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For most folks, the threat of felony criminal perjury charges tends to encourage honesty, even from those who dismiss or ignore their fiduciary responsibility to act honorably and truthfully to an organization’s members. Hence, why as the New York corruption trial continues, all manner of improprieties previous repeatedly denied in the past to the NRA’s members by many of Wayne LaPierre’s cronies have been revealed so freely to the court.

All told, the corruption scandals within the National Rifle Association have cost that organization many tens of millions of dollars in donations. It has also cost about two million members in the last several years, according to NRA Board Member Buz Mills. Mills wrote in an open letter to his fellow NRA board members that it needs new leadership immediately, not the coronation of current President Charles Cotton as LaPierre’s replacement.

Bloomberg’s “Everytown” has day-by-day reports on the trial. Frankly, their reporting seems mostly right down the middle, better than the mainstream media.

Sunshine typically makes the best disinfectant, and there’s a metric ton of dirty laundry coming out in the trial. Just scanning through those, the day former NRA-ILA head Chris Cox testified had some interesting revelations.

    • Cox said that he battled with longtime NRA vendor Ackerman McQueen. He believed the messaging Ackerman was presenting for the NRA was “tone deaf.” Cox indicated that LaPierre was a fierce advocate for Ackerman and that to go against Ackerman was perceived as going against LaPierre. Cox characterized Ackerman as “untouchable.” 
Donald Trump, Chris W Cox, Wayne LaPierre NRA
From left, NRA-ILA’s Chris Cox, President Donald Trump, and NRA EVP Wayne LaPierre.  (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

We had all heard that. We included that here to lay the groundwork for the rest:

    • He testified about concerns he had about the NRA hiring “incompetent people,” citing chief of staff Josh Powell as one example and saying Powell had a background of failures. Cox also testified about losing confidence in certain people at the NRA-ILA. He said that when he informed LaPierre of those feelings, LaPierre would often then hire the individual in question at the NRA “mothership.” Cox specifically named Andrew Arulanandam – the interim successor to LaPierre – as one such individual. 

Powell, of course, rolled on the other defendants in an agreement with the New York Attorney General’s office. He will testify against the other defendants in exchange for limiting his financial liability to $100,000. Given the numbers getting tossed around at this trial, he might have saved himself millions in restitution and penalties.

It also seems as though Chris Cox, a very sharp man who worked hard to rise into leadership, didn’t think highly of Powell. Or of Andrew Arulanandam, the man appointed (selected?) as the interim successor to LaPierre.

    • Cox became alarmed at the amount of borrowing at the NRA.
    • Cox testified that he did not believe that routing of NRA executive expenses through Ackerman McQueen was necessary for security, noting that if it had been, then presumably he, as the second-most public face of the organization, would have had the same setup. 

The “security” argument might sound good to those who don’t know any better. For the rest of us “security” sounds a lot more like “keep it off the books.”

    • With respect to NRA attorney Bill Brewer, Cox said that he was concerned about Brewer because he came from outside the Second Amendment legal community and had given money to candidates that supported gun safety reforms. He called Brewer’s bills to the NRA “crippling.” Cox supported the efforts from former NRA board president Oliver North for an audit of the invoices from the Brewer firm.

But Bill Brewer was LaPierre’s buddy. Or perhaps he knew where the rhetorical bodies were buried.

    • In his testimony, Cox spoke of when he discovered that LaPierre had billed the NRA approximately $250,000 for Zegna suits, saying “It was one of the final straws for me” and “I was floored, I was extremely disgusted.” He testified that he wrote a letter of resignation after finding out about the suits, and gave it to Oliver North. Cox testified that people close to LaPierre viewed him as a threat because if he replaced LaPierre, their lucrative relationships at the NRA might end.

“Because if Cox replaced LaPierre their lucrative relationships at the NRA might end.” And there you have it.

nra wayne lapierre
Dan Z for TTAG

Here’s Buzz Mills Open Letter to his peers at the NRA’s Board of Directors, as sourced through NRA In Danger



So, now we are all looking towards New York and Justice Cohen’s courtroom. Our attention is diverted here while chicanery continues in Fairfax.

The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) is at a watershed moment in its 153rd year. Our leadership has admitted in courts and depositions to misappropriation of donor’s funds and unauthorized use of assets. They have admitted condoning the misuse of donor funds by others employed by the NRA. The leadership has for years abused their position and trust placed in them by our members and benefactors. The Board of Directors (BOD) is solely responsible for this victimization of the members.

Thanks to the New York Attorney General, we are halfway to fixing our organization, bringing the NRA up to par with other non-profit special interest groups.

The judge will hold the victimizers responsible, and they will have to account for their deeds.

Meanwhile, in Fairfax the selected leadership is scheming to continue the abuse suffered over the last few decades instead of following the bylaws for the succession of the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer (EVP). The selected leadership wants a special election to install the enabler and facilitator of all the previous chicanery. None other than our duly selected President, he is the man more responsible than any other for permitting our selected leadership to rampantly run roughshod over our membership and benefactors.

As the chair of the Audit Committee for many years, Charles Cotton was responsible for holding our employees accountable and ensuring their conduct beyond reproach. Our chair and “moral compass” approved every single act of malfeasance brought to the committee for decades, multiple acts approved retroactively, months and years after the fact. 

When restitution was mandated, a bonus was awarded the miscreants including enough money to pay the restitution. This bonus also included enough for the miscreant to have the cash to pay the taxes on his misappropriation. Talk about rewarding bad behavior!! 

Again, I emphasize, it was not miscreant’s money, and it was not the facilitator’s money! It was the MONEY OF OUR MEMBERS and the MONEY provided by the BENEVOLENCE OF OUR DONORS. There is something deeply wrong when you continually permit and encourage this serial abuse. 

Also do not forget spearheading the deceit and lying to us about filing bankruptcy that the judge called “a fraud.” The BOD was never advised we needed to file for bankruptcy, nor was it ever justified to the board. We read it in the papers.

As we violate the bylaws again – accepting, justifying and participating in some kind of sham election to make the selected president our EVP.

Is the principal facilitator of the misappropriation of tens of millions of dollars (members and donors’ money) causing the hundreds of millions of dollars of legal fees (again members and donors’ money) really have any business with access to the treasury?

Does he have any right to represent any moral, honest person or organization?


The normal, conventional way this type of business is conducted:

    1. Select a search committee of business professionals from the BOD, selected from the floor by the BOD,
    2. Retain professional employment agencies to recruit, screen and interview potential candidates,
    3. Committee shall interview candidates,
    4. BOD meet and greet,
    5. BOD votes to select a candidate,
    6. Committee sets forth terms and conditions of employment contract.

Now we have a professional to run the business of a world-class organization, in accordance with applicable laws, customs and traditions. Oversight will be provided by a professional BOD congruent with the by-laws in effect prior to ceding all monetary responsibility to the EVP. (circa 2015)

Next we hire a celebrity “FACE” of the NRA as a spokesperson with no access to funds. Using a similar process as finding an EVP.

This is how a professional Board of Directors of a world class not-for-profit begins to heal itself.

We have an opportunity to carefully choose to correct the path we are on. We have the opportunity to recover all of the membership that has abandoned us over these issues (2 million members +/-). We have the opportunity to recover the trust of our most benevolent donors. We have an opportunity to recover the respect of our industry and of the American people. There is no downside to doing this correctly.

Let’s not squander this opportunity, we must move forward smartly and with all the courage of the champions of freedom.

Owen Buz Mills
National Rifle Association of America

Time will tell how this trial and the struggle over who will lead America’s oldest civil rights organization plays out. One thing’s certain, NRA members who follow this trial have discovered that most of the allegations levelled by whistleblowers in years past, adamantly denied by LaPierre loyalists, were not only true, but just the tip of the iceberg.

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  1. Apparently, Oliver North was correct when he accused them of corruption and was then removed from the NRA. It’s a shame people in this Country are so easily corrupted with power and money (particularly when it is someone else’s). Here you have what is supposed to be a reputable organization doing good work for its members and like all these greedy people take advantage of the average guy on the street by using their money inappropriately. Our Country has reached a new level of mental illness with politicians and others who seek power and control over others. No morals, no ethics, no logic, no common sense, just ME ME ME.


    • Our fight for independence and the success of our government following were the result of a citizenry that read, believed, and followed the Bible in their daily lives. (Look up George Whitefield and the effect he had on the colonists, and you’ll understand why our revolution succeeded.) Our leaders in society now seem to reject all the things that made our country so exceptional at the beginning. It is no surprise that leaders of corporations today are so easily corrupted.

    • “It’s a shame people in this Country are so easily corrupted with power and money […] ”

      It’s not just this country. America is not the best, but it is far from the worst.


  2. I understand my view is a minority one. But I am glad that the Attorney General of New York brought this case against the NRA. She was wrong to try to put them out of business completely.

    But as the Attorney General, it’s her job to make sure that the law is being followed. And that charities are not ripping off their members.

    The NRA was clearly abusing the membership money. It’s too bad the attorney general isn’t involved in an adulterous relationship. Because the NRA could certainly use the help right now.

    • she’s abusing her state’s resident’s money. and she’d have turned a blind eye to any pinko org. the fact that her intentions may cause a greater thorn in her paw to rise from the ashes is very satisfying. i for one hope they strengthen.

    • Politicians are often liars in the tactical sense (they falsify facts to advance their agendas), but tend to be open about their agendas because they honestly believe their infringements are good.

      As you implied, any legitimate legal action against NRA would compel leadership to spend donations as members intended – fighting gun control. That is as far as possible from Le Shhitia’s agenda. She openly ran on a pledge to destroy the NRA because she hates guns.

        • I completely agree.

          The fact remains that her lawsuit is 100% anti-2A in its objectives and motivation, and anyone who thinks that she is honestly executing her legal duty or trying, in any way, to straighten out NRA and restore it to its mission of pro-2A advocacy simply hasn’t been listening to her own words.

          She isn’t fooling them, because she isn’t even trying to be subtle. Anyone who thinks this lawsuit is motivated by anything but hatred of 2A is fooling themselves.

  3. This was on “Shooting News Weekly” yesterday.
    Appears the vein of corruption ran deep within the organization.

  4. And as far as Owen Buzz Mills goes. His picture, should be on a Wanted Poster. Post them at evey gun industry related
    business. Along with every member of the board of directors, for allowing this catastrophe to happen.
    Every gun owner should know the face of these criminals.

  5. “One thing’s certain, NRA members who follow this trial have discovered that most of the allegations levelled by whistleblowers in years past, adamantly denied by LaPierre loyalists, were not only true, but just the tip of the iceberg.”

    So you’re taking the prosecution’s side as gospel? Seems a bit premature to judge these things as “certain”; at least before the defense gets to have their say. In a trial, you’re supposed to hear both sides before you make up your mind.

    • And when the “guilty” verdict comes, some will come along to tell us that the judge is corrupt and it’s a bad verdict?

      I didn’t mention the testimony about “girlfriends” getting (indirectly) paid out of the NRA coffers. Or plenty of other things that have gone largely unrebutted by LaPierre, et al’s attorneys.

      • “And when the “guilty” verdict comes, some will come along to tell us that the judge is corrupt and it’s a bad verdict? ”

        Who cares what people will say? Truth is truth and fact is fact. If you’re a journalist, report facts. If you’re an “opinion writer”, state that, and state that you don’t care how the US legal system is supposed to operate, you’ve already decided that the defendant is guilty.

    • Dude – senior officers are rolling over, and giving the prosecution all the evidence that the prosecution ever dreamed of. And, it makes me wonder about junior officers, as well as the peasants doing all the work. How many of them KNEW? How many of them could have blown whistles in years, or even decades past?

      • The prosecution is making a compelling case. Which is their job.

        Afterwards, the defense will make their case. It could theoretically be quite compelling too.

        Sheesh, ain’t nobody heard of “innocent until proven guilty?” Accusations are not proof. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not saying the NRA is innocent, I’m saying that they haven’t even presented their defense, so it’s irresponsible to go about declaring that the accusations are “certain proof” or whatever.

        • You are correct, that they are all innocent until proven guilty. The issue is, they’ve been narced out by current and former employees that saw the issues first hand. LaPierre was long overdue to depart. He should have been canned when he canned Chris Cox. As a lifetime member, it pisses me off LaPierre was able to get away with it for so long with literally hundreds of people pointing at him and the crimes he was committing.

        • I guess all I’m saying is: isn’t it premature to accept anyone’s testimony as gospel? Isn’t that the whole point of a trial, is to figure out who’s telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? I’ve served on juries before, and people lie. Prosecutors lie. Defendants lie. Witnesses lie. That’s why you need the whole picture presented before you can start to figure out what parts are the actual truth.

        • “Sheesh, ain’t nobody heard of “innocent until proven guilty?””

          A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away …

    • “In a trial, you’re supposed to hear both sides before you make up your mind.”

      But we ain’t in a trial, at a trial, part of a trial. We can decide guilt or innocence any way we like. Even if I am wrong, I am always alt-Right.

  6. Let’s remember something. Every officer of the NRA who knew what was going on, but failed to report such conduct to legal authorities shares blame. All these clowns who are speaking up NOW are just trying to cover their own asses – years too late.

    That’s the same standard I use when I talk about bad cops. If one bad cop in a department gets away with racist conduct, sexual harassment or abuse, perjury, etc, then there are a lot more than one bad cop in the department.

    None of these crimes takes place in a vacuum.

    • Fair, but several did exactly that. North and Cox went a step further and publicly stated their concerns and were vilified for it. When other officers see that big names can come out so openly, and get nothing but hate for it from all sides, they’re not likely to follow.

      • Not just vilified, forced out. Similarly, board members who spoke out were forced out. I think that Mr. Mills’ days at the NRA are numbered: thou shalt not oppose La Pierre. As far as I can see, La Pierre felt that HE was the NRA, and no contrary opinions were allowed. The power went to his head. I allowed my membership to lapse because of his conduct, and vowed not to renew until he was gone.

      • This. If you think this was an issue that could be solved with high-profile whistle blowers, you haven’t been paying attention. Ollie North was a while before my time, but I’d read his books and was pretty sure of 3 things about him:
        1. He was loyal to a fault
        2. He was open and vocal about his faith
        3. He had serious name recognition
        If the frigid response he got when he tried to blow the whistle was indicative of one thing it was this: someone (or a group of someones) had bought the NRA out completely. We are talking literally billions in advertising and sales, funneled to people who have influence over gun media (you thought coverage of the R51 was slanted? Try coverage of the NRA prior to this lawsuit) and very deep pockets. If the NRA falls, we can only pray they don’t choose to go after grassroots like FPC and GOA.

  7. The pompous ny ag, Gun Control everytown and wayne et al are all on the same sleaze plane and deserve each other.
    Until NRA membership moves to the front of the bus expect being kept in the dark to continue.

    • I was a member of a scientific professional organization that went through a similar period decades ago. I even rose to the level of Division President for a year where I got hints of the dirty underbelly, then I went back to being a rank and file member. Soon after I attended an NRA Annual Meeting that was nearby and saw the same arrangements. Two lessons learned.

      1) The big Expositions are big profit centers and in both instances the organizations contracted to run others (ie Great American Outdoor Show) for a big profit.

      2) Really big donors and potential big donors are groomed and there is little interest in the little guy. Who will stroke Larry Potterfield’s ego now? The other organization’s biggest potential donor died and left them nothing, while being generous to the other big professional organization in the field!

  8. These men are the Jim Bakker of gun owners– not guided by the desire to do right but for greed. Perhaps Joel Osteen alone has done it better.

      • Crazy people are like that. The local news media, though, begin every story about him with —

        “Racially-motivated shooting … ”

        Our sheriff had it right from day one, calling the perp a “madman.”

        Witness, however, any and all analysis about this guy — he’s obviously mentally ill (had a long history of it), but they’ll accept anything the nutball wrote in his manifesto as if it were a doctoral thesis.

        • I wonder what his love life and home life were like. Even if you were a bigot like that, you wouldn’t spend your days contemplating those things if you were busy providing for your family and loving your girl.

  9. I recall when Cox left. I was truly disappointed because I thought he did a very good job at ILA; and, I always enjoyed his column in the American Rifleman as every time it was thoughtful and well written, not just a fund raising effort or rah rah pat on the back. I thought he’d be a very good successor to LaPierre. The fact that he resided from such position (high level and probably well paid) because of his principles, speaks volumes for him. Maybe they should invite him back now to put it back together; it surely needs it.

  10. I will never support the NRA. They are beyond redemption. You are replacing one set of crooks with another set of crooks. You have to remember where there is lots of money and no accountability greed is always present to inflate the need to abuse those funds for personal needs and desires. I support pro-second amendment groups like GOA,SAF and NSSF. These groups have done more to protect our second amendment rights than the NRA.

  11. NRA FARM
    “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
    George Orwell

  12. @alien

    Thanx for the clarification. Left to myself, an unpleasant choice might be made.

  13. You started to skewer LaPierre, but then you hedged and starting talking in generalities. Bad form. Call a spade a spade.

  14. @hawkeye
    “AJ Fernandez? Remy Martin? Purdey doubles? Don’t limit yourself.”

    Cuz I don’t much care about anything except food and women.

    And martini time.

  15. The quickest way to recover is to make Colion Noir EVP and give him the power to toss any existing member of the BOD’s.

    Make Tammy Bruce director of communications and watch the pair of them make Lefty heads spin like tops.

  16. Any friend of LaPierre is an enemy of the NRA. Truth is – the majority of BOD members sucked up to him for so long because they too are guilty.

  17. I believe Buzz Mills still owns Gunsite. True blue, red state, heir to Col Coopers estate.

    Put a sock in it, Chris from Kentucky…he’s right and you’re ignorant

  18. New bylaws need to be added that mandate total transparency that can’t be bypassed or undone by the new management.

  19. Yup. Irony of ironies. Letitia James – thank you for your support of the Second Amendment and your hard work to clean house at the NRA.

  20. I walked away from the NRA years ago after becoming a second time life member or benefactor and seeing them cave to the lefts agenda, spending money on marketing that failed, not using social media and leaving the grassroots movement to flounder.

    Strip them down to their skivvies and drop them in the sea. Let the fish decide their fate.

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