Yesterday, Save The Second Board Member Rob Pincus attended the NRA Board Meeting… for about 15 minutes. Unfortunately, he was the only 1 of 5 Million NRA Members that showed up to try to learn the truth about what was going on inside the NRA Board and to lobby for Reform inside the troubled organization. Ostensibly, the NRA Board Meetings, including the committee meetings that occur the days before the main events, are open to The Members. In practice, the NRA does not encourage Members to participate, nor do they make it easy.
According to his social media post, Rob’s day at the Board Meetings started off like this:
“To be honest, I would’ve preferred “Member” or “Voting Member” or “Life Member” over just “visitor”.
And, in case you are wondering what the Blue Dot is for…. it apparently might mean: “Have two big security guys come over less than a minute after check in and tell that guy that he has to leave.”
After checking in at the security desk around 12:30pm, Rob was removed from the meeting area…. not a meeting room, not from trying to steal a free lunch with the Directors… from the entire meeting area at the hotel. He was at first told that he could not come back until Saturday Morning for the main Board Meeting. After challenging that he believed that Members were allowed to attend Committee Meetings, security relented and said he could return at 1:30 on the afternoon, but would not provide any details about what committees were meeting or in which specific rooms.
Rob returned to the meeting area at 1:30pm, the scheduled time for the Legal Affairs Committee. He was greeted by the same security supervisor that escorted him out of the area less than an hour before. He was told specifically where to sit in the room… and a security guard at next to him. Rob also noticed a newly printed sign was placed at the door as he arrived that said “No Photography”.
The meeting was called to order and began as one might expect. There was a roll call of Committee Members, of which most were in attendance. There were introductions of non-Board Members that were present because of their roll on the committee or at the Institute for Legislative Action. In total, there were about 40 Board Members (of 76) present. As it turns out, the NRA Board has decided to hold very few committee meetings this year and this was the only one being held in the afternoon. The meeting started with an update from the new head of the ILA Jason Ouimet . He talked about the Republican Party wins in North Carolina. He talked about the House of Representatives moving forward with efforts in regard to a Magazine Ban, Semi-Auto Ban and National Red Flag Law. Specifically, he referred to the latter being “a bad red flag law, with no due process.” He informed those in attendance that they could reference the packet of information they were provided with for more information. As you might have guessed, no packets were available for Members and Rob Pincus was told that he couldn’t have one when he asked for a copy.
Ouimet introduced the already controversial new General Counsel for the ILA, Wade Callendar. He assured the attendees that one of the key strengths of that choice was his ability to testify to the concept that violent first person shooter video games were contributing to the problem of violence in the US, as the NRA has often asserted.
Ouimet celebrated the appointment of over 150 new judges at the Federal Level by President Trump and talked about some specific activities in various States including KY, VA, MS, NJ, LA. He praised NH Gov. Sununu for vetoing recent gun control laws passed by their legislature. He lamented the gun control calls from the Lt. Gov. of Texas.
After his own updates, he invited the subcommittee chairpersons to provide updates. Scott Bach (State Issues) talked about trying to stop certain States from taking actions that would cross State borders in efforts to spread gun control. Graham Hill arrived a little late to the committee meeting because had actually been working on behalf of American Gun Owners on Capitol Hill. He didn’t have much to say about his subcommittee, which is apparently related to Congressional Activities. Todd Rathner heads the subcommittee on International Affairs and he said that they hadn’t yet met, but assured the attendees that International Issues are “complex and arcane, but important”.
At that point, Ouimet invited questions from the Board Members… but, the Old Guard wasn’t going to let that happen without taking the opportunity to suggest that the meeting be taken into Executive Session. The Chairman asked if there were any objections. Not a single Board Member raised their hand. Despite the rampant calls for transparency… even from several Board Members in attendance, no one spoke up to protect the interests of The Members. The next step was announcing that everyone who was not a Member of the NRA Board of Directors needed to leave. That was about 6 people… all but one invited participants including non-board member committee members and Chuck Michel, head of the NRA Affiliated California Rifle & Pistol Association. Only one person…. 1 out of 5 Million Eligible Members… that was there to represent concerned American Gun Owners interested in NRA Reform had to leave the room.
Rob had this to say:
“The thing that is bothering me right now: NRA claims 5 million Members. Members are ostensibly allowed to attend these meetings. Social media is on fire in regard to the crisis at the organization.
There was only one committee meeting this afternoon, one of the most important ones, the Legal Affairs Committee.
There were less than 10 empty chairs in the room and I was basically given a personal security escort. The NRA wasn’t prepared for Members to attend, nor did they appear to want Members to attend.
After the meeting went into Executive Session, I went to the Secretary’s Office adjacent to the meeting room to request a schedule of the meetings scheduled for the next day and, as the staffer was writing them down for me, Security showed up and told me I needed to leave. Rudely. They would not even let the staffer provide me with the information. At that point, NRA Director Robert Brown came over to see what was going on and Security insisted that I leave the entire meeting area forcing the Director to walk out into the hallway to finish his conversation with me. Security was smug and increasingly aggressive as the short moment went on.”
Today, the committee meetings are continuing with the very important Finance Committee meeting at 9am. Rob Pincus will be returning. Hopefully, he won’t be the only concerned member there.
If you are a concerned NRA Member, you should be there too. Certainly, we need as many NRA Members as possible to be at the main Board Meeting on Saturday the 14th at the Washington Dulles Airport Hilton in Herndon, VA. The security check in table will open at 7:30 AM. All you need is your NRA Membership Number and a photo ID. Let the NRA Directors know that you care.
We have also called for a gathering of American Gun Owners this evening to attempt to discuss the issues facing the NRA and to engage with the many Directors at the venue. STS Board Member Andy Lander was able to join Rob at the venue last night and they did have many great conversations with several Directors.
Save the Second will continue to push for Reform at the NRA and represent the voices of concerned American Gun Owners, but we need more NRA Members to join this fight!