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[ED: We asked readers to give us their thoughts on the the current controversies swirling around the National Rifle Association and we’ve received a number of thoughtful responses. Click the link above if you’d like to contribute, too. Here are a few more and we’ll continue to run them over the coming days as we receive them.]

From reader W:

I am an NRA Benefactor Life Member, an NRA Range Safety Officer, and have helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years for Friends of NRA with my local group. I have taught new shooters in CMP Basic Rifle Clinics. I participated in CMP Garand-Springfield-Military matches. I helped build and operate a new sporting clays range at our local gun club to encourage new shooters.

I regularly donate to organizations working to defend the Second Amendment including SAF, CCRKBA, GOA, and even the NRA. I do what I can within my very limited abilities whenever and wherever possible to help promote a positive culture of safe, responsible firearms ownership and usage.

We need a strong, active, effective NRA to help us defend and preserve our Second Amendment rights. We need an NRA that can reach out to the many millions of gun owners who do not contribute any meaningful support and find ways to encourage them to join us.

We need an NRA that is lean, capable, hungry, and aggressive to win great legal victories in our courts. We need an NRA actively planning and executing effective actions for the expansion of Second Amendment rights nationally. We need an NRA with respected leaders who inspire us to do more. Now, more than ever, we need an NRA of which we can be proud to be a member.

Unfortunately, the NRA today appears not to be the organization we members need or want. Recent revelations of scandalous NRA leadership behavior indicates our organization is in strong need of new and vastly better leadership.

The cathartic release for us members is a complete reorganization which installs high quality, dedicated, respected, and morally strong leaders who can decisively and effectively control the organization’s efforts, marshal it’s resources, and lead us to win victories.

Any partial measures short of this action will result in NRA’s effectiveness on our behalf being slowly killed off by adverse publicity as an ineffective organization unable or unwilling to reform itself to respond to its members needs.

The NRA organization is too valuable to be reduced or lost because of the singular misbehavior of its leaders or members. It is unreasonable for our members to pay membership dues and regularly contribute requested donations to NRA but yet continue to suffer infringements of their Second Amendment rights, especially new infringements in “progressive” districts because of lack of effective actions taken by NRA.

We need more and better results from the NRA. We need an NRA that works with us and for us and does not squander our valuable contributions of good deeds and hard-earned financial support.

We need a reformation of the NRA.

From Dr. Michael S. Brown:

I’ve been a gun rights activist for two decades and have had articles published in many places including America’s First Freedom and TTAG.  From the beginning of my involvement I’ve heard rumors of problems at the top of the NRA. Excessive salaries, sweetheart deals and general self-enrichment.

One thing the members deserve is to have leaders who believe in the cause. When they are pulling in such large sums, you have to wonder what they really believe. Is this why the NRA has performed poorly for us in recent years?

I wonder if our leaders have spent so many years in Washington that they have become part of the swamp.  Are they more interested in collecting money than in winning the fight?  Are they afraid that if they score too many wins the members will lose interest and the gravy train will dry up?

It certainly looks like LaPierre has been milking his job for every dollar he can get. He isn’t a gifted speaker or leader. I’ve felt some sympathy for him as he struggled to perform better in public. But he is past retirement age now and should step aside to allow in new people and new ideas. People say he has a cabal of insiders around him and if true, they should go too.

Some say it’s normal for CEOs of big corporations to earn salaries as large as LaPierre’s, but CEOs move on when they lose the confidence of their investors. It’s a normal part of corporate life.

Why is a group of board members and former officers so adamant about keeping him around? Why are they so frightened of greater transparency? There are now so many suspicious things about the NRA leadership that one can’t help but suspect nefarious actions.

Right now with Trump in office and Republicans in control of the Senate, we have some protection from the anti-gun lobby. This would be a perfect time to clean house and load the NRA with new energy for the battles ahead. Let’s get it done.

And from lifetime member MarkPA:

THE issue at hand is the board of directors. Are they executing their responsibilities in setting policy and supervising the paid staff of the NRA? If they are NOT doing so and REFUSE to do so, then they must be replaced. If not by vote of the members, then by the State of New York.

Will the NRA survive as a corporate body?  Can the cause of gun rights afford the loss of this institution?

It is a distraction to concentrate on one man, Wayne LaPierre. If the members were satisfied with his stewardship then he would certainly be worth every penny of his salary; plus his wardrobe and T&E budget.

But we are not satisfied. Moreover, it is widely held that WLP has “captured” the BoD as well as many salaried staff and handsomely paid consultants. While such is often the case in corporate bodies it is not SUPPOSED to be the case.

It is the BoD, which the members elect, that is supposed to set policy and supervise the association’s affairs. The Board seems to be NOT DOING THIS AT ALL. Instead, they seem to be under the spell of WLP. It is this situation which – if true – would be intolerable.

Here, I argue about no policy position NRA has taken with respect to governments. If these were all wrong (from the NFA ’34 to the Bump Stock Ban) then certainly the many Boards that served were culpable. If they were all correct, then that supposition would not relieve the BoD from responsibility to manage the fiscal affairs of the association.

That NRA is suing its primary vendor, Ack-Mac, and Ack-Mac is counter-suing, is evidence enough of failure to supervise the financial affairs of the association.

There are also questions about the billing arrangements with a major law firm. The Board has failed to persuade the membership that it has been responsible; and, so, the membership is rebelling.

The gun-owning community has been rebelling for decades. The primary beef has been about policy in defending the Second Amendment; yet, an underlying theme has been the question: ‘What am I getting for my $35 dues?’ Now we know. Ack-Mac.

The Board must decide to put its house in order. Thereupon, it must fashion a reorganization proposal. It must continue to insulate the NRA from an invasion of membership by hostile forces (such as is served by the 5-year/life-time voting rule).

At the same time, it must ensure that directorships are not handed out by the Nominating Committee as political patronage in cementing the CEO’s tenure.  The board must represent the interests of the membership completely independent of every other interest. Fundamentally, NRA is out of the frying pan precisely because it allowed the board to become the alter ego of its CEO, the EVP.

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  1. Sadly amusing how self delusional the author’s of these “letters” are.

    Much akin to the wife of a serial abuser, they think that somewhere in there is a good person. Because he buys flowers and apologized after each beating.

    Sorry, 40+ years of not fighting for our rights, being publicly in favor of many restrictions placed on us, is enough.

    Guess you’re finally pissed off because he took out a HELO and ran up the credit cards on hookers, huh?

    Burn it to the ground. That’s the only solution.

      • (Metaphorically, ‘natch)

        Just like GM, it is thoroughly corrupt and broken, from top to bottom. Not quite yet exactly where it was in ’08, it is back on the same trend line and this time it will be broken up, the profitable pieces going to the ChiComms (which was close to happening last time).

        The only way to “fix the NRA” is to give everybody their walking papers and start fresh. New policies, new procedures, and 100% new people, sell the building, everything.

        Otherwise, just transfer the money to one of the organizations that didn’t support the bump-stock ban, help craft ’34 NFA, ’68 GCA, and the rest of their treasonous transgressions.

        • No, just ditch the VA people, and reform into a confederation of state/regional affiliates. This top-down management stuff has been counterproductive for the entire existence of the NRA (which was always the plan), so decapitate it, and watch dozens of smaller, more effective groups come into their own.

          We all know they’ve been held back until now…by the NRA. Time for the old growth to dead-fall, and make way for new life.

        • Barnbwt has it right on the local stuff. In Maine our local state org seems to have stopped a slew of anti-gun legislation at the committee level. Was anyone from the NRA present? You all know the answer.

      • problem is we’d need to leave and make ONE thing better… but it would need the same public profile, ‘pull’ and contacts as the NRA, which the other organizations don’t have.

        • Why? What has the NRA done with those alleged assets? LaPierre has us convinced that we can’t function without his ‘abilities,’ and Ackerman without their ‘marketing savvy,’ but I suspect we could accomplish more with simple vote-coordination after even a single election cycle.

      • I would have to say that “burning the NRA down and starting with something new” is a very bad idea. Part of the reason is that starting something new would be way harder than fixing the problem and way harder on our gun rights.

        I have been involved twice with a not for profit association that was in trouble, once because the Exec controlled the BoD much like the NRA’s situation. It took three years of adding and replacing Board Members and long contentious board meetings, but we prevailed. The second time(years later) , the President of the Board took control of the Board and hired a timid Exec. His control was ruining the association. This time it took two years but the members retook the association and rebuilt it. It is now a very functional organization thanks to a passionate Board and changes in the bylaws that prevent either situation from ever happening again.

        There are also the issues of:

        – the loss of institutional knowledge;
        – the loss of personal relationships in the political sector including the very valuable favors owed;
        – the time and money it would take to rebuild a new organization is more than what is being thrown away by the current leadership.

        I cannot, and will not defend Wayne LaPierre nor his cronies over their misappropriation of funds, but while they are not perfect in their legislative efforts, they have been very effective against determined opponents. Right now, the NRA is known all over the world as the premier gun rights organization. It would take more than a decade for a new organization to capture any significant recognition and power. We cannot wait for that.

        Regarding existing other organizations, are the people suggesting some of them serious? Recommending GOA or NAGR can only mean the people doing the recommending are anti gun people in disguise or well meaning gun owners that haven’t bothered to really research who they are recommending. In the earlier thread on this topic, I detailed problems with GOA and left a link to examine their finances. While we are having such problems with the NRA, why would anyone not do their homework on these two organizations?

        The SAF is a different story. They are managing their finances far better than the NRA. They are far more transparent and far more accessible. I am a Life Member of SAF and give them regular contributions. Their mission and strategies are very different than the NRA, and while they are a vital cog in the pro gun agenda, the NRA is far better at politics. The SAF is far better at legal strategies.

        We cannot destroy the NRA but we must fix it.

        • “– the loss of institutional knowledge;
          – the loss of personal relationships in the political sector including the very valuable favors owed;
          – the time and money it would take to rebuild a new organization is more than what is being thrown away by the current leadership.”

          In an org as badly broken as the NRA, loss of institution knowledge is a positive. I believe the point is to achieve something that is actually pro-gun rights. Which the NRA is, only some days. When it’s fits their schedule, and looks good for the naifs who buy what they’re selling. Once again they helped draft and were publicly supportive of, NFA, GCA, Hughes, et al, ad nauseam.

          The time and money argument is, at most generous, vacuous and unprovable. New people, new connections, new deals.

          “…well meaning gun owners that haven’t bothered to really research who they are recommending. “

          There are surely issues with the other orgs out there. Difference being, they don’t have the history of selling us out for the last ~100 years.

        • Absolutely correct. If we gun-owners can’t manage to repair the NRA how could anyone imagine that we could build an “NRA-2” from scratch?

          Here is my idea for a re-structurue.

          Create membership “divisions” such as: hunters, marksmen, rights advocates, teens, women, etc. One could become a “member at large” for $20 but not vote. By paying an additional $15 dues he could become a voting member of one division; $30, two divisions, etc.

          The BoD seats are allocated to each division according to proportional membership. If 1/4 of the division memberships are hunters then hunters get to vote for 1/4 of the board seats. A hunter division nominating committee proposes candidates for the hunter division board seats; also, nomination by petition by hunter division members.

          Under such a scheme control of the BoD would gradually evolve with the interests of members. Suppose members interested in marksmanship were to grow; well, then marksmen would have growing influence on the BoD. Likewise, when the rights battle is finally won, rights-division membership would likely wane.

          It would be difficult, perhaps impossible, for any cabal to seize control of a CENTRAL nominating committee, the audit committee, etc. because control of the BoD seats would be in the hands of division members who would be voting for individuals prominent in their interest-area ONLY. E.g., hunters would be voting for hunter BoD candidates based on their authorship of articles, videos, etc. on hunting. Directors elected by hunters would NOT be gathering random votes by marksmen or rights-advocates who aren’t reading hunter articles or watching hunter videos.

          That’s the basic idea. Room for plenty of tweeks.

      • True. It was an easy number, offered in the vain hope that people would look and see what has been done by the NRA in recent history.

    • that’s the core issue…the people at the top and their lavish lifestyle while seeming to be indifferent to criticism…there are still a lot of good people at the lower echelons…there has to be an internal change and they only way we have to force that is through reduced contributions until they get the message….

  2. bloomberg, citi bank, att, blumenthal, feinstein, and dozens of other deep-pocketed anti 2nd Ammendment foes are smelling blood, lots of blood. The NRA is paralyzed under corrupt wlp and his cronies. They are pissing away our money to keep them in their cat-bird seats. This will not turn around as long as wlp and crew, keep suing to keep their positions. There are NO good options unless there is a TRUMP-LIKE figure on the BOD, or in the wild to run a rebellion against wlp and his fat-cat cronies. Some one that believes the NRA is salvageable, don’t need wlp-like salary, has their own jet and office building outside DC, yet close enough to work the aisles. I don’t know of anyone, but sure as hell someone exists. Now we just need them to step forward and and ask for our member support. If all of us that have been screwed by wlp and his cronies, swear out of the old NRA and fall-in behind my immaginary TRUMP-LIKE leader, then something good may happen to our efforts TKABA into the future.
    I propose TOM FENTON, of Judicial Watch, he knows how to expose the turds in DC and there is no better defender of the CONSTITUTION and BILL OF RIGHTS.

    When the revenue from members stops that may cause the movement to oust wlp and his cronies. Just don’t let him mortgage the paid for NRA assets.

    Hell, Donald J. Trump JR, would be good too.

    Like I said, bloomie and crew are salavating at the NRA law suit-fest and our membership predicament, all due to wlp/cronies and the rubber-stamp BOD.

    Something has to give and because of wlp and cronies’ greed, I’m afraid it will be our RTKABA.

    • In these days of internet searches, how many people could survive the types of searches people would make against them, the colleges and frats they attended, the people that knew him/her back in the day, etc?

      Even though this job could be very lucrative, no one is that squeeky clean. People are bound to find something they can use against anyone who chooses to be in a hotseat job, even if it is guilt by association. Anyone who got the job would be under fire 24/7 and would have a nasty time while holding the job, just like Trump is having now.

      Who would want that job?

    • Trump sold us gunowners downriver FOR NOTHING, and you propose making him the head of the NRA. Un-fucking-believable. No wonder LaPierre assumes the rubes will never realize what he’s doing or hold him to account.

  3. Most “civil rights” organizations perpetuate the very conditions that ensure the organizations’ own survival. Unfortunately, NRA is no different, and worse, has wandered far, far away from its original mission.

    • “has wandered far, far away from its original mission.”

      Improving marksmanship or supporting government privileges? Since its earliest ventures into gun politics, Negotiating Rights Away has supported gun control. From the beginning to present day, the NRA has worked to improve marksmanship and increase the acceptance of privileges in the place of exercising rights. It seems like they haven’t strayed from the original mission (marksmanship) or the second mission (torpedoing the RKBA) at all.

      The only way the NRA could possibly be salvaged would be to destroy that second mission and replace it with protecting the exercise of the unalienable right to keep and bear arms; something the NRA has never been actively supportive of.

  4. hi wayne living in new york is a horror,as far as ccw is concerned.we say shall not be infringed.but you haven,t lived until you go down to 1police plaza.that house of horrors.where trying to get a ccw in new york,is equal to the spanish inquisiion.who the hell do they think they are telling we the need a reason to get a ccw.and i tell them my right to protect my family and my life.they tell you that,s not good enough,cmon wayne all states where legal american citizens live.should be able to have a ccw without some police commissioner dictate his unamerican agenda.because he feels we should not be able to protect ourselfs,or our familys lifes.tell us when states like ny california,will be able to have accw without jumping thru there hoopes.

  5. Punched in the face 10 times .

    ” But …. but …. I Love Him … ”

    Typical N.R.A. member , these days. …….. ( Gimmie $ 20 Dolla’ , Bitch )

    • “But I can fix him!”
      “But he loves me!”
      “But only he can protect me!”
      “But he says I have no place else to go!”
      “But I have to be faithful!”

      They say that domestic abuse by women against men is ridiculously under-reported and far more common than most realize; judging by many of the comments on this debacle I’m inclined to agree.

  6. I think this one has run it’s course. The NRA was a family orientated grass roots lets shoot guns organization, then they started dabbling in politics, they caved on many issues (the Hillary hole, bumpstocks) and then became LaPierre and his buddies personal bank.

    For every $35 you give them, $10 of that goes to the LaPierre fund. This fund pays for extravagant lifestyles. Private planes, clothes, hookers, blow, you name it. One of the things that it does not go for is protecting your 2A rights. They have between 4-5 million members. Politicians are beginning to realize that 4-5 million people spread across the USA isn’t the scary Juggernaut anymore. That and the fact that the NRA often folds or doesn’t even show up when their is an important 2A issue.

    A perfect example of that is a “mention” of whats going on in Illinois right now. On the NRA-ILA website there is a mention of what is going on. Mandatory fingerprinting to own, buy, possess a gun or ammo. This will likely be voted on TODAY and pass. There is much more to it and the antis who want this passed have trimmed some things to make this blatantly unconstitutional bill look OK to some of the fence sitting representatives. Even the ACLU is against this and here making it known they will bring this court. The far left ACLU opposes this bill. I paid my annual membership and what did I get? A magazine and mail every week asking for more money. I guess LaPierre and his posse need more blow and hookers. In the mean time I will have to get fingerprinted or become a criminal. It’s funny because 20 years ago I thought that mostly criminals got fingerprinted. In Illinois it’s going to be get fingerprinted to keep your guns or become a felon, lose your RTKBA and get fingerprinted anyway but at least it’s free when you are being booked. They can keep their magazine.

    • As an Illinois resident myself, and as a long-time political consultant in Springfield, I make these statements for consideration:

      – The NRA has relied mostly on other interested parties to build the incredibly important relationships, not only in Illinois but in most states. Right or wrong they have never devoted the resources required to have a strong and effective presence in Illinois. Perhaps it is because the model they use in other states works far better than it does in Illinois. Illinois, like Washington DC, plays hardball and politics is a blood sport whereby in neighboring states, they play softball and everything is easier. They need a full-time lobbyist in Illinois with a staff and that would mean dedicating at least $250,000 plus PAC donations.
      – Illinois is a very blue state today. We have a Governor who has actually served on the BoD of an anti-gun organization and who has given big money to anti-gun causes. We have a Speaker of the House who is also strongly anti-gun mostly because he gets political advantages by doing so. Chicago Democrats control both the House and Senate and they are uniformly anti-gun and that includes elected officials who have concealed carry permits. That is one hell of an uphill battle.
      – There are at least eight credible Illinois pro-gun organizations (probably more) and they don’t seem to get along very well with each other. At least three of these groups routinely hide information from the NRA in order to look more important to their membership or funding sources. At least one lobbyist for pro-gun interests seems intent on sabotaging pro-gun efforts. It has been suggested he is taking money and favors from some of the anti gun forces in order to do what he does. I have heard the rumors repeatedly but have no proof this is true. What is true is that the Illinois pro-gun movement is fragmented and that needs to be fixed as well.

      Given all of this, I’m not sure it is logical or fair to blame all of these problems in Illinois on the NRA.

  7. All that money for Wayne and they support new infringements. They had both chambers of Congress and the ATF supporting suppressors out of the NFA and couldn’t get it done. Not impressed.

    • ‘ Stateisevil ‘ makes a good point. The whole swamp in DC is infiltrated by hardcore socialists / leftists + change agents. ( Senior Executive Service is a prime example ) Why should NRA be any different. LOGIC – tells us it’s not. The repeated losses / setbacks where a win or repeal should have been easy , where we had the ‘ High Ground ‘ is not fully explained away by simple incompetence. It is reasonable to consider that NRA … is compromised within. I think we WILL find out, eventually.

      The fact NRA works ” closely ” with ATF to ” Craft ” legislation should be a Red Flag.
      That’s a bit too cozy for me.

      Think of it this way — The N.R.A. is a large gun owner REGISTRY as far as deep state is concerned, why wouldn’t they seek access to it ?

      • “The fact NRA works ” closely ” with ATF to ” Craft ” legislation should be a Red Flag.
        That’s a bit too cozy for me.”

        Negotiating Rights Away has a very long history of doing this shit. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the organization. They have, and continue to this day, to support privileges, not rights. The NRA has been one of tyranny’s greatest assets. They sell the rope with which a free people slowly hang themselves. It has been an effective strategy for gun control.

  8. how much greed is enough, damned if we do and damned if we don’t! we the people have a vote, take all their Bennie’s and salaries and expense accounts for 2 years, make em use what they ripped off!

  9. All the arguments against the NRA are best preserved for calmer wasters. The socialist wolf is at your door and this is no time to bring any distraction to keeping him out. Whatever wrongs or improprieties may exist, waiting to air them is wiser than publicly eviscerating our defense now. It will not be to anyone’s benefit, other than our socialist opponents, to destroy the organization through an internal civil war just now. All the firebreathing rhetoric does is provide comfort to every crack pot who wants to prevent you from being a free American. If your goal is to simply destroy something, because you feel offended and without reasonable consideration of the effect of your choice, then you place yourself in the same category as our opponents. If you go down that path what do you propose to do? Who will lead it? Who will join it? Why would anyone trust the new organization? How effective would a new organization be? How long would it take for your new organization to be taken seriously by politicians? The unemotional answer is a sliced and diced NRA would be helpless for the next decade or fold within months. Then what will you do?

    No one is saying drop your arguments. They’re saying reserve them for better times.

    • ” Just Wait ” and ” Stay Quiet Sheeple ” , is not a winning strategy. Nice try, Wayne.

      We have a ” New ” replacement ,already 2 Million strong and MORE Feared and Respected than the Quisling NRA. If just half of current members join G.O.A. it will be a powerhouse in a very short time, so spare me the … ” You need us .. there’s no place else to go ….” crap.
      Senator Harry Reid called Gun Owners of America ” much worse ” than NRA.

      Fact is, for all the noise anti’s make about the ‘ big – bad NRA ‘ …. they PREFER IT to the alternative because then the fight is not rigged.

      • While, admittedly, I believe the best course of action is to fix the NRA, I cannot understand why anyone that is not covertly anti-gun would suggest GOA as an alternative if they had done any research whatsoever. Don’t like Wayne LaPierre and others use of NRA money? They are pikers in comparison to the folks that run GOA.

        Read this forum thread: and then tell us why we should give even one dollar to GOA. Granted they talk big and unyielding but what have they actually accomplished? Nothing that I, or apparently many others, can find except to spend almost 25% of their revenues on themselves.

        I don’t think the NRA is the whole answer which is why I am also a Life Member of SAF, the Illinois State Rifle Association, Guns Save Lives, Safari Club International, SASS and CMSA. I am also a member of CCRKBA, Pheasants Forever, the Marlin Firearms Collectors Association, and attend and support many other local meetings and organizations. I have even given money to DRGO and JPFO although I am neither Jewish nor an MD because I like the work they do that the NRA cannot effectively do.

        The NRA needs fixing – not destroying. Organizations like GOA and NAGR just con gun owners into giving up money that should go elsewhere.

  10. Apparently Liberal Democrats and Communists were the people that bought TTAG from RF.

    Most of the letters are as genuine as CNN news bashing Trump

    Subversives at TTAG are selling NRA and OUR Freedoms down the river.

    • Were you at the Annual Meeting in Indy? I certainly was, and what happened there cannot be allowed to be successful. I joined the NRA in 1962, my son has been a Life Member since he was less than a day old. My wife is a NRA member as well as member of Well Armed Women.

      No one who knows me could honestly say I haven’t give both time and money in support of pro gun efforts, or that I could be considered a Democrat.

      Please refrain from making scurrilous comments about those of us concerned about our association. We are the NRA, it is our house, and like any house, repairs are sometimes necessary. Unfortunately, the Board of Directors deliberately ignored and shut us out in Indy thinking we would shut up and go away. When several of us stayed an extra day to show up at the Monday meeting, they closed the doors to us. We now have no choice but to try to alert other NRA members as to the problems and solutions in a more or less public manner.

      This is far from the only pro gun website discussing this so this cannot reasonably be considered as an anti gun plot of the website owners. Almost every gun group forum that I use for gun information is discussing this except a couple that have never allowed anything related to politics.

    • “Subversives at TTAG are selling NRA and OUR Freedoms down the river.”

      The NRA has been trading freedom for privileges since the earliest days.

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