Many leaders at the 2019 Gun Rights Policy Conference were talking about the crisis at the NRA. Many see that the NRA could fail and are talking about what happens if the NRA Falls. Could it go bankrupt? Could the NY Attorney General shut them down? Could the Washington, DC AG strip Non-Profit Status?
A couple of speakers addressed “The Elephant in the Room” from the stage. In fact, that issue was important enough that Rob Pincus (Save The Second) and Jim Irvine (Buckeye Firearms Association) were scheduled as the first guest speakers on Saturday Morning. They didn’t waste the opportunity re-hashing the misdeeds of the NRA Leadership or listing the many problems in Fairfax.
Pincus & Irvine reminded everyone of a couple of important things, should the NRA Fall:
1. American Gun Owners are the Gun Lobby.
2. There are hundreds of legitimate organizations doing good work to defend our Second Amendment Rights.
3. It is harder to fight hundreds of organizations than just one.
GRPC is the premier Gun Rights Advocacy event of the year. It should be noted that not a single on of the 91 speakers, including a few NRA Representatives and at least one Board Member, took the opportunity to defend the current NRA Leadership or address the crisis from the stage.
Save The Second continues to work for Reform at the NRA, so that they can me stronger, more credible and more effective in the future.
Growing up one of my favorite movies was the Wizard of Oz. One of the most important lessons out of that movie is that once you figure out who the true Wizard is behind the curtain, you need to pay attention. Right now the NRA executives and some of the Board Members are proving that people of money and power only want one thing, more money and will do just about anything to avoid giving up power. It makes no difference who actually pulled back the curtain because the NRA is being poisoned from within and is being run into the ground. I know this sounds like it is coming from somebody wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, but right now there are men screaming into cell phones, talking to Lawyers, drafting cease and desist letters, hoping to silence those of us who want to release the truth about what is actually is going on at the NRA. NRA Board of Directors, all we are asking is grow a backbone and lead us.
Right now American gun owners are under assault and certain NRA Board members are targeting us at Save the Second. Our organization is made up of roughly 4 concerned NRA members and are composed of two regular guys, (Ron Carter, Anthony Garcia) a guy with a bald head (Rob Pincus) that trains people in shooting and makes electronic firearms training content, then myself (Andy Lander) a former employee from the Education and Training Department who wants to see the cronyism stop and seeks reform.
Recently, Willis Lee (NRA Second Vice President) and Joel Friedman, (who tried to adjourn the NRA members meeting in Indianapolis this year without letting the members be heard) who are also current NRA Board Members along with a past President, Ms. Marion Hammer, have accused me along with organizations like Save the Second and the three NRA Board members who resigned a few days back (Timothy Knight, Sean Maloney, and Ester Schneider) as being Bloomberg Spies. That is the farthest thing from the truth! But, I am merely a Tin Man with a Heart set on doing what is right. What the heck is going on? Can the cowardly lions on the NRA board just get some courage and fix it? Because right now all of you are acting like scarecrows and/or it appears you have no brain!
On August 1,2019, three NRA Board of Directors, who requested to have an independent audit conducted, stepped down. Then on August 12 Julie Golob, a newly elected board member, also decided to step down from the board. I’m going to guess that the current NRA leadership is going to do everything in its power to not have the curtain pulled back further. It would not surprise me if those NRA board cronies went as far to say that the directors who resigned had been “planted” on the NRA board for the last so many years by Bloomberg, Brady Campaign, or Mommies who demand some sort of action. Which, of course would be and are absurd, blatant lies.
NRA President Carolyn Meadows and other NRA Board of Directors are saying that everything is alright, or as the Wizard said to Dorothy, “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”. Carolyn Meadows went so far as to even state that the NRA’s finances are in order. But is that actually true? In the next few months if finances are likely getting low, and legal fees to the Brewer firm remain so astronomically high, you will probably see other board members following suit with those who resigned. There is also the another alternative. Let’s say (hypothetically) that the US Government gets involved, Department of Justice or even a Congressional Inquiry… I have a feeling if that happens the Board Members will start singing like canaries. That reminds me, with all this being said: pay attention to words like “fiduciary” and all the comments regarding Board Members performing their duties, in these open letters from current NRA Board members.
If in fact the finances of the NRA are questionable, wouldn’t the NRA President, Ms. Meadows, have an obligation to tell the board the true financial status of NRA? I think the most reasonable conclusion one could assume is that Ms Meadows does in fact have that obligation. If that is the case, then there is also the question: Is there a legal penalty for lying to the Board of Directors who have been elected by the NRA members to run the organization?
Another fact filled article has been released with some details of the Reckless NRA Financial Practices and serious money problems that the association has been facing for a long time. Many have wondered why the relationship between Ackerman-McQueen and the NRA Leadership fell apart so massively and so suddenly. Was it all faked to distract from Criminal Investigations? Was it over an embarrassing sex scandal? Was it a coup attempt by Ack-Mc to install a replacement that would continue their sweetheart deal for another couple of decades? It might turn out to be as simple as the PR Firm that had the most inside of inside tracks into what has really been going on in Fairfax realizing that the association simply wasn’t going to be able to pay them for much longer.
Here’s the core of the gory financial details reported today:
While the gun group’s revenue grew only about 0.7% a year over the past decade, NRA expenses grew by an average of 6.4% a year.
And although the organization has historically seen ebbs and flows in its finances, deficit spending has become routine.
Borrowing from unlikely sources
The NRA has been borrowing money to make ends meet amid this deficit spending. Having nearly maxed out its conventional lines of borrowing through banks, it’s also been borrowing from those closer to it.
For example, it has aggressively pushed members to pay upfront for multi-year memberships, effectively borrowing from its member ranks. This strategy comes at a cost, however, by closing off those member dues as sources of future cash. At the end of 2017, the NRA’s obligations to members exceeded $30 million.
It also owes its current and future retirees money – after leaving its pension plan underfunded by $49.7 million in 2017. Reports that it has cut back on those promises by freezing its pension plan point to further resource strain.
Perhaps most striking is the NRA’s stopgap borrowing from its own affiliated charity, the NRA Foundation. Charity spending rules do not allow affiliated charities to simply give the NRA money to cover any expenses, but they can lend it funds. This is precisely what the gun group did in 2017, by borrowing $5 million from its affiliated foundation as a short-term loan that was then extended.
An additional $18.8 million of grants from the charity – representing over 40% of the foundation’s budget – demonstrate the group’s heavy reliance on its affiliate. Since charity rules strictly govern how such funds can be used, the New York attorney general’s office probe will surely scrutinize these cash transfers.
Los Angeles Post, 8/14/2019
The revelations confirm the rumors about Reckless NRA Financial Practices. The NRA has been acting Funny with Member’s Money. Issues with retirement plans (except for Wayne’s, as he’s taken Millions of Dollars out early), loans to “The NRA” from its affiliated entities (all while the apologist are still asking for people to fund those supposedly separate entities), and spending that far outpaced actual revenue have all been widely reported from internal sources openly and in whispers for a long time.
We have been talking with a number of NRA directors to help create a path forward for reform. Some of these directors have come out publicly with statements of support for Save The Second, some have shared our links and our petition in social media. Some are signing on to sponsor proposals for NRA bylaw changes to be discussed and possibly voted on at the next Board Meeting in September.
There are a handful of Directors who are helping to make things better who have not spoken out publicly. There are a variety of specific reasons for their request for secrecy at this point. We as an organization have honored their requests to not be publicly acknowledged. We understand that some Directors are under immense pressure.
Some of this pressure is only social – straining friendships or forcing uncomfortable conversations. In other cases, some directors have expressed specific concerns over threats and intimidation. These threats are to more than just their political standing in a group of elites. Some of them feel that their livelihoods, jobs, businesses, or that of their friends might be jeopardized if they come out publicly. We have heard this from a majority of the directors we’ve spoken to. Obviously, the Old Guard at the NRA has been blatant about their willingness and ability to affect someone’s life, career, and family.
To try to put this into perspective, imagine that you worked for a company that took great pride in your service as a respected NRA Board Member. Perhaps you served on a couple of important committees, giving you even more social capital and influence that your employer valued. You try to do the right thing in response to the allegations against the leadership of the NRA, perhaps just suggesting that things do need to be audited or discussed publicly… and a few weeks later, you find yourself off those committees and Persona Non Grata with the NRA Inner Circle. Sadly, that Inner Circle still holds the purse strings on millions of dollars in contracts and financial opportunities inside of our community and you are no longer a valued employee.
These issues involving threats and intimidation are running rampant there, according to sources on the inside. It has paralyzed many and kept them from acting publicly. It’s time the NRA members know this, and can act accordingly themselves.
We are sharing this for two reasons:
Firstly, current, former, and potential NRA members need to know that Save The Second isn’t giving a “free pass” to any Director. We are pushing back against the elites and Old Guard who would have you believe that any criticism of the NRA is done at the behest of “Bloomberg” or that anyone working to reform the NRA is on the payroll of “Soros.” We are pushing those directors who are trying to remain silent on these issues to choose a side, but we won’t betray their confidence. We are supporting the most vocal opponents of the status quo. We are also talking to a number of board members who have personally convinced us that they are working towards real improvement. In most cases they have agreed to vote in favor of bylaw changes that are aligned with the Five Points of Reform.
Secondly, NRA directors that are working for the kind of change that we need at the organization who have not spoken to us need to know that we are willing to hear them out and respect their request for secrecy at this time. We understand the pressure you are under and appreciate that it best helps our cause to keep your intentions to support real reform under the radar until the right time. Please reach out to us.
Contact us personally – through social media (just message our Facebook page), email@example.com, or arrange contact through any of the directors already speaking with us. We have become aware of some surprising allies over the past few weeks and have adjusted some of our communications because of it. People that we did not believe are on our side actually are. There is more dissent in that building than we realized. There is a lot that we don’t yet know, and we’d love your input. We understand that not everyone is fighting this fight the same way, but we need to know that we are on the same side.
Any board member, employee, or volunteer for the organization that wants to reach out to us can request this secrecy, and it will be honored without question.
Save The Second Board of Directors
“We’re trying to get the attention of all American Gun Owners focused on the fact that it’s okay to have an open discussion about some of the concerns and, honestly, some of the problems that exist inside of the NRA.”– Rob Pincus, Save The Second
It is imperative that our community not be fear-mongered into silence. We cannot be afraid of the truth. It has become apparent that there are serious problems inside the NRA right now… and they’ve been there for a long time. Whistle-Blowers, Leaked Documents and Investigative Reporting have been revealing facts about cronyism, financial malfeasance and potential ethical issues amongst the board members and officers. The devolution of the long-time relationship between the NRA and Ackerman-McQueen has resulted in at least two law suits and the probably dissolution of “NRATV”, a project that the NRA invested millions of dollars in over the past few years and, arguably, the largest and most important source of NRA Messaging to non-members. Those in favor of the status-quo would have us believe that we shouldn’t be asking questions. Those in favor of the status-quo are sending out messages that everything is fine. Those in favor of the status-quo claim that anyone asking for answers is working with the Anti-Gun Lobby. Seriously?!
There are many concerned American Gun Owners speaking up… Join them in expressing your concerns to the current NRA Leadership! You can contribute by taking our polls, volunteering, donating, posting on our Save the Second Facebook Page, or just reaching out to us here on our website. We also invite you to please join our email list.
We must not be afraid of the truth, not matter how damaging it might be in the short term. Covering it up or ignoring it will only make it worse. As STS Board Member Rob Pincus said to the assembled voting members in Indianapolis, we need to ask these questions, get the answers and then “…deal with the fallout from that honestly and openly, so that we can get on with the business of defending our Second Amendment Rights…”
Over the last few weeks, as I’ve spoken out a bit more on the recent scandals plaguing the NRA. I’ve begun to notice a familiar response from NRA Board Members. As if they’ve all been coached to use the same talking points, they keep accusing me and other dissenters of helping the enemy, consorting with the enemy, being clandestine spies for the enemy, or down right being the enemy.
Frankly, I resent that.
I also find it terribly ironic that a bunch of self-proclaimed freedom-loving, Constitution-defending, supposed civil rights activists would balk at dissension from among the ranks. That is not very American.
In response to a letter I recently sent to the NRA Board asking about conflicts of interest, Board Member Wayne Ross predictably played the “you’re the enemy” card, and it was the last straw. After practically suggesting I was on the Bloomberg payroll, Col. Ross warned me to get back in line with him and his compatriots. Below is my response to him. And it’ll be my response to anyone who claims I am against the Second Amendment just because I disagree with the NRA powers-that-be.
Your letter closed with a plea: “Tiffany… I hope you will join us in our efforts.” Sir, that depends on what your efforts are.
Will I follow your efforts blindly, slavishly, without question, just because many of the NRA’s leaders have held their positions of power for longer than I’ve been alive? No, I will not. Will I join your efforts if they appear to be fueling rather than quelling the current assault on the NRA by the media and by those who wish to restrict or abolish the Second Amendment? No, I will not. Will I join your efforts if they result in waning morale among the membership and dire financial straits that force the NRA to repeatedly increase membership dues and to send desperate fundraising emails claiming the NRA “may be forced to shut down forever”? No, I will not.
But if your efforts include urgent actions to preserve the Second Amendment, to reinvigorate the NRA, and to expand our membership and public support with new blood, new energy, new ideas, and 21st Century perspectives in keeping with modern times, then yes, I am absolutely on board, one hundred percent. Your letter urged me to “decide whose side you are on.” I appreciate the advice, but I am not on the side of any individual person, no matter how long they’ve held their NRA leadership title. Only in autocratic monarchies do subjects pledge absolute allegiance to human beings. As for me, I choose instead to side with the Second Amendment itself — and all the priceless freedoms it enshrines.– Tiffany Johnson