President Trump is in Indianapolis today to address a National Rifle Association meeting for the third consecutive year. He tweeted out support for the gun rights organization before he left DC.
Heading to Indianapolis to speak at the big NRA Conference. Love being in Indiana. The @NRA is getting stronger & stronger and doing some really great and important work. Having their powerful support has been vital to #MAGA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 26, 2019
As the AP reports,
President Donald Trump says the National Rifle Association is getting stronger, not weaker, and is doing important work vital to making his “Make America Great Again” slogan a reality.
Trump is heading to Indianapolis on Friday to address the nation’s largest gun rights organization, which played a pivotal role in his victory in 2016.
The NRA spent millions of dollars to help elect Trump in 2016 but had a much lower profile during the 2018 midterms. It’s unclear how visible the NRA will be in 2020 after a series of mass shootings that has hardened public sentiment against gun violence.
Trump disagrees with those who say the NRA is getting weaker. He tweets that the NRA is “getting stronger & stronger and doing some really great and important work.”
As has been widely reported, the NRA is facing internal challenges, both financial and organizational. They’re suing their longtime marketing and PR firm, Ackerman McQueen and have been accused by opponents and some in the gun rights community of uncontrolled spending and a lack of institutional control by management and board members.
According to someone we’ve spoken to who’s in a position to know, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre met with influential board members and fund-raisers last night and was asked for his resignation. The meeting reportedly became heated and LaPierre stormed out. He then responded to the demand with a scathing letter to those involved, refusing to step down.
This won’t be the end of the story. The Bloomberg-controlled anti-gun operation Everytown for Gun Safety has filed a complaint with the IRS challenging the NRA’s tax-exempt status. And the state of New York, where the NRA is chartered, is expected to look into the state’s non-profit status as well.
Agree with the NRA’s various political and gun rights stances or not, the right to keep and bear arms in the US is served and supported by a strong, influential NRA. The kind of turmoil that has beset the organization does nothing to further its members’ interests or those of gun owners in general.
The reality is, if the NRA doesn’t fix these problems internally, they’ll be “fixed” by those outside the organization, and by those who aren’t friends of America’s gun owners. The sooner these problems can be put right, the better for everyone who cares about Second Amendment rights.