A new advertising campaign from Everytown for Gun Safety is targeted at an unusual demographic for an organization that promotes stricter gun laws: card-carrying, dues-paying members of the National Rifle Association.
The six-figure campaign includes television ads on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, as well as digital ads directed at N.R.A. members and gun owners. Ads will also be shown to viewers in Virginia, where the N.R.A. has its headquarters, and Orlando, Fla., where the group’s chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, is expected to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference later this week.
“When you pay to join the N.R.A., you get a sticker — and that’s about it,” the television ad says. Over images of a shooting range and a hunter, it continues: “Today, just 10 percent of what they spend protects things like this. The rest pays for N.R.A. executives to enjoy this: designer suits from Beverly Hills, luxury trips to Italy, Hungary and the Bahamas, private jets, golden parachutes and lots of lawyers. No wonder the N.R.A. is bankrupt.”
“Ditch their sticker,” it concludes. “The N.R.A. has lost its way.”
The expenditures highlighted in the ad were largely made by Mr. LaPierre, who was sued last year, along with three other current and former N.R.A. executives, by Attorney General Letitia James of New York — a lawsuit that drove the group’s decision last month to declare bankruptcy and try to reincorporate in Texas. Ms. James accused the leaders of using the organization “as a personal piggy bank,” a phrase some of the group’s opponents have adopted.
“N.R.A. members pay dues for a whole variety of reasons,” said Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, which is part of Everytown. “But none of them do it so Wayne LaPierre can use their money for expensive suits and flights on private jets.”
— Maggie Astor in An anti-N.R.A. ad campaign focuses on the group’s own members.