The National Rifle Association was founded in 1871 following the Civil War to support and defend the US Constitution, specifically the Second Amendment – and to teach marksmanship. Today, though, with the spiraling legal problems that have accumulated under Wayne LaPierre’s “leadership,” the group spends ten times more on lawyers than it does on its core mission.
From the horse’s mouth at NRA.org:
The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) is an American nonprofit organization whose primary mission is “[to] protect and defend the Constitution of the United States…”, especially the right to keep and bear arms. Founded in 1871, the group has informed its members about firearm related bills since 1934, and it has directly lobbied for and against legislation since 1975.
Originally founded to advance rifle marksmanship, the modern NRA continues to teach firearm competency and safety. It instructs civilians and law enforcement, youths and adults, in various programs. The organization also publishes several magazines and sponsors competitive marksmanship events. Its membership surpassed 5 million in May 2013.
Most folks probably don’t know that LaPierre’s personal attorney billed the group $174,189 in the month of August 2021 alone.
That and the other legal fees associated with defending the Association on a variety of fronts total ten times as much as the NRA spends on “education and training, competitive shooting, law enforcement, community engagement, the NRA Range, NRA Firearms Museum, and school security combined.”
Stephen Gutowski’s The Reload has those gory details in a report…
The NRA appears to be covering the personal legal fees of its top executive, an internal document obtained by The Reload shows.
Philip K. Correll, the personal lawyer of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, appeared on a list of outstanding payments billed to the group. The document disclosed that Correll billed the organization for $174,189 at some point during August 2021.
The payments underscore the scope of legal expenses that the organization continues to incur. The group’s financial report shows that legal fees make up nearly 20 percent of its expenses, its second-largest source of spending behind membership outreach and retention. It also showed that the group now spends on lawyers ten times what it spends on education and training, competitive shooting, law enforcement, community engagement, the NRA Range, NRA Firearms Museum, and school security combined.
The NRA did not respond to a request for comment on payments to Correll specifically. Amy Hunter, director of NRA Media Relations, previously told The Reload the report was “outdated” and “unaudited,” but positive overall for the organization.
In financial reports from NRA, The Reload notes that NRA is not taking in half the revenue it once did. But legal bills are chewing up fully one fifth of its spending.
It’s almost as if the NRA is a passenger jet and one of the engines has failed. It doesn’t matter why that engine failed, the important thing is to get it fixed safely.
But Wayne LaPierre and the cronies he’s placed on the NRA Board of Directors seem hellbent on continuing to limp along with the status quo.
That reminds me of the old Ron White joke about the plane with a bad engine.
“If one of these engines fail, how far will the other one take us?” the nervous passenger asks White.
Ron White replies: “All the way to the scene of the crash. Which is pretty handy because that’s where we’re headed.”