The Resolution From The NRA Meeting Of Members

It took me a while to get a copy of the second resolution that was introduced at Meeting of Members at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. The first resolution was to thank President Trump for withdrawing from the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty and the third resolution was an off-the-wall ode to Dana Loesch by some fan girl. You may have read about some of the fireworks that were associated with this resolution which condemned Wayne LaPierre as well as the Audit, Finance, and Executive Committees of the NRA Board of Directors. The resolution was ultimately referred to the Board of Directors for discussion.

Stephen Gutowski of The Free Beacon put up a short video that captures some of the dynamic of the meeting. On one side you had the old guard such as Marion Hammer, James Porter, and others who have served on the Board of Directors for many years. The other side might be called the insurgents. You had people like gun rights attorneys Adam Kraut and Joshua Prince along with a number from Pennsylvania. You had trainer Rob Pincus who now is the Executive Director of 2A.Org. Plus many others.

Below is the full resolution that was presented by Frank Tait who graciously sent me a copy.

Resolution submitted to the Annual Meeting of the National Rifle Association, 27 April, 2019

Submitted by:

WHEREAS, the National Rifle Association exists for the benefit of its members and has a long, illustrious history as the nation’s premier provider of firearms safety, training, and competition, as well as our country’s oldest and most effective civil rights organization; and

WHEREAS, the various missions of the NRA are dependent upon the hard work and generosity of our members and volunteers, who donate countless hours and tens of millions of dollars to our cause each year to help defend our rights and sustain our long tradition of shooting, hunting, and defense of self, family, community, state and country; and

WHEREAS, the NRA is chartered in the state of New York and subject to the laws of that state and the authority of the governor and attorney general of that state, who have declared their desire and intention to destroy our organization; and

WHEREAS, recent revelations of questionable business and financial practices within the NRA regarding their dealings with various vendors and contractors, who have received tens of millions of dollars from the NRA without clear accountability or oversight, leading to a lawsuit against one vendor, whom the NRA paid more than $40 million in 2017; and

WHEREAS, the NRA has filed a lawsuit against one of those vendors, admitting that they have paid large sums of the members’ money, without detailed contracts, proper invoicing, or any way to effectively determine what was received in exchange for that money; and

WHEREAS, very similar issues were raised over 20 years ago involving this same vendor, but were squelched and ignored; and

WHEREAS, Wayne LaPierre was the Executive Vice President of the NRA 20 years ago when these issues were originally raised, and actively opposed and blocked any investigation or corrective action at that time, and during his long tenure as EVP of NRA, has often supported and defended this vendor, their practices, and other vendors and contractors who have similarly reaped huge rewards from the NRA without demonstrating any substantial return on our investment; and

WHEREAS, these highly suspect practices and failures to properly safeguard the assets of the association and its members, have created serious vulnerabilities that can, and almost certainly will be exploited by the very hostile attorney general of New York, and could result in the dismantling of the entire organization; and

WHEREAS, the ultimate responsibility for this situation, which has been ongoing for the past 20 years, rests with the Executive Vice President of the association, Wayne LaPierre, who receives over $1.4 million from the association each year, and has been reported to have a clause in his contract obligating the NRA to continue paying him the same amount as a speaker and consultant after he leaves the NRA; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that, on this 27th day of April, 2019, the members of the National Rifle Association of America here gathered at the Annual Meeting of Members in Indianapolis, Indiana do hereby express our disappointment, frustration, and lack of confidence in Wayne LaPierre’s ability to guide the association out of the dangerous mess he has created, and call for his immediate resignation; and be it further

RESOLVED, that we, the members here gathered, also have no confidence in the members of the NRA Board of Directors who serve on the Audit Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Executive Committee, who were directly tasked with oversight of the operations of the organization and its finances and failed to identify and correct these long-running discrepancies that have cost our association tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, and put it in such a precarious position; and be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution, along with a brief description of its reception and passage by this body, should be prominently published in the Official Journal of the association within six months of adjournment of this meeting.

Ollie North’s Letter Read At NRA Meeting Of Members

By now, everyone should know that Ollie North is out as president of the National Rifle Association. I think it came down to a power struggle between Col. North and Wayne LaPierre over the direction of the NRA. Given the glaringly obvious support that LaPierre holds on the Board, North lost this struggle.

The most obvious indication of this was at the Meeting of Members on Saturday morning, April 27th, when the meeting convened and there was no Ollie. After the people on the stage were introduced, then-First VP Richard Childress addressed the meeting and read the following letter from Col. North.

If I remember correctly, LaPierre just sat in his seat on the stage and shook his head a couple of times like he was disgusted. Later, after being glowingly introduced by now-President Carolyn Meadows, he went on to give his typical stump speech which ignored all the financial improprieties and the role of the outside counsel. Since it was apparent that most of the people attending the meeting get 100% of their knowledge of LaPierre from reading his columns in the NRA magazines, he got a standing ovation.

There are a number of other letters that have been posted to the Internet in the last couple of days regarding the NRA’s issues. They are now the basis for yesterday’s article in the Wall Street Journal and other places and I will be posting them. They are all photos of the actual letters. I will post them with little commentary and let you make up your own mind what to make of them.

NRA Attendance And Voting Statistics

The official attendance at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis was approximately 81,000. This is about 6,000 less than last year’s meeting in Dallas. I will say I had no trouble getting about on the floor nor in the hallways of the Indiana Convention Center.

Now to more important statistics.

At the Meeting of Members on Saturday, William Satterfield, chairman of the Elections Committee announced the statistics for the 2019 NRA Board of Directors election.

2,452,893 ballots were bound in the official magazines of the NRA 

145,920 ballots received back 

141,101 ballot were valid 

4,819 were invalid

Ballots that were deemed invalid for a variety of reasons. Among the reasons enumerated by Mr. Satterfield were arrival after the April 7th cutoff date, more than 25 candidates marked, no candidates marked, and some were actually prior year ballots. I think he said there was even one ballot from 2009.

When you do the math, you are left with the conclusion that most members eligible to vote – Life members and 5-year continuous members – don’t give a big rat’s ass who serves on the Board. The response rate for just returning the ballot was 5.94% and the response rate for a valid ballot was 5.75%.

That is pathetic. Moreover, it is scary. Think what could happen to gun rights if Michael Bloomberg just spent a few million bucks on advertising to run a slate of stealth (or Manchurian) candidates. With the proper slate and modern ad targeting, it would be possible to take over the organization in as little as two years. Whether it could be kept secret for that long is another matter.

Cracks In The Appearance Of Unanimity

Lt. Col. Allen West, USA (Ret), former Congressman from Florida and a NRA Board Member, put out this tweet a little over an hour ago. Mind you that the release put out by the American Rifleman and elsewhere was that the Board unanimously elected the new officers, reelected Wayne LaPierre as EVP, and re-appointed the rest of the Executive Team.

Hmmm. Unanimous you say?

 We recorded a special episode of The Polite Society Podcast tonight to discuss the NRA Annual Meeting, the Board Meeting, and the Meeting of the Members on Saturday. Our guest was Jeff Knox of The Firearm Coalition. One thing that Jeff brought up was that he wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the celebs on the board bailing upon the advice of their attorneys. Given the strictness of NY law and the mandate that directors actually direct, I’m just glad to be a peon and not a board member.

2019 National Firearms Law Seminar

I spent the day the National Firearms Law Seminar sponsored by the NRA Foundation. It was the 22nd annual seminar put on by them. I try to attend these every other year to catch up with what’s what with firearms law and Second Amendment litigation.

The day started out with introductory remarks from Carol Frampton who is a NRA Board Member and chair of the seminar committee. She kept things moving along throughout the day.

The highlights of the day for me were (in no order) Prof. George Mocsary’s presentation on judicial defiance of Heller, the ethics lecture from Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven David, a presentation on terminal ballistics from neurosurgeon Dr. Paul Maurer, and finally the lunch time presentation by my friend Prof. David Yamane on gun culture 2.0 and his conversion from a non-gun owner to a concealed handgun carrier.

Of these presentations you are probably wondering why I liked the ethics presentation. The answer is that Justice David – formerly Col. Steven David, JAG, USAR (retired) was entertaining while getting his point across. For example, he had the misfortune of being named the Chief Defense Counsel at Guantanamo Bay for the 9-11 plotters. His point was that lawyers had a duty to represent their clients, and act professionally and responsibly even when they don’t like their clients. As it put it, two sides, one oath.

Aaron Kendal of The Shekel Blog and an attorney in Michigan has published posts on each of the presentations. They give a good thumbnail summation of each presentation.

Judicial Defiance of Heller and A Survey of Current 2A Litigation

Ethics Presentation

State Constitutional Arms Provision

Gun Culture 2.0, or How a Liberal Professor Became An Armed American

FBI NICS Checks and Appeals

Gun Rights and The VA

Terminal Ballistics

On Making and Gunsmithing Weapons

Shooting Ranges and the Noise and Environmental Issues They Face

Head In The Sand Approach Doesn’t Help Gun Rights – Or Gun Rights Organizations

The Illinois State Rifle Association has always been at the forefront in the fight for gun rights. They are the NRA affiliate in the Prairie State but have often paired with the Second Amendment Foundation on lawsuits. I’ve met their executive director Richard Pearson at a number of Gun Rights Policy Conferences. I respect the work he does in a state with so many challenges to the Second Amendment.

Sometimes, however, you have to disagree with people respect and call out a head in the sand attitude. Thus is the case with something Richard wrote in today’s ISRA Thursday Bulletin.

The NRA is under constant attack these days. These attacks come in a couple of ways. First, of course, is just a straightforward attack on the Second Amendment and law-abiding gun owners. That is you and me folks. The second part of the attack is a propaganda campaign to make members doubt their own organization. Don’t fall for it. This whole propaganda attack is funded by Bloomberg and others like him. Bloomberg and company are trying to erode the loyal NRA base and prevent potential new members from joining. Has the NRA ever made any mistakes? Probably, but so has every other organization. If the NRA did, it was with the best intentions in trying to defend our Second Amendment. I have no qualms about that.

He is correct that the NRA is under attack from the gun prohibitionists.  However, I take exception to what Richard characterizes as the second part of the attack. Yes, The Trace is a Bloomberg funded organization and yes it contributed to the reporting in The New Yorker. However, as a NRA Board Member said to me, facts don’t lie. What was printed in The New Yorker is an expose’ of the NRA but that doesn’t make it wrong or incorrect. Moreover, self-dealing and feathering one’s own nest through insider deals is not “with the best intentions in trying to defend our Second Amendment.” What those involved have done is put the future of the organization at risk through their personal avarice.

I have plenty of qualms about that.

This Is Pretty Weak — Even For The Violence Policy Center

Josh  “I invented the term Assault Weapon” Sugarmann’s Violence Policy Center is taking note that the NRA Annual Meeting starts on Friday. They have come up with a graphic asserting the Annual Meeting is showcasing “manufacturers of mass shooter’s weapon of choice”.

Normally, I appreciate a good infographic. This is just weak stuff.

More interesting is what they fail to show. I believe the terrorists who killed 130 concert goers at the Bataclan Theater in Paris used AK-47s. Likewise, I believe the Islamic terrorists that attacked the Taj Hotel in Mumbai and killed 165 and wounded over 300 used AKs. This does not even begin to approach the total number of people who have been killed in mass murders with bombs and arson.

More importantly, this graphic fails to take in account the number of defensive gun uses using the firearms produced by these manufacturers. I’ll be gracious and even include Hi-Point in that list.

The graphic also fails to specify which of these locations was an officially gun-free zone. Just glancing over the list I see that most of them qualify.

They put this graphic under their “Investigating the Gun Lobby” banner which is devoted to the National Rifle Association. The actual official gun lobby is the National Shooting Sports Foundation which represents manufacturers. Moreover, if you want to get more expansive, every one of us who supports gun rights is the gun lobby. It isn’t only an organization in Fairfax, VA.

NRA Annual Meeting – Where Can You Carry?

The Indy Star published an article on Friday detailing where you can and can’t carry at the NRA Annual Meeting which starts on Friday. The biggest event you cannot carry is at the NRA Leadership Forum on Friday. It’s not because Wayne and Company is scared but because the Secret Service forbids any weapons in any place where the President will be speaking or appearing. Given that both President Donald Trump and VP Mike Pence will be speaking at the event, I’m sure it goes double.

What is prohibited instead the Leadership Forum?

Here’s a complete list of items that won’t be allowed inside the stadium when Trump speaks:
  • Aerosols
  • Ammunition
  • Backpacks
  • Bags larger than 18″x13″x7″
  • Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems
  • Firearms
  • Glass, thermal, or metal containers
  • Gun parts, holsters, magazines, etc.
  • Knives
  • Laser pointers
  • Mace/pepper spray
  • Selfie sticks
  • Signs
  • Toy guns
  • Umbrellas
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Any other item determine to be potential safety hazards 
However,  a group called Knife Rights will provide complimentary storage for knives and other prohibited items at the North Gate entrance.

If you are attending the Leadership Forum, be prepared to get in line early if last year was any indication. I remember a long line snaking through the Dallas Convention Center as people had to go through the Secret Service checkpoint to be admitted.

Firearms will also not be allowed at the Alan Jackson concert to be held at the Lucas Oil Stadium.

 However, you will be able to carry in the convention hall provided you have a valid carry permit. Carrying outside the home requires a permit under Indiana law according to the article.

For the most up-to-date information on carry laws in Indiana, go to

UPDATE: I checked with a friend in Indy. She said you can carry in establishments that serve alcohol. Unlike in North Carolina, Indiana allows you to consume alcoholic beverages while carrying. However, public intoxication is illegal so moderation is the key. Personally, and this is just me, I don’t carry when I plan to consume alcohol.

Dont Shoot The Messenger

In the last couple of days since the lawsuit against Ackerman McQueen I’ve spoken to a former lobbyist for the NRA and two serving NRA Board Members. The conversations were off the record and not for attribution. Then I read this article in The New Yorker thanks to a link to it posted on Facebook by Prof. David Yamane.

The article is entitled “Secrecy, Self-Dealing, and Greed at the N.R.A.” Mike Spies article has a subhead saying “The organization’s leadership is focussed on external threats, but the real crisis may be internal.” I hate to say this given all the attacks on the NRA from every Democrat running for President, the State of New York, and the media but from what I’ve gathered Spies is correct. Just because we don’t like the source doesn’t mean they are wrong.

Last August, the N.R.A., in desperate need of funds, raised its dues for the second time in two years. To cut costs, it has eliminated free coffee and water coolers at its headquarters and has frozen its employees’ pension plan. Carry Guard, which was meant to save the organization, has proved disastrous. According to the memos, in 2017, the year that Carry Guard was introduced, Ackerman McQueen received some six million dollars for its work on the product, which included the creation of a Web site and media productions featuring celebrity firearms trainers. The lawsuit against New York State has created an additional burden. Sources familiar with the N.R.A.’s financial commitments say that it is paying Brewer’s firm an average of a million and a half dollars a month.

An official assessment performed by Cummins last summer dryly describes the N.R.A.’s decision-making during the previous year as “management’s shift in risk appetite.” The document analyzes the organization’s executive-liability exposures and discusses insurance policies that “protect NRA directors and officers from claims by third parties that they have breached their duties, such as by mismanagement of association assets.” From 2018 to 2019, it says, insurance costs increased by three hundred and forty-one per cent. “To say this is a major increase would be an understatement,” Peter Kochenburger, the deputy director of the Insurance Law Center at the University of Connecticut, told me. “This seems to be pretty direct evidence that the N.R.A.’s problems are not due to New York but rather to how the organization conducts itself.”

The memos urged the audit committee to “step up + fulfill its duties!,” but it’s not clear what the board has done to root out malfeasance. James Fishman, a co-author of “New York Nonprofit Law and Practice: With Tax Analysis,” a leading text on nonprofit law, told me, “There is no such thing as a director who doesn’t direct. You’re responsible to make yourself aware of what’s going on. If the board doesn’t know, they’ve breached their duty of care, which is against the law in New York,” where the N.R.A. is chartered. According to Owens, the former I.R.S. official, New York State “could sanction board members, remove board members, disband the board, or close down the organization entirely.”

Read that last line again. New York State could close down the NRA entirely by moving for dissolution. You have a governor and attorney general in New York that hate the National Rifle Association. You have a Board of Directors which is too large to be effective. You have Ackerman McQueen trying to preserve its position and an outside counsel trying to take their position for himself. And then you have internal civil war going on within the organization between loyalists to one executive and friends of another leader.

The bottom line is that there are tremendous troubles within the NRA just when you need it to be steadfast in the face of outside attacks.

How bad are these troubles? A reliable source told me that Marion Hammer who hasn’t attended a Board of Directors meeting since hell froze over the last time will be in Indianapolis to attend the Board meeting. It’s that bad.

UPDATE:  Jeff Knox, son of Neal Knox, and co-head of The Firearm Coalition published an opinion piece of the issue in response to The New Yorker’s article. It is well worth a read. He makes some good points in it and calls for the resignation of Board members on the Audit, Finance, and Executive Committee for not doing their jobs.