As originally reported by The Hill on Friday, Everytown for Gun Safety has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service asking for an investigation into the National Rifle Association and their 501(c)(4) status. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the directors, officers, and others are using income and/or assets for personal gain and that the NRA is engaged in commercial, for-profit, activities.
The letter that accompanies the IRS Form 13909 Tax-Exempt Organization Complaint (Referral) accuses the NRA of related party transactions, financial mismanagement, and lack of transparency. It ask that the IRS begin an investigation to see whether the NRA has violated Section 501(c)(4) laws and regulations. It further asks that if violations are found that the IRS consider what would be appropriate remedies including revocation of the NRA’s 501(c)(4) status.
This complaint follows the publication of the expose’ of the NRA in The New Yorker by Mike Spies that was published on Wednesday. It relies heavily on the accusations leveled in that article as well as an earlier article that appeared in the New York Times.
Some of the items specified in the accompanying letter include:
- Payments to former NRA Managing Director Michael Marcellin from Lockton Affinity while being paid by the NRA.
- Payment of $1.395 million to HWS Consulting whose owner Wayne Sheets served as Executive Director of the NRA foundation.
- Payments of over $3 million to Crow Shooting Supply since 2008 which has been owned by Brownells since 2011. Some of these payments were while Pete Brownell served as President of the NRA.
- Issues related to Josh Powell who serves as Chief of Staff to Wayne LaPierre.
- Transfer of monies from the NRA Foundation to the NRA itself.
I could only imagine the damage this complaint might have done if it had been filed during the Obama Administration. As it is, it still isn’t good. You can read the entire letter here and make your own estimate of how harmful it is to the NRA.