On Friday, popular firearms video impresario Hickok45 and his son John posted an announcement on their YouTube channel. In short, they’re terminating — at least for now — their relationship with the National Rifle Association.
We have high hopes that the NRA will come out of all this strong, lean, and more effective; however, we’ve come to the tough decision that we can no longer take support from the NRA or continue to use our brand to ask people to join. It was not easy yesterday to tell the NRA folks we needed to part ways, but they were very professional about it and understood.
The announcement came one day after the NRA filed suit against former president Oliver North and suspended the org’s number two man and NRA-ILA head, Chris Cox for allegedly participating in the attempted palace coup against EVP Wayne LaPierre. Those moves were apparently the last straws for Hickok45 and his son.
The NRA had been a significant sponsor of the Hickok45 brand and the they had long advocated that gun owners join the organization in support of gun rights. But as they two told their viewers . . .
We need a strong NRA. We want a strong NRA. …
We don’t know exactly what’s going on. We hope for the best. We want to give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s just there’s been so much stuff lately, it’s hard to continue to do that. And it’s hard working with them in an official capacity, where it’s not really our place to get into that or talk about that. …
Hopefully, a year from now, we’ll all be looking at this and thinking, ‘Wow, all that was the best thing that could ever have happened to the NRA, and now they are streamlined, and they are getting things done.’ But who knows?
This is not an insignificant loss for the NRA. Hickok45 and John aren’t known as Second Amendment firebrands. They’ve always avoided getting involved in politics and gun control issues, for the most part, concentrating on shooting guns and the fun of shooting. In that way, it’s safe to say their brand reflects and represents a large portion of America’s mainstream gun owners.
The fact that the NRA has now lost Hickok45 over its recent and widely reported controversies is a serious blow to the organization and its efforts to recruit members and raise cash.
It’s just time for us to bail out for a while. Or permanently, probably. …
My membership card is staying in my wallet. I’m a Benefactor member and I’m happy to be a Benefactor member. And I’m not going to cancel my membership.
So Hickok45 will no longer take the NRA’s money to promote its brand. You have to think that the troubles at the NRA are having the same effect on a lot of gun owners, just in the other direction. Undoubtedly more of them are taking a wait-and-see approach, choosing to withhold their support unless and until the NRA’s manifold troubles are resolved.