by Emmy-winning producer David McKenzie

Last edited 1 year ago by Mack

Yes you did – good for you!

But here is the Deposition.


And Shannon Watts certainly is enjoying this – at the NRA’s expense.


James says that the corruption runs so deep and has lasted for so long, that the only solution is to dissolve the Association and distribute its assets to other New York nonprofits. She says she says she says… so what? She has an agenda, even if it is only to advance her political career. Hey in’t I cool I’m the one who singlehandedly destroyed the NRA elect me to _____________”. And that last bit.. liquidate all the assets and give them to “other New York nonprofits”? Anyone checked to see what connexions SHE might have in some of the likely… Read more »


“But Who Speaks for NRA Members?” The sames folks who have been, NO ONE!, no one in the NRA leadership has been speaking for the NRA’s members for years. So the sooner this rotting festering craphole of an organization is gone the better.

Boris Badenov

I receive, on average 2 calls from the NRA a DAY to donate. As much as I value the good things the NRA has done over the many many many decades, the Board and the management team, IMHO, has misused and abused the membership their dedication to firearms safety and the monies we’ve donated. I agree, there are far too many board members and we need to clean house at the top AND bring solid fiscal responsibility to the NRA.


The bankruptcy is all about getting out from under NY’s criminally corrupt thumb. Their stated goal is to destroy the NRA and people like Knox who have an axe to grind are contributing nothing.


@ Chev; Jeff indeed has an axe to grind, and rightly so. His father fought to end the bullshit that has led straight to this current cluster @#$%. Just because you’re pissed off about something does not mean you don’t have a legitimate reason. I have questioned ‘Lil Wayne’ being elevated to god emperor status from the git go. As far as ‘people like Knox who have an axe to grind are contributing nothing’, you’re so full of crap it is incredible. Just which NRA board member is ‘Chev’? Or is this Bill Brewer. Or maybe Marion Hammer? The list… Read more »


Chev you are wrong, the current administration of that NRA is totally at fault for the corruption. You are also the problem because by blaming Knox and others you give cover to the corrupt perpetrators of said corrupt behavior.


Opinion At the moment when our civil rights face their greatest threat in decades Mr. Knox trundles out his old saw claiming the NRA is evil. Perhaps the membership of the NRA might be better served if solid support could be developed in protecting our rights and not from the divisiveness directed by Mr. Knox. His complains about to the NRA are decades old and wearing thin, but he has been successful in having the leftist media use his complaints to further their agenda of weakening the strongest voice in civil rights. Be it by accident or design the left… Read more »




“Humans, for the most part, don’t have a clue. They don’t want one or need one either. They’re happy. They think they have a good bead on things.” – Agent K


Like the fat woman who ended up less than half a foot away from me after she braked hard enough that all four of her tires “barked” yesterday evening. Her excuse? The sun was in my eyes, I couldn’t see. Tee intersection without a stop sign and if she had looked left she would have seen me and the sun would not have been in her eyes. I actually surprised myself for not raising my voice or using colorful language when discussing the matter with her. I guess that I was just glad that she didn’t hit me. And, if… Read more »

Charlie Foxtrot

From today’s NRA bankruptcy proceedings: The Brewer law firm burned $7 million of NRA member money to negotiate Chris Cox’s $2 million severance. The NRA is literally getting raided by its own law firm. How much money are you being paid?

Roland T. Gunner

NRA has been rolling over and giving up gun rights every opportumity they have had since 1934.

Ej harbet

Marion i hope your cats eat you while your still alive


Once again – I call BULLSHIT! ‘His complains about to the NRA are decades old and wearing thin’ -His Complaints about the NRA are decades old and as valid as the first damn day he voiced them. I don’t recall anywhere that he claimed the NRA was evil. The NRA is an organization. It is not driving itself. Just as a gun is neither good nor evil, the person (or persons) behind it are solely responsible for it’s actions. Once again I ask – Just which NRA board member are you?