It’s War! Plus A Warning

There is a war for control of the NRA going on within the Board of Directors. While one could say it started when Wayne LaPierre announced his resignation, it probably started as early as last year when Charles Cotton was given a third term as President and Willes Lee forced out as an officer.

It picked up speed in mid-January when Buz Mills and Marion Hammer within a couple of weeks of one another both called out Charles Cotton’s attempt to become the next permanent CEO and Executive VP of the NRA. This forced Cotton’s hand and he appointed a search committee. The committee as we’ve come to expect is filled with the Old Guard. Even Bill Bachenberg who stayed relatively quiet for years on the Board sent out a letter critical of the search committee.

What had been essentially a Cold War suddenly became a “shooting war” little more than a week ago. That was when Marion Hammer had her contract with the NRA terminated by Interim EVP Andrew Arulanandam. I don’t think anybody believes Arulanandam did this on his own initiative. While we will never know for sure, it more than likely was at the behest of Cotton and Bill Brewer. As “Bitter” posted in the comments to that post, this sent a message to the rest of the Board to back off and don’t question us. If they were willing to take down someone presumably as powerful as Marion, lesser Board members don’t stand a chance to oppose them.

Al Hammond, who is presumably Camp Marion, lobbed a bomb into Camp Cotton-Brewer this past Wednesday where he questioned the leadership of the officers and asserted they were not told the real consequences of the New York trial. The next day a new email went out signed by all three officers – Cotton, Bob Barr, and David Coy – which, among other things, accused Hammond on “peddling partial information and NYAG propaganda” and told recipients to go to the NRA’s own “legal facts” website. In my opinion, any Board member who relied solely on that website would have thought the NRA won the case when the reality is that they lost on most issues.

Willes Lee jumped in yesterday with a Facebook post concerning both Hammond’s email and the officers’ response.

The morning calm of the grazing flock was broken by the shrill clarion cry “Circle them wagons.”

Many NRA Board members (incl me) didn’t know of ‘the missive’ until The Three … NRA officers (gaily signed “Charles, Bob, David”) sent an email disparaging the author as ‘misinformation, disinformation, misled, manipulated, troubling, peddling partial information, distorted’ (whew, all in one email). The Three… told us ask THEM for “honest communications”(!) and directed us to our legal-spin blog & scripted legal affairs meetings. #nothingchanged

You can’t make up this stuff.

Marion Hammer was not done either. On Saturday, she sent an email questioning compensation at the NRA. This was followed on Sunday by a brutal article in the Washington Post concerning Brewer’s influence at the NRA. While no more missives have gone out from either Camp Marion or Camp Cotton-Brewer, with the NRA Annual Meeting just a little over two weeks away this is probably the quiet before the storm.

Now to the warnings. First it is becoming evident that Cotton and Brewer are trying to find out who is leaking their emails. At least two different copies of the Cotton-Barr-Coy response were sent out. There were possibly more but I do know of two for sure.

Second, and this goes for all critics of the existing Board, you must have the documentation to back up what you are saying about them. Not having backup documentation will only provide ammo to the Old Guard aka the Cabal. I am aiming this comment at a claim made by Willes Lee yesterday. He asserted a fundraising letter went out in March listing Cotton as EVP. While I have no problem with Lee pointing out the foibles of Charles Cotton and others of his ilk on the Board and am actually somewhat amused by it, you have to be able to prove it. Unfortunately, no one including Lee seems to be able to locate their copy of that letter. It would suck to have to take back such a damaging claim.

I am neither in Camp Marion nor Camp Cotton-Brewer but rather in Camp NRA Member. My hopes for the Board to do what is right faded a long time ago. It sucks to have to rely on a court in New York City to remedy things but it is what it is.

North Carolina Runoff Primary

Early voting in the North Carolina GOP runoff primary started this past Thursday. If what the Complementary Spouse and I experienced is any indication, turnout will be sparse. We went to vote on Friday and were the 16th and 17th voters in a county with almost 45,000 registered Republicans! This doesn’t even count the number of unaffiliated voters who are also eligible to vote in the GOP primary.

Other counties may have a higher turnout as they may have a Congressional candidate for whom to vote. In Buncombe County, it was only the race for Lt. Governor and the race for State Auditor.

As a reminder, the Grass Roots North Carolina – Political Victory Fund has these recommendations:

  • US 6th Congressional District – Addison McDowell – his opponent Mark Walker has dropped out but there still may have a runoff.
  • US 13th Congressional District – Brad Knott
  • Lt. Governor – Hal Weatherman
  • State Auditor – none as neither candidate in the runoff submitted GRNC-PVF candidates surveys.

While there is no recommendation by GRNC-PVF for State Auditor, I would note that Jack Clark is a CPA and former auditor while his opponent Dave Boliek, an attorney, only recently became a Republican. You can make of that what you will.

“We were never told…”

Al Hammond III has been a member of the NRA Board of Directors since he was elected to it in 2022. Before running for the Board, he had been the Southern Regional Director, Field Operations Division, for the NRA. Hammond has also been affiliated with the Unified Sportsmen of Florida which was headed until 2022 by Marion Hammer.

I received an email from multiple sources that Hammond sent to fellow Board members yesterday. It expressed his concern about the NRA’s future and the information shared with the Board regarding the outcome of the recent jury trial in New York.

From: Al HammondIII <> Date: April 24, 2024 at 1:43:14 PM EDT To: Al HammondIII <>

Subject: NRA Court Final Documents

I wanted to share excerpts of the summaries from both the bankruptcy trial and the jury trial in NY. I am deeply concerned about our future and the involvement of the lead council in the governance of the day to day operations of the NRA. NRA Secretary John Frazer still could face disciplinary action and or dismissial by the judge based on the findings as well. Please read both these documents. We were never told about all of these conclusions and the subsequent consequences if we don’t make a course correction.

Al Hammond

NRA BOD Member

I have only seen one of the attachments. However, it is my understanding that the first attachment was from the court and the second (see below) concerned the bench trial that begins on July 15th. Neither document says who created them.

While the jury did find cause for removal for both Wayne LaPierre and Wilson (Woody) Phillips, they did not find cause for removal for NRA Secretary and General Counsel. They did however find that he had breached his fiduciary duties and had made false filings on behalf of the NRA. While it is my own opinion that much of Frazer’s actions stemmed from a lack of spine and willingness to say no to Wayne and his grifting cohort, virtually every other well-run organization would have already terminated him by now. Having a general counsel found guilty of a breach of fiduciary duty and making false filings is just beyond the Pale.

Hammond’s email and the attachment lead me to conclude two things. First, all together too many Board members were willing to believe the sugar-coated spin put on the outcome of the jury trial by Bill Brewer, Charles Cotton, and the Cabal. This correlates perfectly with their long-time behavior of willful ignorance and unwavering trust in “well, Wayne told me…” Second, many Board members have not done their own research. They have not read the thousands of pages of court filings nor read the many analyses of the jury’s findings. They should not have to be spoon fed information to understand the good, the bad, and the ugly of what lies ahead for the NRA if changes are not made.

I could go on and on about what changes need to be made and who needs to go starting at the top. However, it is a beautiful Spring afternoon and I wanted to enjoy it.

It’s Not Just Illegal Mayors

For years we have seen one after another of Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns (sic) being arrested. Usually the charges had to do with some sort of corruption. Now it seems that the Demanding Moms are wanting to join the party but with an “Illegal Senator”.

Becker County booking photo

Minnesota State Senator Nicole Mitchell (DFL- Dis. 47) was charged with 1st Degree Burglary by authorities in Becker County, Minnesota for an early morning break-in. The burglary was of her stepmother’s home in Detroit Lakes, MN. Mitchell was dressed in all black, wore a black hat, and had a black sock over the lens of her flashlight. She supposedly was after pictures of her late father, his ashes, and other items. The stepmother who had been married to Mitchell’s father for over 40 years was reportedly afraid of her stepdaughter and had applied for a restraining order against her. She had also buried most of her late husband’s ashes but had sent a container with some of the ashes to Mitchell.

Mitchell was an Moms Demand endorsed “Gunsense” candidate in 2022 when she was first elected. She also has a boatload of endorsements from virtually every left-oriented group in Minnesota. Just last week she posted the picture of herself with Demanding Moms volunteers to X. Obviously, she was seeking their 2024 endorsement as she expected to get it for introducing a safe storage bill in March.

Not only is Mitchell a meteorologist, she is an attorney with a law degree from Georgia State. She is a member of the Minnesota Bar and is authorized to practice in Minnesota. One would think a licensed attorney would have used the court system to retrieve family memorabilia instead of engaging in an illegal, pre-dawn burglary.

As could be expected when the DFL has a one-seat majority in the State Senate, her arrest on felony charges is bringing different responses. Senate Majority Leader Erin Murphy is upset by the allegations but believes “Senator Mitchell has the right to a full defense of her case in court.” Meanwhile, Republican Minority Leader Mark Johnson said her conduct was unbecoming and “she needs to resign from the Senate immediately.” Republicans might also object to Mitchell voting while she still faces felony charges.

Mitchell’s district is strongly Democratic (or DFL in Minnesota-speak). She won her election in 2022 with over 58% of the vote. I’m sure if she resigned, another DFL candidate would replace her.

All in all, being an Illegal Senator sure doesn’t seem like Minnesota Nice to me.

UPDATE: Mitchell is now trying to justify her actions by claiming her stepmother has Alzheimer’s and associated paranoia according to her post on Facebook.

Like so many families, mine is dealing with the pain of watching a loved one decline due to Alzheimer’s and associated paranoia.

Over the weekend, I learned of medical information which caused me grave concern and prompted me to check on that family member. I entered a home I have come and gone from countless times in the past 20 years, where my son even once had his own room.

Unfortunately, I startled this close relative, exacerbating paranoia, and I was accused of stealing, which I absolutely deny.

I am calling bullshit on this. I understand elderly dementia all too well as my mother suffered from it in that last few years before her death. Yes, there is paranoia associated with elderly dementia but there are ways to deal with it in a constructive manner. For example, Mitchell could have had a trusted friend of her stepmother’s to intercede on her behalf. She could have had her stepbrother or other family member accompany her to visit with her stepmother so as to get the family memorabilia.

According to her father’s obituary, family was important to him and he always celebrated holidays with them. The obituary includes Mitchell’s son and two foster children as surviving relatives. It said her father considered it a “great gift” when he became a grandfather to her son. As an obituary is usually approved by the surviving spouse, it makes one wonder if any issues between the stepmother and Mitchell were actually of Mitchell’s doing and not that of the stepmother.

As it is, breaking in through a basement window at 4:45am dressed in all black with a masked flashlight would only serve to a) increase her stepmother’s paranoia, b) is suspicious, and c) indicates bad intent.

Marion Hammer’s NRA Contract Terminated

Monday is turning out to be a big news day. I was just sent an email that said Interim NRA EVP Andrew Arulanadam had terminated Marion Hammer’s contract. The email was from Marion Hammer to John Frazer bitterly complaining that her contract had been terminated with four years left to go.

From the email:

From: marion hammer <>
Date: April 22, 2024 at 12:07:03 PM CDT
To: John Frazer <>
Subject: NRA has dumped me

Today Andrew Aarulanandam called me and terminated my retirement contract with NRA.

Earlier, Randy Kozuch, ED-ILA suddenly quit providing grants to pay my monthly salary (last December 2023).

That leaves me totally without employment or retirement income. 

I was hired by NRA in September 1978 by NRA CEO Harlan Carter and the NRA Executive Director of ILA  — over 45 years ago  I was instructed to set up and run Unified Sportsmen of Florida (USF) as the Florida arm of  NRA and to also lobby for USF/NRA.  I was promised that a grant would be provided to USF to pay my salary as long as I was employed by USF.

Every ED-ILA since then has honored that promise. Until last year when Randy Kozuch broke that promise and simply quit providing the grant to pay my monthly salary. He didn’t fire me, he just quit paying me.   

In other words, I have not had a monthly paycheck since November 2023.  

Nonetheless, I have continued to work for NRA and train the NRA designated replacement lobbyist.  Who,  by-the-way, is a fine young man and who works for Randy Kozuch, and to my knowledge, is not a part of this.

I have survived on the retirement income contract that Wayne LaPierre put in place for me in 2018,

Today, April 22, 2024,  Andrew Aarulanandam, with Vanessa Shahidi in the room, called and informed me that he had decided to terminate the retirement contract that Wayne LaPierre put in place for me in 2018.

The 10-year contract was actually a replacement for the NRA retirement program which I had not been allowed to participate in.  The contract (with 4 years remaining) was to provide retirement income since I had never been included in NRA’s retirement program.

I have faithfully served NRA and NRA members for well over 40 years. As of today, I am no longer being compensated for the work NRA hired me to do.  I have not been fired, they have just quit paying me. 

I just thought you’d like to know what those in charge are doing to those who have faithfully served NRA and our cause.

Bottom line, as of today, I have no employment income and no retirement income.

Later this week (April 26th) I’ll be 85 years old.  So much for over 40 years of dedicated service and work for NRA.


Marion P. Hammer

I sincerely doubt that Arulanadam unilaterally made this decision on his own. It leaves me to wonder if this was Bill Brewer’s doing or whether NRA President Charles Cotton was behind this. It could have been the two in combination.

You will remember that Marion called out Cotton’s EVP search committee in February and earlier in January had called for a search committee to fill the spot. The January missive was a shot across the bow of those who were trying to install Cotton as the successor EVP. Marion’s February email to the Board also said she didn’t think any internal NRA candidate, e.g., Arulanadam, was qualified to fill the EVP spot.

I really could not be more surprised by this contract termination than if you told me Kris Brown of Brady was going to be the next EVP.

SCOTUS Grants Cert In VanDerStok Case

The US Supreme Court granted certiorari in Garland v. VanDerStok today. It was one of two cases granted certiorari in the Order List released this morning. The case was a challenge to the ATF’s “frames and receivers” rule published in 2022. The Second Amendment Foundation as an intervenor had won the case in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Justice Department appealed their loss to the Supreme Court.

As Lauren Hill of SAF noted to me in an email this morning, this will mark the second time SAF will argue a case in the Supreme Court following their win the McDonald v. City of Chicago.

There were only two amicus briefs filed in this case before it was granted certiorari. Both were in favor of the Supreme Court taking the case. One was filed by a number of anti-gun attorney generals. Sadly, this included Josh Stein, AG of North Carolina, who is the Democrat nominee for governor. The other amicus brief was by a coalition of the gun prohibitionist groups including Everytown, Brady, Giffords, and March for Our Lives. I anticipate that there will be a slew of amicus briefs filed on both sides now that cert has been granted.

ATF Posts Rule On “Engaged In The Business” Today

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has posted their rule (Document Citation 89 FR 28968) defining what they contend is “engaged in the business” of dealing firearms. The rule was posted in the Federal Register early this morning and will become effective on May 20, 2024. They assert this redefinition was forced upon them by the change in wording of a dealer put into the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. While both Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) contend this was not their intention, they were stupid enough to believe Chris Murphy and the rest of the gun prohibitionist Democrats.

Bill Sacks of the Second Amendment Foundation breaks down the new rule and provides an explanation of it. I should note the full PDF post of the ruling goes for 126 pages.

I have not read all 126 pages of the ruling. However, I did see that they had received 258,000 comments in favor of the rule with only 99,000 opposing it. That said, 98% of those in favor of the rule submitted boilerplate wording from one of the gun control corporate entities. By contrast, only 81% of the comments opposing the new rule were boilerplate meaning that those opposed to the rule were much more likely to submit a pertinent comment. It does bother me that the prohibitionists were able to generate 2 1/2 times more comments in favor of the rule than we did in opposition. Of course the numbers could have been reversed and the Department of Justice would still have ruled as they did. It is obvious reading the responses that we don’t count in this administration.

I fully anticipate organizations such as SAF, FPC, and GOA will file suit against this rule in the days to come. Now that Joseph Greenlee is the Director of Litigation for the NRA-ILA there is some hope that they will also file suit.

I did hear a suggestion today that we should overwhelm the ATF by having everyone pony up the $2-300 required for a 01 FFL and submit their application. You may remember that prior to the Clinton Administration raising the cost there were approximately 300,000 FFLs in the US. Today the number is between 50,000 and 80,000. It is an interesting approach but one I don’t think I’ll take.

Be Like Sam!

Today is the 249th anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

On that April day, 80 year old Samuel Whittemore, a veteran of both King George’s War and the French and Indian War, heard a relief column of British grenadiers from the 47th Regiment of Foot moving to assist the retreat of the British regulars from Concord. He fetched up his musket, loaded his dueling pistols, strapped on his sword, and set off to ambush them.

After killing three of the British soldiers, he was shot in the face, bayoneted multiple times, and left for dead. Being of a strong constitution, he recovered from his wounds and lived to the exceedingly ripe old age of 98.

I have quite a few years to go before I hit the age of 80. It is my hope to have some of that strength and fortitude shown by Samuel Whittemore on that April day when I turn 80. It is certainly something we should all aspire to have.

As an aside, I don’t know whether it was intentional or just mere happenstance but the BATFE’s new rule defining what it means to be “Engaged in Business” as a dealer of firearms was posted in the Federal Register today. The rule become effective on May 20, 2024. Maybe it is just me but I feel as though we have failed Samuel Whittemore and his fellow patriots who fought the British attempts at gun control.

NRA Foundation Enters Into Consent Decree With DC

The NRA Foundation which had been accused of diverting donations to the NRA entered into a consent decree today to settle a lawsuit brought by the Attorney General of the District of Columbia. The lawsuit was initially filed in 2020 by then-AG Karl Racine. Interestingly, this lawsuit was filed on the same day that New York Attorney General Letitia James had filed suit against the NRA itself.

According to the New York Times’ Danny Hakim, the NRA and its attorneys are portraying the consent decree as a win for the NRA.

The N.R.A., in a statement, portrayed the settlement as a victory, saying it had “proved that all funds” taken from its foundation “were applied exclusively in furtherance of its charitable programs and that there was no misuse” of resources.

Charles Cotton, the N.R.A.’s president, called the lawsuit a “political attack” and said his group had been vindicated, while the group’s lead outside lawyer, William A. Brewer III, called it a “politically motivated action.”

DC Attorney General Brian Schwalb obviously disagrees. In his own characterization of the consent decree, he said in his release:

“Donors are entitled to know that their charitable contributions will be used in furtherance of a nonprofit organization’s stated charitable mission. The NRA Foundation—the charitable arm of the NRA—violated this sacred public trust, allowing the NRA to use them as an unchecked piggy bank,” said Attorney General Schwalb. “Caving to pressure from the NRA, the Foundation diverted millions of dollars to the NRA in grants and risky loans that were repaid only after OAG filed its lawsuit. Tax-exempt nonprofits are a form of public trust—abusing that trust as the NRA did violates both the public interest and District law. Today’s outcome builds on our longstanding commitment to safeguarding nonprofit donors’ money and ensuring that all nonprofits operating in the District of Columbia follow the law.” 

His release notes that DC’s non-profit law doesn’t authorize the collection of penalties but rather seeks to bring the offending non-profit into compliance. The initial lawsuit included a demand for a constructive trust be placed over the assets loaned to the NRA, a modification of the Foundation’s governance policies, non-profit training for all of the Foundation’s board members, and a court-appointed monitor.

The consent decree, while not providing for a constructive trust or a court-appointed monitor, does include the other items.

Under the terms of the settlement, the NRA Foundation must:

  • Adhere to its articles of incorporation and bylaws in all decision-making processes, in and outside of formal Board meetings.
  • Conduct annual nonprofit compliance training for every Board member or officer.
  • Form an Audit Committee to ensure Foundation’s financial affairs are in order and work with an external auditor.
  • Establish a new conflict-of-interest policy.
  • Adopt new policies governing grantmaking, loans, shared services, and other activity with the NRA to ensure transparency, Foundation independence, and adherence to the Foundation’s nonprofit mission.
  • Report any Foundation policy changes to OAG within 30 days of approval for the duration of the agreement.

The consent decree (embedded below) also provides that any loan to the NRA above $250,000 must adhere to a conflict of interest policy that must be adopted within six months of today. Moreover, any grants to the NRA for program purposes require a written grant application, the grant must be used only for 501c3 permissible purposes, a post-grant accounting, and a return of any grant monies not used in accordance with the grant application. The Foundation must send copies of all the mandated policies to the DC Attorney General and failure to live up to any part of the consent decree will result in the case being reopened.

I really don’t see this as a win for the Foundation or the NRA as the DC Attorney General got most of what he wanted. The only win for the NRA came from avoiding the imposition of a court-ordered monitor. It seems the constructive trust would not be in play as the loans were repaid after the lawsuit was filed. If I had to hazard a guess, the NRA and Bill Brewer wanted this case off their plate so that they could focus on the second stage of the New York trial. I do wonder just how much money had been wasted on legal fees paid to Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors just to end up with a consent decree.


H/T NRA In Danger

Mike Helms On The S&W Model 1

I know Mike from my time with Grass Roots North Carolina. He is the guy who I reach out to when I need an alert sent out to round up volunteers to help with the GRNC booth at the Asheville Gun Show. It was not until recently I learned that he worked as a firearms historian.

In the video below, Mike is discussing the original Smith & Wesson revolver, the Model 1, with Ryan Gresham of Gun Talk Media. The one thing that amazed me was how many of these little revolvers were made by S&W. It was somewhere over 200,000!