Giving The NYAG More Ammo

The saga of the Directors and Officers liability insurance for the NRA Board of Directors continues. As I wrote almost two months ago, Lloyds of London refused to renew the existing policy. In the interim, the board voted to set up a $5 million contingency fund. The inadequacy of this fund was the impetus for Buzz Mills’ resignation from the board.

Now there are reports that that NRA leadership said that they have a policy which leads us to the latest controversy. It was based upon an email sent in early August to board members from Secretary and General Counsel John Frazer saying that they had obtained Directors and Officers liability coverage.

The blog NRA In Danger reports that board member Rocky Marshall has been asking Frazer for a copy of the new policy that supposedly protects them. He has been stonewalled despite making five or more requests for a copy of the policy in both writing and verbally.

From NRA In Danger:

August 17, director Marshall writes a rebuttal, repeating that a director’s right of inspection is absolute, and no employee-officer has a right to proclaim the corporation’s records “confidential” against a director. Frazer in a phone call said that bloggers would write negative articles if the policy were released. Marshall answers, “To use this as an excuse for not releasing information that I have requested is creating an artificial barrier that prevents me from performing proper oversight. This also increases the risk for the NRA because the NYAG lawsuit continues to highlight the lack of oversight from the NRA Board of Directors.”

 Marshall adds, inspection at Fairfax HQ is hardly feasible for a director a thousand miles away., at a time of Covid-19. Inspection at the Houston meeting is insufficient; he wants his attorney to look it over.

“This email is another demand for a copy of the Declaration page of the D&O policy. I would be grateful to receive this copy via email or a hard copy mailed to my physical address. Failure to provide a copy of the D&O policy is unacceptable regardless of the contrived reasons that you have outlined in your email.’

Yesterday, August 27, Marshall sent the entire email exchange to the board, after waiting ten days for a reply that never came.

Damn bloggers. We are the bane of both Tara Chipman’s and John Frazer’s existence.

Now to the core of the issue. Does a director have a right of inspection of corporate records which would include the D&O policy in question?

The answer is unequivocally yes according to the NY Court of Appeals which is the highest court in New York. Given that the NRA is a non-profit incorporated under New York law, these rulings control.

That court said in 1955 in Matter of Cohen v. Cocoline Products (309 N.Y. 119 (Ct of Apps 1955)) that it was an “absolute, unqualified right, having its roots in the common law, to inspect their corporate books and records” More recently, in Matter of Brenner v. Hart Systems (493 N.Y.S.2d 881, 114 A.D.2d 363 (Ct of Apps 1985)), the Court of Appeals found that directors had the absolute and and unqualified right to “inspect and examine corporate books and records.” It then went on to say that Brenner would suffer irreparable harm if denied this right. This case centered on Brenner’s demand to see the accounting records to determine whether they were inadequate and whether there were irregularities and/or improprieties. In the context of the NRA, that makes that case highly relevant!

In some ways I do feel for John Frazer. He has been named as a co-defendant by the New York Attorney General in the dissolution complaint for “negligence”, was called “unprepared to manage the legal and regulatory affairs of the NRA”, was said to be ignorant of New York non-profit law, and has been accused of many other failures to adequately do his job. To add insult to injury, he was paid about half of what Josh Powell was paid by the NRA. This despite Powell’s reputation for being incompetent, a sexual harrasser, and really kind of dumb except when it came to his own self-preservation.

That said, Frazer’s loyalty to Wayne and Wayne’s wishes will be his and the NRA’s undoing. If Frazer’s refusal to provide a copy of the insurance policy to Marshall when Marshall has an absolute right to see it doesn’t come up in court, I’d be very surprised. You know the NY Attorney General’s Office is already watching every action or inaction by the NRA, its officers, and the board like a hawk. This is just one more thing to add to the argument for dissolving the NRA.

One last comment. Thanks to the postponement of the NRA Annual Meeting, Rocky Marshall remains a director of the NRA with all its rights, privileges, and obligations because his term of office does not end until the Annual Meeting takes place.

NRA Annual Meeting In Houston Canceled

The 2021 NRA Annual Meeting scheduled for Labor Day Weekend in Houston has been canceled. The official reason given was due to COVID-19.

The email sent out to the Board of Directors from NRA President Carolyn Meadows included this announcement:

Due to concern over the safety of our NRA family and community, we regret to inform you that we have decided to cancel the 2021 Annual Meeting & Exhibits. This cancellation applies to all events and meetings that were scheduled in Houston. We will provide future notification regarding a rescheduled date for the annual Meeting of Members.
 
We make this difficult decision after analyzing relevant data regarding COVID-19 in Harris County, Texas. We also consulted with medical professionals, local officials, major sponsors & exhibitors, and many NRA members before arriving at this decision. The NRA Annual Meeting welcomes tens of thousands of people, and involves many events, meetings, and social gatherings. Among the highlights of our annual meeting are acres of exhibit space featuring the latest and greatest firearms, the display of countless accessories, and the offering of adventures and group gatherings that many travel hundreds, and some even thousands, of miles to experience. We realize that it would prove difficult, if not impossible, to offer the full guest experience that our NRA members deserve.    The NRA’s top priority is ensuring the health and well-being of our members, staff, sponsors, and supporters.  We are mindful that NRA Annual Meeting patrons will return home to family, friends and co-workers from all over the country, so any impacts from the virus could have broader implications. Those are among the reasons why we decided to cancel our 2021 event.
 
We would like to thank our members, attendees, exhibitors, and staff for their understanding and support. We are grateful for the many contributions of the George R. Brown Convention Center, state and local officials, community organizers, area hotels, and countless event venues across Houston. We receive enormous support from Houston and the State of Texas – and we hope to return to the Bayou City for a full annual meeting experience.
 
The NRA looks forward to a Celebration of Freedom in Louisville in May 2022. In the meantime, we will support many other NRA local events and smaller gatherings – in a manner that is protective of our members and celebrates our Second Amendment freedom.    
 
We wish continued health and safety to our entire NRA family. 

I hate to say it but I’m kind of relieved. I just wasn’t feeling the excitement about it that I normally do. I’ll miss seeing some friends but more were probably staying away.

2021 NRA Board Election Results

The unofficial election results for the NRA Board of Directors has been released. First, off no write-in candidate was elected meaning that neither Frank Tait nor Rocky Marshall gathered enough votes. Second, everyone who was nominated and didn’t drop out was elected to either three year or one year terms.

Three year terms in order of votes received:

Ronnie Barrett

Carrie Lightfoot

Wayne Anthony Ross

Carolyn Dodgen Meadows

Edie P. Fleeman

Owen Buz Mills

Jim Tomes

Don Saba

Bill Miller

Maria Heil

Donald J. Bradway

Robert J. Wos

William Bachenberg

Scott L. Bach

Kim Rhode

Craig Swartz

Joel Friedman

John C. Sigler

Janet D. Nyce

Niger Roy Innis

David G. Coy

John L. Cushman

David A. Keene

James L. Wallace

Dean Cain

For one year terms:

Anthony P. Colandro

Antonio Hernandez

James Chapman

It is my understanding that there will not be an election for the 76th Director at the NRA Annual Meeting. The nominees for 76th Director are traditionally those who were on the ballot that did not get elected in the regular election. With everyone on the ballot being elected, I guess the argument is that there are no nominees for 76th Director. That said, Charlton Heston was elected as the 76th Director based upon being a right-in candidate. Somewhere along the way the bylaws got changed to remove this possibility.

An alternative explanation could be that Wayne’s trick of using expense-paid “volunteers” from the NRA Members’ Councils of California to campaign for his selected candidate has come to light. Not only was it exposed in the Gangster Capitalism podcast last year but it is now part of the New York Attorney General’s amended complaint (see paragraphs 311 and 312.)

It could also be that he has so many loyalists elected that he doesn’t need to waste our member’s dues to elect just one more.

A Tale Of Two Women Murdered

USMS Surveillance Photo, Aug 21, 1992

29 years ago today, a mother holding holding a baby was murdered by FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi. Her name was Vicki Weaver. While charges were dismissed against Horiuchi based upon “federal supremacy”, the US government eventually paid out $3 million to settle a wrongful death suit. Then FBI Director Louis Freeh disciplined 12 agents over the Ruby Ridge standoff but Horiuchi was not one of them. He contended that Horiuchi had acted appropriately.

James Bovard has a series of stories from over the years on the Ruby Ridge standoff and murder.

Lest we forget, the whole mess was started by our friends at the BATFE who alleged that Randy Weaver, Vicki’s husband, sold two sawed-off shotguns to an informant in violation of the NFA.

Ashli Babbitt

Fast forward to January 6, 2021. A lieutenant with the Capitol Police shot an unarmed Ashli Babbitt during the so-called “capitol insurrection”. An insurrection implies a coordinated attack. The FBI just released information that there was scant evidence that it was a coordinated effort to overturn the election results.

Yesterday, that unnamed officer was officially exonerated for killing Babbitt. The Department of Justice had already said they would not be bringing charges.

Law professor Jonathan Turley does not agree that the officer involved met any standard for shooting an unarmed person. He is also critical of fellow law professors for essentially considered Babbitt fair game as she was part of the January 6th “insurrection” (that wasn’t).

As Piers Morgan notes, if you or I had been the one who shot a US Capitol Police officer, we would be named. Transparency in government demands that that this officer be likewise named. Heck, we know about Lon Horiuchi but not this guy.

You can argue whether Ashli Babbitt was murdered or not. At the least in my opinion, it was manslaughter and the officer doing the shooting should be held accountable just like many other law enforcement officers have been held accountable over the last two years.

The bottom line is that the government gets away with doing it to you but you don’t get away from doing it to government. I am reminded of Dave Hardy’s excellent book “I’m from the Government and I’m Here to Kill You: The True Human Cost of Official Negligence”. The book covers everything from the Texas City ammo ship explosion to Operation Fast and Furious. In no case was any Federal official ever charged. Indeed, future Chief Justice Warren Burger argued for the DOJ that no compensation should be paid to the families of the 600 killed in the Texas City explosion.

Tweet Of The Day

It seems that Everytown Law and the Brady United are trying to get the Federal Trade Commission to come down on Smith & Wesson for false advertising. You can read their letter here.

However, as Rob Romano of the Firearms Policy Coalition points out, their argument might backfire on them elsewhere. That said, neither Everytown nor Brady have any problem with hypocrisy.

Needed For Uber In Kabul?

I stumbled across this auction of a 1959 Saladin 6×6 armored car. It supposedly has a 76mm main gun but I’m thinking it is probably demilitarized. With a current high bid of only $1,500, you probably could afford to have it restored and to buy ammo for it. I somehow doubt that Lucky Gunner has ammo for it but you never know. They both are in Knoxville.

From what I’ve read about the Saladin, it held a crew of three. Therefore, if you want to provide safe Uber service to the airport in Kabul for American couples, it would be just the thing. It might not be comfy but it would be safe.

How could the Taliban object? It is named after that great Muslim warrior Saladin!

Historical Ignorance Is No Excuse

As philosopher George Santayana wrote, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Taken a step further, historical ignorance is no excuse for opposing a law meant to write a wrong.

In this case, it is the 1919 law originally entitled “an act to regulate the sale of concealed weapons in North Carolina.” Both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly have voted to repeal this law and have sent HB 398 to the governor’s desk where it is likely to be vetoed.

One of the leading opponents of the repeal is Sen. Natasha Marcus (D-Mecklenburg). A lawyer and community organizer, Marcus proudly proclaims her membership in Moms Demand Action. She is a graduate of Hamilton College in New York and the Duke University School of Law.

From Marcus campaign website

In her opposition to the repeal, the AP reports this:

The local pistol permit requirement began in 1919 during the Jim Crow era, and some bill supporters argue it’s still preventing law-abiding black residents from obtaining weapons. But a local NAACP leader spoke against the bill earlier Wednesday, and Marcus said such opposition is evidence to her that the current permitting system isn’t racist.

Just because a local NAACP leader spoke against the repeal does not confer racial neutrality upon the law. I’m sure if Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R-NC) who is black had condemned the existing law as discriminatory and based upon a desire for white supremacy – which it was – that Sen. Marcus would ignore it and call Lt. Gov. Robinson just a tool of the NRA.

For Sen. Marcus’ edification and education, here are some links that illustrate the history as well as the disparate impact of the law:

By historian Clayton Cramer – North Carolina’s Permit to Purchase Law: The Rumble Seat of Gun Control Laws?

By Nicholas Gallo in the North Carolina Law Review – Misfire: How the North Carolina Pistol Purchase Permit System Misses the Mark of Constitutional Muster and Effectiveness

Finally, a couple from myself – “An Act to Regulate the Sale of Concealed Weapons in North Carolina” – Part I and “An Act to Regulate the Sale of Concealed Weapons in North Carolina” – Part II

I do not hold the fact that Sen. Marcus was born and bred in New York against her. My mother was born and raised in New York and Paul Valone who has been tireless in the fight to overturn this Jim Crow law is also a New York native.

I do hold her ignorance of North Carolina history against her. I also find it contemptuous that she uses the testimony of a NAACP leader as her justification for saying the law is not racist. To be perfectly frank, she couldn’t care less whether it was or was not racist. All that matters to her is that it is gun control of which she is a card carrying supporter.

Democrats Vote To Preserve Jim Crow Law

Every Democrat in the North Carolina Senate save two voted against the repeal of the pistol purchase permit. As I and others have noted many times, the history and purpose of this bill passed in 1919 was to disarm black North Carolinians.

The only two Democrats who didn’t vote against repeal of this Jim Crow law were Sen. Don Davis (D-Greene, Pitt) who didn’t vote and Sen. Ernestine Bazemore (D-Beaufort) who had an excused absence. By contrast, every Republican supported the repeal with the exception of Sen. Bob Steinburg (R-Camden) who had an excused absence.

HB 398 had already passed the NC House of Representatives with bi-partisan support.

The bill has passed its 2nd and 3rd readings and has been enrolled. It now goes to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk where undoubtedly he will continue the Democrat’s support of a law conceived in racism. A law that research in the North Carolina Law Review has shown still discriminates against blacks.

In a day and time when I get virtually daily emails from liberal groups denouncing Confederate statues as racist symbols and college buildings being renamed due to the segregationist past of their namesakes, I find it hard to comprehend just how strongly Democrat legislators, both white and black, cling to a law conceived in racism. Not only was it conceived in racism but the law still has a disparate impact on minorities.

I guess Democrats are more afraid of white women funded by a New York billionaire than they are of their own minority constituents. Go figure.