Jeff Knox’s Letter to the NRA Re: Rules Changes

Submitted by Jeffrey A. Knox,, Endowment Member, Buckeye, Arizona, NRA Member Number: 03XXXXXXXXX

Whereas the National Rifle Association of America is a membership organization, created by and for the benefit of the members, and incorporated under the laws of New York State, making the members, in effect, the shareholders of the corporation; and

Whereas the staff, officers, and board of directors of the NRA have a legal and ethical duty to keep the members fully informed on matters upon which they will be asked to vote; and

Whereas it is a violation of law for officers, staff, or the board of directors to take actions which serve to perpetuate themselves in office and/or withhold pertinent information from membership; and

Whereas in the 2017 elections, the officers and board of directors did promulgate a significant number of bylaw amendments for members to vote on as a single package, and

Whereas several of those bylaw amendments have direct impact on matters such as competition for seats on the board of directors, the ability of the members to initiate a recall of officers and directors, thus serving to perpetuate the current directors in office; and

Whereas those bylaw amendments also seriously restricted the membership’s ability to initiate amendments to the bylaws of the association, and completely removed the right of members gathered for a Members’ Meeting to vote on bylaw amendments, thus repealing some of the last vestiges of the transformative bylaw changes known as the Cincinnati reforms; and

Whereas the officers and board of directors did promulgate these bylaw amendments on the 2017 mail-in ballot, and in the accompanying voting materials, with no prior notice to the membership, no opportunity for debate or discussion, and no consideration for, or presentation of, any ideas or opinions that were not supportive of the proposed bylaw amendments; and

Whereas the one-sided, heavy-handed, and undemocratic presentation of these bylaw proposals to the membership in such a way as to limit the time, opportunity, and avenues for members who might oppose some part or all of the bylaw amendments, to inform fellow members of the problems and consequences of these bylaw amendments; and

Whereas the actions of the board and staff in this matter were autocratic and disrespectful to the membership, and give the appearance of self-dealing for the purpose of perpetuating themselves in office;

Therefore be it Resolved that the members here gathered at the 2017 Annual Meeting of Members in Atlanta, Georgia, recognizing that our authority to force the officers, staff, and board of directors to take a particular action was taken away from us by similar, management-driven votes of the entire membership in previous bylaw elections, do hereby express our extreme displeasure with the actions of the staff and board of directors in their conduct of the 2017 bylaws election, and call upon them to set aside the results of the 2017 bylaws election until such time as the membership can have a full discussion and debate, with presentation of arguments from all sides; and

Be it further Resolved that the members here gathered, exercising the power which we do retain, wish to share our concerns and displeasure regarding this matter with our fellow NRA members, and hereby instruct NRA staff to publish this resolution, in its entirety, in the Official Journal of the association, and that any editorial content included in NRA publications which address this issue, must provide equivalent editorial space on the same page(s) to the author of this resolution.

comments

  1. avatar Batterycap says:

    Members are in effect shareholders? Not at all. The fellow may have a legitimate gripe, or not. I sense he got his feathers ruffled.

  2. avatar Madcapp says:

    Can I have the King James version?

    1. avatar HiddenHills says:

      Is there a Cliff Notes version?

  3. avatar Ed says:

    The NRA, double talking useless fudds helping POTG spin their wheels since the Clinton administration.

    1. avatar kenneth says:

      I’m old enough to remember it going back to the peanut farmer… God knows how much further back it goes than that cuz I was only 16 at that time.

  4. avatar Geoff PR says:

    Can someone provide a plain-language translation of all that?

    1. avatar Jon in CO says:

      From my brief speed reading, basically the board did some shit and made some decisions against what the members wanted, and this is a letter to the board explains their not-so-happy about it attitude. I didn’t read all of it, just chunks here and there.

      1. avatar DaveW says:

        The NRA Board is alleged to have violated certain of it’s own rules regarding open disclosure to the voting members and Knox seeks to see a) the Board is chastised, and b) the Board corrects it’s conduct in the future to comply with it’s own rules.

        Or something like that. I hate Lawyerspeak. All government documents should be published in plain English (reason we need English identified as the national language) at a reading comprehension level equal to 10th grade, allowing the majority of English speaking citizens to understand what is published. Only the Legal community understands this language which keeps the people from truly knowing what the government is doing.

        1. avatar Doc Samson says:

          “at a reading comprehension level equal to 10th grade” – That low, huh?

        2. avatar Cdotson says:

          Doc,

          Flesch-Kincaid readability scoring describes 10th-12th grade level writing as “fairly difficult to read” while describing 8th-9th grade level writing as “plain English.”

          I once heard that Albert Einstein was popular as a scientist because most of his books and theses were written at an average 9th-10th grade level making him more approachable than other big-name scientists of the time or the previous century who averaged 14th-15th in reading ease.

        3. avatar 16V says:

          Even in the ’80s, the Wall Street Journal was 9th grade IIRC, and most ‘regular’ fishwraps are between 6 and 8.

          Especially with the advent of the proud-to-be-stupid-short-attention-span-TL;DR-cretins, the course to Idiocracy is charted, and locked in.

        4. avatar Rincoln says:

          Many best-sellers are written specifically at a 5th grade level. You know, to maximize the audience.

          :/

    2. avatar Nick says:

      The TLDR version as I understood it was that he was pointing out the NRA boards bald faced power grab to keep themselves in power regardless of what the members (aka the electorate) want.

      1. avatar Chris says:

        Frankly it looks like NRA is simply copying the current setup for most C4 membership type organizations. It is in fact more common than not to consolidate.
        I wonder if Mr. Knox has look at governance of other membership organizations? NRA is simply updating rules like Greenpeace, human rights campaign, ACLU do.

  5. avatar Jeffrey G. Gomberg says:

    As a new member, I would be interested in reading the organization’s governing documents. Would someone kindly post a link to where ever they are kept online?

  6. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Whereas, I have no idea WTF he’s talking about, … that will be my only point.

    1. avatar Jamie in North Dakota says:

      LOL! That’s exactly what I was thinking.

  7. avatar Luis Valdes says:

    The NRA pushed a series of changes that prevent the membershipnfrom submitting bylaw changes and changed the election process to the Board of Directrs..

    The current Board is wishing to solidify power and prevent more aggressive pro gun members from gaining seats on the board.

    Basically the Fudds are trying to retain power.

    1. avatar Steve in TX says:

      I read it as saying give your money to SAF.

  8. avatar Klause Von Schmitto says:

    Them: Point of parliamentary procedure!
    Me: Don’t screw around, they’re serious this time!

  9. avatar former water walker says:

    NRA member here. What?!? Even though my latest membership was free (thanks Taurus!) I feel they can do more to put the screws on Donnie. It’s not enough to hobnob. Git er done…

  10. avatar Chito says:

    When I saw the first “Whereas” I stopped reading. The comments are better reading.

  11. avatar Kurt Ingalls says:

    The Bill of Rights and the Constitution were written so “farmers’ could understand it….Lawyers, even those who played one in a movie, try to usurp the “Law” by owning the process by which the law are administered and implimented…the NRA is becoming a bureaucratic beast….caveat emptor………….

    1. avatar Derpy says:

      If your caveat is emptor, it’s time to reload!

    2. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

      Becoming?????????

  12. avatar Sam says:

    Jeff continues the work of his dad representing the so called “hardline” members of the NRA.his dad and a bunch of other hardliners accused most NRA members of being too soft on gun control. Eventually, the same hardliners pushed Neal out of “running the chairs” to become NRA President and that’s how Charlton Heston became NRA president.

    Basically, they needed someone with more mainstream appeal to be president than his dad’s in your face persona.

    Jeff has been complaining about NRA Bylaw changes ever since. That’s not to say he doesn’t have a point here though. It’s just to provide perspective that there may be a little bit of second generation sour grapes in the mix.

    1. avatar Chris says:

      You sound as if you think the harder lines of the NRA occurred in a vacuum? It occurred in response to jurisdictions outright banning firearms for legal owners. And as a result of the massive increase in funding and spending by the gun control lobby by Bloomberg.
      The NRA did not just decide to change. Bloomberg cranked in money to the gun control groups, which never had much public support, artificially raising support for handgun bans to over 60%, assault rifle bans to over 60%, and even of late paying caditated to support mass confiscaton schecmes. he now outspends NRA 15:1 one in public policy, paid research, poltical contributions, and social nedia astroturfing etc. There are are stories making ito the mainstream press sourced to “The Trace” which is fully funded by Bloomberg, citing paid researchers of bloomberg’s as legit, while NRA press releases are “fake news.”

      I don’t agree with KNox specific tactic here, but the claim “the NRA from changed from moderate to harldine for no reason ” is a gun control lobby narrative. It changed because massive amounts of money were being pumped into gun confiscation movement and erasing the seconde amendement as any idividaul right at all.

  13. avatar ZenGun says:

    This type of in-fighting (?), politics BS is what keeps me from joining the NRA.
    On the face of it I side with this fella, Jeff.
    BUT, I have seen behind the curtain of several NFPs. They’re all BS.
    Administrators administrating for power control. Especially when six-figure (or more) salaries are involved.
    NONE will abdicate to true transparency. These boards typically degenerate into the camps of “we know what’s best…”, and pure consolidation of power.
    Because. $$$. Always.

    I on the other hand ALWAYS pray for a just karmic outcome for those types.
    “Live by the sword…”

  14. avatar Bob McMahan says:

    I always follow Jeff’s advice when voting in NRA Board elections.

  15. avatar Arty says:

    My opinion only. It all rolls downhill. LaPierre needs to go.

    1. avatar Kris says:

      Isn’t LaPierre already gone?

  16. avatar Ralph says:

    It seems to me that the NRA executives created a “poison pill” to maintain control of the organization. While this structure should prevent Bloomberg and Soros from trying to buy enough memberships to elect leftist scum to the Board and kill the NRA from within, it is still undemocratic.

    Jeff Knox is the son of Neal Knox, who was a real 2A guy. Interestingly, Neal Knox staged a takeover of sorts in 1991 when he and a bunch of his supporters were elected to the Board of the NRA.

  17. avatar John McPherson says:

    Sorry, but Mr Knox is correct and if you have trouble reading his letter then you need to educate yourself. Such actions violate the trust of the membership of the NRA and should be called to the attention of the members. I understand and support Mr. Knox call for action. I will await the response from the board of the NRA which I support but will hold to a high standard.

  18. avatar NoID says:

    Whereas…

  19. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    He is in part referring to the Cincinnati Revolt, where the NRA board members who supported the Mulford Act in California in 1968, where voted out of office. It was the old bylaws that allowed ordinary and radicalized members who felt betrayed by the boards Mulford Act support. NRA members took control of a board that was largely politically progressive in nature.

    The old guard back in the early eighties wanted to stop all political action and just hunt duck and deer in Colorado. They did not believe in the second amendment.

    I think it was all discussed on the Polite Society podcast last year.

  20. avatar M. Atkinson says:

    Sounds like the bigwigs in charge over at the NRA need a butt kicking by the members again.

  21. avatar Mekus says:

    They are beginning to institute LIBERAL power grab and fraud, just of the same type and style as on Capitol Hill

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