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.
Not surprisingly, their message resonated with the 1000 attendees at the 2019 Gun Rights Policy Conference, which is largely made of up of leaders from State, Local and Lifestyle Gun Rights Organizations…. organizations that are capable of picking up the slack and anxious to have access to more resources and opportunities if the NRA Falls.
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.
Rob Pincus was invited back on to NPR’s Here & Now to talk about the experience that NRA Members had while attending the 2019 Fall Board Meeting. Members were not welcome and it was apparent that the NRA Leadership was completely unprepared for them to be present.
If that is not clear enough, read this: Save the Second does NOT want to destroy the NRA. We want a strong, effective, efficient, focused, engaged, powerful and accountable National Rifle Association of America. For that to happen, our NRA must be reformed.
As we asked NRA Director Joel Friedman on our Facebook post: Which is it Joel Friedman? Our first proposed bylaw amendment petition received more than double the amount of the required amount of signed petitions for an attendance policy for NRA Board of Directors. Do you think these, your constituents, are trying to destroy the NRA by demanding you and Marion Hammer actually attend NRA board meetings? Or are we trying to better our National Rifle Association by holding you accountable?
Adam Kraut has released a letter explaining why he is not taking the opportunity to sit on the NRA Board of Directors… and I don’t blame him. I worked hard to support Adam’s attempts to get on the BoD in 2017 and 2018 when he ran for the 76th Seat at the NRA Annual Meeting. By 2019, having gotten onto the ballot and still not been successful, it started to become apparent that Adam’s interest in trying to help the NRA from within had wained. Even during the election cycle itself, it appeared that Adam’s passion for the seat had been stifled, as can be read between the lines of this January 19th Statement.
August 2, 2019
In 2016, I began a campaign to run for the NRA Board of Directors by petition of the members.
The idea to run for the Board started with a conversation between myself and two Board Members at the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg that February. Those two Board Members were amongst those who recently resigned. After many phone calls, questions, and a lot of thought, I decided the pursue a seat, in the hopes that I would be able to lend some new ideas and a different take on issues of the Organization. Much to my surprise, my well-documented (and freely available) ideas and proposals met severe institutional resistance. In spite of that, this past year, I hesitantly pursued a seat again, for a third time, at the encouragement of friends and many NRA members who believed that I could add value to the Organization. Once I received the results of the mail ballot, I opted to not pursue the 76th Seat at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, as I had done the two years prior. While I gave my best efforts over the past three years’ election cycles, I respect and have accepted the choice of the voting members.
After the learning that I was not elected to the Board during this year’s election and coming to understand that my role would have been reduced to simply ‘filling a chair’ even were I to have been elected, I began to focus my time and energy on other exciting opportunities to accomplish my genuine personal desire and goal to advance the Second Amendment, individual liberty generally, and continuing to help educate and inform gun owners about important issues and challenges.
Between the time I began to collect petition signatures in 2018 and the election results being returned this year, news about the NRA began to emerge from a variety of sources. Since these claims and allegations have been the focus of much discussion within the firearms and SecondAmendment community for the past several months, I need not recount them here.
Based on my review and understanding of the by-laws, the recent resignations of the three directors would potentially allow me to serve until the adjournment of the next Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. Just prior to the release of this statement, I was contacted by the NRA and informed that there was a vacancy on the Board which I would be able to fill. Prior to receiving the phone call, I devoted time to consider the possibility of accepting the position, based on the news that three directors had resigned and my understanding of the by-laws.
After careful thought and consideration, and because of the magnitude of time, work, and attention these exciting and important new endeavors that I am currently involved in require, it would not be possible for me to provide the NRA Board of Directors, the Organization, and the Members with the significant time, work, and attention a board of directors role – especially in the current climate – would require. Further, I am not willing to put the NRA into a position where my new position and role in our community could even potentially create a conflict, or even a bad optical light that could be leveraged against it by the media and its enemies. Thus, I cannot in good conscience accept a position as an NRA director.
It has been my honor to have your support these past few years. It is humbling to know that so many share my passion for liberty and supported my proposals to improve our NRA. And I sincerely hope that the Board and the Executive staff of the NRA will do what is right and necessary to create a healthy, strong, and positive force for our rights.
I am excited to support the NRA’s good work, and that of many others, from my new position through coalition building, hard work, thoughtful strategy, and undertaking those efforts that will, I hope, result in a more free America and restored Republic. I am eager to continue promoting the advancement of liberty and hope that you’ll continue to join me in doing do.
Yours in Liberty,
NRA Open Letter , Adam Kraut 8/2/2019
I believe that Adam is making the right choice right now. The NRA is in crisis. It has become apparent to just about everyone that the organization is not capable of fixing itself from within. The Leadership has made it clear that they are not interested in change for the better. After decades of manipulation, insulation, cronyism and lack of oversight from the Board and Members, the Wayne LaPierre Regime has a stranglehold on the largest and most important Pro Gun Rights Entity on The Earth. And, the “old guard” is circling the wagons even tighter while driving the organizing into the ground.
Wayne LaPierre’s Stranglehold during Crisis
Wayne LaPierre has kept a low profile since the NRA Annual Meeting, but he did surface a few weeks ago to announce that he has created a new division and several new positions at the NRA. These positions all deal with Public Relations, Media & Messaging and, not shockingly, they all answer directly to him.
The President, Carolyn Meadows, is calling Directors who dare to question the status quo unprofessional and recently set the stage for kicking those Directors who openly calling for independent Audit of the NRA off of the Board. Her statements have mostly been a hollow attempt to convince NRA Members that everything is fine and under control at HQ. Her words have been supported and parroted by the NRA Vice Presidents Charles Cotton and Willes Lee.
Past President Marion Hammer, a contentious and controversial mouthpiece for the regime, has made several public statements affirming the fact that there is no shame in the Leadership nor a concern over the obvious disregard for the concerns of The Members of the NRA, much less the efforts of Directors to do the right thing. We shouldn’t forget that it was Hammer who ironically posted the infamous “Enemy Within” Article that became a rallying point for Adam’s 2018 Campaign for the 76th Seat.
A small group of other Directors have supplicated themselves as apologists for the Status Quo and demonstrated their support for Wayne publicly in articles or interviews, including Anthony Colandro, Joel Friedman, Scott Bach and Carrie Lightfoot.
A few Directors (including Tom King & Todd Rathner) have defended Wayne against Concerned NRA Members in the comment sections and, for the most part, quickly retreated. Only Willes Lee seems to have a Marion-Hammeresque willingness to continually get pummeled on social media by obtusely crying “#fakenews!” at every opportunity.
Meanwhile, the New York State Attorney General’s Office is in the midst of a well publicized investigation into the NRA’s Operations, Washington, DC has initiated its own actions against the NRA & The NRA Foundation, Congress is making inquiries and the Gun Control Movement is salivating as they watch all the drama play out.
Would you want to wade into the middle of this disaster? Would you expect to be able to do any good from the inside? By my count, there are only five Directors left on the Board who have openly spoken critically about the Status Quo and The Leadership: Oliver North, Allen West, Robert Brown, Duane Liptak and Buz Mills. The Truth About Guns (and others) have speculated that Ted Nugent signaled an interest in change when he shared one of our STS Videos, but no clear public statement has been made to that effect. North has been formally asked to resign (he refused through his lawyers) and we know that Liptak & Brown have lost important Committee Positions in the well documented purges. Most people paying attention believe that the Executive Committee of the NRA Board is maneuvering to have these and other other troublemakers removed from The Board as the first order of business at their September Meeting.
We Can Still Fix The NRA
At the same time, many more leaders & influencers in the Firearms Community, High Value Donors (lead & represented in many cases by David Dell’Aquila) and American Gun Owners are stepping up to demand change at the NRA. The tide has been clearly turning in regard to the attitude most people have towards the NRA. For many years, I’ve pointed out that the NRA’s own claimed membership numbers represent significantly less than 10% of American Gun Owners. Jeff Knox witnessed the treacherous establishment of Wayne LaPierre’s Regime in the 1990’s and has been sounding the alarm about the dysfunction at the NRA for decades. He continues to ask the important questions while pointing out important facts. There are rumors that the NRA Board Members can’t get straight answers from their assigned counsel, that they’ve lost their liability insurance, that a former NRA Exec has agreed to cooperate with the NY State investigation in exchange for immunity and that the NRA has defaulted on a loan it took from it’s own Foundation.
I don’t blame Adam Kraut for not taking the seat. The NRA is not going to get fixed from the inside. That has become clear. The question now is Who will change it from the outside?
Will it be Government Agencies through regulatory action or criminal indictments, possibly spurred on by proponents of gun control or anti-gun influencers?
Or, will it be proud American Gun Owners who rally to save the NRA from itself?
I hope it will be the latter… and, I’m proud to part of the one organization that has been formed specifically to be part of the solution and help the NRA Reform.
Save the Second was formed to represent the voice of former, current and potential future NRA Members who are concerned about the problems currently facing the organization. We believe these problems were caused by its leadership and a failure of the Board of Directors to properly oversee the organization. Save The Second is in the final week of a Petition Campaign to require Mandatory Attendance for Directors at Board Meetings so that they might be more involved in the business of the NRA and be more accountable to the Members.
If you are not a Voting Member, but share our concerns and interest in a Stronger NRA, please SHARE this video, sign up for our email list and support our Five Points of Reform. Learn More HERE: www.savethe2a.org.
Recently, I have noticed that discussions about the NRA have brought out similar comments amongst NRA members. These similar, reoccurring comments are easily noticeable on the comment sections of Ammoland, YouTube firearms related channels, Facebook and other firearms communities on the internet. From that, three categories of NRA members make these reoccurring comments. Let’s look at those:
Those who are unaware of the NRA’s corruption.
Those who are aware of the NRA’s corruption.
Those who defend Wayne LaPierre.
Those who are unaware of what’s going on on Waples Mill Road are a massive group. They probably aren’t aware that the name behind so many solicitations for NRA-ILA funds, Chris Cox, is long gone. These persons could probably only list one or two NRA BoD celebrities. This group is also, likely, the majority percentage of NRA voting demographic that didn’t vote in last years’ annual director election. What news outlet regularly covers it all? A list and biography of current directors isn’t even found on the NRA website. One might surmise that this group of folks are perhaps unaware because the NRA leadership wants to keep it that way, otherwise the 94% of the organizations’ members who have abstained from voting would be met with engagement campaigns, articles, letters and more instead of the mere solicitations for donations.
The second group is growing slowly. This group has largely used social media to share news and issues within the NRA. Some are people who have come together in the wake of NRAAM19. Others, like Tim from Military Arms Channel, have seen corruption which dates back to the 1980’s. This group also includes those who are adamant about the need for NRA reformation, like Save the Second. Others in this group have lost hope of the NRA reforming and moved on to other organizations. You’ll see that they quite frequently call for you to just go join “xyz” organization.
The third group is almost entirely those NRA directors who support Wayne LaPierre. Carlyon Meadows, Charles Cotton, Willes Lee, Marion Hammer, Tom King and a few more. There are a few others in this group, outside these directors, who have been lead to believe that all of these issues are the result of some sort of attack on the NRA by anti-gun groups. Let’s entertain that for a moment. Assume that they are correct and that this is all an elaborate attack. That must mean the that Oliver North was an anti-gun agent and so was Chris Cox, Jennifer Baker, NRATV & stars Dana Loesch, Colion Noir and more along with a few dozen current and former NRA directors. That name-calling could go on forever and isn’t in the realm of reality. Now, please don’t misunderstand, there are plenty of actual anti-gun entities who want to strip us of our second amendment rights, though the conjecture that anyone opposed to Wayne LaPierre and those that call for fiduciary accountability is an anti-gun whatever is beyond nonsense. It is a lie straight out of the pits of hell. Wayne LaPierre does not walk on water nor is the NRA the National Wayne Association.
Which are you? If you need to be brought up to speed, we have a page for that! If you are up to speed, take action! If you are in the last group, know that there is coming a time that your story will be told and your legacy hinges on which side you pick. No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Save the Second started the #76in76 campaign on our Facebook page on June 26th. The goal of the #76in76 is that you, members of the National Rifle Association (NRA), contact all 76 of your NRA Board of Directors (BoD) in the days leading up to the next BoD’s meeting in Anchorage, AK on September 10th. Your voice as an NRA member has never before been needed as much as it is right now.
The NRA BoD’s job is to hold the NRA executive leadership accountable and provide the direction, integrity and oversight for the future of our nonprofit organization. As the recent removal/resignations of Oliver North, Pete Brownell, Jennifer Baker and Chris Cox, plus the recent De Facto Purge of directors from their committee assignments, has shown us the organization is in disrepair. The problems are further exacerbated by the New York and District of Columbia’s investigations into violations (potentially criminal) of the nonprofit status of the NRA. Many believe that these investigations will result in the loss of the NRA’s nonprofit status and as a result will ultimately cripple the NRA beyond repair. That is a very real result of the malfeasance with which our NRA executive leadership has allowed and perhaps fostered.
Directors such as Marion Hammer do not seem to care. It seems that to her these are trivial attacks from some outside force and anyone demanding accountability is apart of that attack. On the afternoon of Sunday, June 14th Hammer sent out an email condoning the removal of directors from committees. In it she specifically chastises Duane Liptak, NRA Director and the CEO of Magpul, explaining that those directors removed from committees are not on a “naughty list” but actually on a “non-professional list.” I am unable to envision any of the directors stripped of their committee assignments as unprofessional. Just the opposite, anyone who attempts to coverup, condone or commit malfeasance is unprofessional and an enemy of our NRA. Thus far Marion Hammer’s only actions have been to defend a failed NRA leader and label any who demands accountability an anti-gun agent or non-professional director.
Marion Hammer urges us all to look on to a future election and ignore the present. Moving forward might be possible if integrity existed in the NRA BoD to fight the failed leadership and have those responsible held accountable for these multitude of failures. Those directors who are on the “non-professional list” might be our best hope in fixing the NRA. We must fix the NRA today so that tomorrow’s fight can even be possible. Mrs Hammer continues in he email, “We must now move on. Those who truly care about the Second Amendment and Freedom will move on.”
I am afraid that the destruction of the NRA would give us no other choice but to move on, to other organizations which fight for our second amendment rights. Loads already have, unfortunately. Nice to see Hammer try to unify those disenfranchised members, right? The destruction of the NRA is something none of us at Save the Second wish to happen. Just the opposite, Save the Second’s very creation on June 2nd, 2019 was meant to correct and strengthen our NRA. Ultimately, Save the Second has no final say. We can only identify problems, work towards solutions and educate NRA members on what is truly occurring inside their NRA. Which is why we need you to participate in the #76in76, desperately.
Marion Hammer, Tom King and more on the BoD continue to demonize and ignore the NRA members. They also continue silence directors who raise concerns and defend the largest enemy to the NRA: the internal lack of accountability for those at the top. Actions prove who someone is, words prove who someone wants to be. The path to reform is desperately needed and reform starts with integrity, accountability and transparency. There are NRA BoD who are working towards these reformations. Timothy Knight seems to have done just that in calling for an independent audit.
Hammer mentions in her letter that there are “numerous well-informed board members who have taken the time and made an effort to learn the facts.” That is interesting to me. Perhaps she doesn’t want all directors to be well-informed. Especially since Allen West specifically mentioned having not been made aware of the facts in his article in May, despite Carolyn Meadows saying the board had. Even more unsettling is the fact that Tom King threatened myself with legal action after I confronted him on a $40,000 airfare to the Bahamas for Wayne LaPierre paid for by Ackerman McQueen. While those leaked documents which provide that information do not tell the whole story Marion Hammer, Tom King and more certainly won’t even mention or comment on such things. Perhaps they cannot comment because these documents are a part of ongoing lawsuits between the NRA and Ackerman McQueen. That shouldn’t stop them from taking action.
Whatever the case may be, the BoD allowed these problems to flourish. Still, the BoD can fix it but they need to fix it now, not in 2021. We desperately need you to tell your NRA BoD that they must fix the problem before it is too late. The fate of our NRA is at stake. Please, get motivated and get focused. Write some letters to directors and write a lot of them. Together we can be apart of the solution to make our NRA accountable, effective, relevant and amazing. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Mark Walters invited STS Board Member Rob Pincus onto his daily radio show a few weeks ago to discuss our Five Points of Reform and why reform is needed at the National Rifle Association in General. You can now listen to the entire discussion (40+ Minutes!) through Mark’s Youtube Channel.
This reminds me of the 2006 scandal of Pastor Ted Haggard. When allegation that the New Life Church’s pastor had been involved in drugs and homosexual prostitution, few believed it. Many publications wouldn’t even publish such a thing. It wasn’t until Haggard’s half-hearted confession was published that his followers and supports were faced with the reality that they had willfully ignored prior facts based on their discounting news sources as merely attacks. The allegations were so unpleasant that many people simply refused to believe the facts, regardless of what source the reports came from, until it came from Haggard’s mouth directly. During that time even I discounted the reports until they came from Haggard’s lips.
Enter NRA BoD Tom King, who has had some controversy of his own. He initiated the conversation Saturday evening posting, “The Trace is owned by Bloomberg.” A dialog of 67 comments followed from his comment on Save the Second’s post. King’s response to Wayne LaPierre’s travel itemization in which he charged $39,947.50 merely in airfare to go to the Bahamas was, “Didn’t I read that in Bloomberg’s rag The Trace?” Tom King later threatened myself with a requirement to give a deposition in New York from his lawyer, that would come on Monday. How and why that will come is a mystery to me, but this conversation begs a much larger question: What on Earth is going on!?
Regardless of the criminal investigation launched by the New York Attorney General and comparisons to the removal of CEOs, what companies have ever dug in their heels against their customers? When United Airlines suffered their PR nightmare, did they say that their customer was wrong? No. They settled out of court and reformed the way they dealt with these sort of situations. They listened to their customers. When Tesla received a request via twitter to move the seat back and raise the steering wheel did Elon Musk threaten legal action against the customer? No! Elon Musk himself responded in a surprising way. When Best Buy survived the similar death of Circuit City and the competition from Amazon do you think a Best Buy Board of Director would have condoned their CEO paying more for a ticket than the cost of an entire aircraft for the purpose of taking a vacation?! All the while charging it all to the ad agency’s credit card? You would be off your rocker if you said yes. The NRA is fighting its own members at this point instead of playing damage control like any other corporation world.
The bottom line is that the NRA cannot be accountable by being unaccountable. Those that would insult us as either being “Bloomberg” or playing into the hands of Bloomberg, such as Tom King did, are sitting on the sideline with their heads in the sand while our NRA is being destroyed. It isn’t being destroyed from Bloomberg. It isn’t being destroyed by Everytown of Gun Safety. It is being destroy by the executive leadership’s negligence and directors who condone its potentially criminal malfeasance. Each day the NRA dies a little more due to the BoD inaction. What on Earth is going on in the NRA?!