“An Amazing Celebration of NRA Fellowship and Freedom”

The headline come from a quote by newly-elected NRA President Charles Cotton regarding the NRA Annual Meeting held in Charlotte on Saturday.

If that was all you knew about the Meeting of Members held in Charlotte, you would be excused if you assumed the meeting room was packed to the gills, that members’ concerns were respectfully heard, and that every member of the Board of Director was there.

The reality is much different.

As you can see in this photo sent to me by Rocky Marshall, attendance was sparse. He counted 128 attendees and there were probably a few more by the time everything got underway. Even last year in Tucson during the height of COVID, the Meeting of Members had more attendees. I would say the majority in attendance in Charlotte were Board members, their spouses, and NRA staff.

With regard to having members’ concerns being respectfully heard, a concerted effort was made to suppress even a vote on the only resolution brought before the members in the meeting. Frank Tait submitted the resolution that expressed no confidence in Wayne LaPierre and the Board of Directors and which said Wayne, Meadows, Cotton, Lee, and John Frazer did not deserve to be re-elected. Friend of Wayne Joel Friedman raised an objection to the resolution and a vote was called on whether to consider it. The vote was an overwhelming majority to sustain the objection and not consider the resolution. With that, the meeting adjurned.

If there was a bright spot in this whole charade, it is that NRA General Counsel and Secretary John Frazer was forced to read the resolution in its entirety out loud and that it became an official part of the meeting records. There is no word whether Frazer gritted his teeth or whether his blood pressure started to rise in response.

Stephen Gutowski notes in his new publication The Reload that 28 members of the Board of Directors bailed on the meeting and the follow-up Board Meeting. That means only 48 or members of the Board bothered to show up.

Moving on to the Board Meeting where officers and executives would be elected. The only surprise is that Wayne was not able to be re-elected by acclamation as Judge Phil Journey nominated Rocky Marshall for Executive VP and CEO. The vote on that was 44 votes for Wayne, 2 for Rocky, and 2-3 abstentions. They then went on to elect the full slate of officers and executives that were in the Nominating Committee recommendations that I posted on Friday night.

Such was the paranoia of the NRA that Stephen Gutowski was kept out of the Board Meeting because he was not an active NRA member. He had been allowed to sit in on other NRA Board Meetings in the past. Moreover, I was told by both Frank Tait and Rocky Marshall that they were shadowed throughout both the Meeting of Members and the NRA Board of Directors Meeting by a couple of security guards. Frank did note that they kept the CDC-recommended six feet away.

I have to laugh when I read the official statement by Wayne on being re-elected as Executive VP.

“The NRA is focused and energized–standing tall in the face of unprecedented attacks on our Association and constitutional freedoms,”…“I am honored by the trust placed in me by the NRA Board of Directors and the millions of patriots they represent. Together, we will continue to confront our adversaries and fight for our freedoms and values. We are resolute in our mission as America’s greatest defender of constitutional freedom.” 

The Board of Directors may have represented the members at one time but that time is past. If Wayne and his cronies were really the greatest defender of constitutional freedom they would have allowed consideration of Frank Tait’s resolution, they would not have obstructed the case that became DC v. Heller in its early stages, and they would have gone far beyond the legal requirements for notification of the Annual Meeting. On this last thing, they didn’t even meet the minimum requirements imposed by NY law.

We are beginning to see the impact of the willful ignorance of the Board of Directors. Membership is reported to have fallen down to about 4.2 million members from a high of 5.5 million. Moreover, I know of a very large gun club in Pennsylvania that will be dropping their 100% NRA membership requirement. Without such a requirement, you have to believe that a lot of annual members will start dropping off the roles. Finally, I am hearing on various forums that range from hunting to 2A activism that a large number of traditional donors are keeping their wallets closed. Now I may be just listening to the choir on this but I’m starting to see it in too many places to ignore.

An Insider’s View of the NRA Board of Directors

I was sent this release this afternoon from Rocky Marshall. He is encouraging those that can to attend the Meeting of Members in Charlotte. Regardless of whether you can attend or not, he does encourage members to get involved and I agree 100% with him on that.

From Rocky:

In the last eight months as a member of the NRA Board of Directors (BOD), I have been asked often by NRA members, pro-gun groups and pro-second amendment reporters “Why does the NRA BOD refuse to terminate Wayne LaPierre’s employment in light of the accusations and evidence of mismanagement, malfeasance, and misuse of NRA funds for personal benefit?” I believe there are three primary reasons and a lengthy list of secondary reasons.

Primary Reasons:

  1. NRA Officers and key board members fully support maintaining Wayne LaPierre as the EVP regardless of the evidence that has been presented in the recent Bankruptcy trial.
  2. Several Directors are not independent fiduciaries and will follow the leadership regardless of the admission of wrong doing by Wayne LaPierre and others.
  3. A few Directors are independent but will not openly challenge the current leadership for fear of reprisals, loss of committee assignments, and ultimately removal from the BOD. 

The BOD’s failure in the fiduciary role of over sight has created a risk of dissolution by the New York Attorney General and has enraged NRA members, pro second amendment organizations and second amendment reporters.  The very groups that historically have been the back bone of the NRA are now the biggest critics.  The NRA routinely describes these former support groups as adverse to the NRA and malcontents. These often repeated derogatory terms are used to described anyone or any organization with views that do not align with the NRA leadership.  

In order to develop an understanding of where the NRA is heading, it is necessary to predict the outcome of the New York Attorney General’s Complaint against the NRA. 

Potential Outcomes:

1)         The NRA prevails in the NYAG case and all charges are dropped and the NRA returns to normal operations with current management and BOD in place. This is not plausible due to the over whelming evidence compiled by the NYAG and through testimonies during the bankruptcy trial.  If Martha Stewart can go to jail for insider trading on a transaction valued at $45,000; then I venture to speculate that mismanagement of millions of dollars can also have serious consequences.

2)         The NRA loses the NYAG case and immediately files an appeal or another bankruptcy filing. This is possible, however I think is unlikely because the NRA will lose all leverage with the NYAG and will be at the mercy of the court. 

3)         The NRA avoids the trial through negotiations with the NYAG agrees to remove management, agrees to pay a massive fine, the NRA BOD is disbanded, and the NYAG has a huge political victory.  I think this outcome is the most likely based on the other possible outcomes. 

The appointment of an Independent Receiver by the New York Court could help stop the raiding of the NRA’s bank account. I am hoping that the recent filing of an intervention in the NYAG case (which I am the named Director) will finally end the continued wrong doing by a few and save the NRA for the members. 

I hope to encourage all NRA members to become fully engaged in taking back control of the NRA for the benefit of the members. The annual member’s meeting has been scheduled for October 2, 2021 in Charlotte North Carolina.  If you attend, now is the time for your voice to be heard. The BOD will not change course and have no intention of correcting the wrong doing of the past.  If the NRA is important to you, please get involved….now!

NRA Annual Meeting And Proper Notice (Update)

The NRA bylaws were updated last October 24th. One of the major updates that was slipped in was about the proper notice for the NRA Annual Meeting. It used to require that the notice of the meeting be placed in two consecutive issues of the Official Journal. The Official Journal would be the American Rifleman, American Hunter, Shooting Illustrated, and America’s 1st Freedom.

Article III, Section 8(a) of the Bylaws now reads, “Notice of the time and place of such meeting shall be given in such a manner as allowed by the corporate laws of the state under which the Association is incorporated.” In this case, it is the state of New York no matter how much the NRA would rather be incorporated in Texas or any other gun friendly state.

As Bitter noted in comments and the blog NRA In Danger made clear today, New York has some very specific requirements about meeting notice.

New York Not-for-profit Corporation Law, Sec. 605. Notice of Meeting of Members states, in part:

Whenever a corporation has more than five hundred members, the notice may be served by publication in a newspaper published in the county in the state in which the principal office of the corporation is located, once a week for three successive weeks next preceding the date of the meeting, provided that the corporation shall also prominently post notice of such meeting on the homepage of any website maintained by the corporation continuously from the date of publication through the date of the meeting. A corporation shall send notice of meetings by first class mail to any member who requests in writing that such notices be delivered by such method.

Normally, for a non-profit the size of the NRA that would suffice. However, they don’t meet the three week rule as it would have had to have been announced no later than September 11th and it was announced that the meeting would be in Charlotte on September 12th. Moreover, while they have announced it on the nraam.org website, I can find no notice in any of the newspapers serving Fairfax County, VA. I have checked the little local papers and the Washington Post.

Since they failed to meet the requirements for notice by an organization of 500 plus voting members, it should be assumed that they would then be required to meet the more stringent requirements of notice. That includes a notice no less than 10 days prior to the meeting by fax, by email, or by 1st Class mail to each and every voting member. I have received nothing by mail or by email.

The Complementary Spouse is an annual member. She does not have the five years of continuous membership required to be a voting member. However, she did get a notice of the meeting by email yesterday. Though, again, it is less than the required 10 days before the meeting that she received notice of it. I am sure I am on the “let’s keep the trouble-makers in the dark” list.

I have been told second-hand by a very trustworthy source that the powers that be have assured directors that the notice requirements for not-for-profit NY corporations do not apply to the NRA. That type of thinking that the rules don’t apply is what has gotten the NRA into the mess that it is in. I guess one should expect nothing less nowadays.

UPDATE: I did a totally unscientific poll of members of Friends of Save the Second on Facebook. So far I’ve gotten 35 responses and only one person might have gotten a invitation similar to that received by the Complementary Spouse. The overwhelming majority of the respondents are Life Members. Many were Endowment, Patron, or Benefactor members. The key is that everyone who responded was an eligible voter and they received no notice of the Charlotte meeting.

UPDATE II: I have well over 50 responses so far. With the exception of the one person I mentioned previously, not one Life or above member who responded got any notification by email about the Annual Meeting this coming Saturday in Charlotte. It is like they don’t want us to actually attend or something.

Update On NRA Annual Meeting

The NRA has finally provided official notice today of the time and place for the Meeting of Members in Charlotte. It will be at the Sheraton-La Meridian Hotel Complex. Having stayed there for a business meeting myself, it is a nice location.

From the American Rifleman site:

The National Rifle Association of America announces that the 2021 Annual Members’ Meeting has been rescheduled. The meeting was originally to have been held Sept. 4 in conjunction with the 2021 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, but was rescheduled due to the cancellation of the 2021 convention.

The meeting will now be held Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. in Charlotte, North Carolina in the Symphony Ballroom at the Sheraton & Le Meridien Charlotte Hotel Complex located at 555 South McDowell Street. Please join us and participate in the business of your Association.

The Voter Verification room, where eligible members can pick up their voting credentials will be located in the Executive Boardroom and will open on Friday, October 1, 2021, at 9:00am. The results of the 2021 mail ballot election for the NRA Board of Directors will be announced at the Annual Meeting of Members. For additional information, please visit nraam.org.

This notice is also on the NRA’s Annual Meeting website. It is not on the American Hunter website, the NRA homepage, or the America’s 1st Freedom website.

As for me, I think I can do more for advancing gun rights by setting up the Grass Roots North Carolina booth at the Asheville Gun Show that morning than by going to Charlotte. I also won’t have to see the makeup artist leaving after prepping Wayne for the cameras like I did in Tucson. Ugh!

NRA Annual Meeting Moved To Charlotte

According to an email sent out to the NRA Board of Directors, the NRA Annual Meeting and fall board meeting will now be held on October 2nd in Charlotte, NC.

I don’t have any more details at this time but will post when I do.

I used to joke that Charlotte was full of charlatans. Actually, it is Charlotteans. But in this case, the joke becomes reality given Wayne, Brewer, and the majority of the board.

I don’t know why October 2nd was chosen or why Charlotte other than it is a hub for American Airlines. I do know that the USCCA Concealed Carry and Home Defense Expo is scheduled for that same weekend in Fort Worth, Texas.

While Charlotte is an easy drive for me, I’m just not sure it is worth it. I have a local gun show that weekend. I also have a dear friend and relative whom I haven’t seen since her husband’s funeral coming through town for dinner. Against this is the Annual Meeting where I will have the chance to beat my head agains the wall in a futile attempt to change the status quo. I think I just may have made my choice.

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.

Don McLean Plays NRA Annual Meeting

A tweet by Bitter brought up that Don McLean was playing the Saturday musical event at the NRA Annual Meeting. I never pay much attention to that event as I never go. I would agree with her that he should have gotten top billing and I mean no disrespect to Lee Greenwood or any of the other performers.

I still remember how we analyzed the lyrics to American Pie in 9th grade English with Mr. Tutt. From what I understand McLean never every explained them but I think our analysis was pretty close to this story by the BBC.

So with apologies to Mr. McLean and because it is the NRA Annual Meeting, I’ve taken a little license with his first three stanzas.

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how the NRA
Used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those politicians dance
And maybe we’d be happy for a while

But January made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver
Gun control on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step
I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about Biden and his guy
Something touched me deep inside
The day the freedom died

So, bye-bye, Miss NRA
Wayne drove his Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
And the good ol’ Board was drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, “This’ll be the day that I resign
This’ll be the day that I resign”

A poet or lyricist I’m not. However, I’m still furious about untold amounts of wasted money going to Wayne’s Rasputin when it could have been used to assure that the Senate remained a bulwark against more gun control. How Wayne’s paranoia forced out Chris Cox from ILA who might have prevented one, if not both, of the senators from Georgia going to the Democrats. Most of all, I’m disgusted that the Board has acquiesced to all of this and many still think Brewer is the smartest guy in the room when he clearly is not.

Not Good Signs For NRA

The blog NRA In Danger is reporting on two more indicators of trouble for the NRA.

First is regarding the NRA Annual Meeting scheduled for Labor Day Weekend in Houston. They report that only half of the booth space has been rented out with little more than a month to go. That in and of itself isn’t good. They also note that organizations like the Second Amendment Foundation which have traditionally had booths at the Annual Meeting are turning down the “opportunity”. I had known that and was told by my friends at SAF that they considered it a “waste of money” to be there.

The second is even more disturbing. It concerns upkeep of the NRA headquarters building in Fairfax. Even when not occupied or lightly occupied, you still have to do the upkeep or the building falls apart.

Second, the headquarters building is being allowed to deteriorate. Rain is penetrating the roof, sometimes pooling on the floor and running through passages through floors to soak lower stories. Most of the surviving employees are still working from home, so this is a building that has largely been unoccupied for over a year, and over two summers. Likely a major mold problem will follow, if it isn’t there already. There is money enough for tens of millions in legal fees, but no money to fix the headquarters roof.

NRA in Danger speculates that the board is unaware of these issues as they are being kept in the dark by Wayne and the rest of the Gang of Four. If so, it is malfeasance on the part of the leadership and a continued refusal by the board to do their fiduciary duty of care.

NRA Has Me Shaking My Head Again

The NRA Annual Meeting is little more than two months away. They are finalizing their speakers and seminar presenters as they should. One of the seminar presenters is John Correia who is a trainer, self-defense analyst, and all around nice guy.

John’s YouTube channel has 2.42 million subscribers with millions and millions of views. If you click here, you can see his introduction to his channel.

John is putting on six classroom seminars over the course of the NRA Annual Meeting weekend. These are free to Annual Meeting attendees. In a state that will be going permitless carry just in time for the Annual Meeting, seminars on the do’s and don’t’s of protecting yourself and loved ones would seem to be critical to me. His training is evidence-based and is real world.

John is not getting paid to present these seminars. However, presenters such as John have gotten their travel expenses compensated for in the past as well they should. I know my good friend David Yamane had his hotel and travel expenses covered when he spoke at the National Firearms Law Seminar back in 2019 in Indianapolis. I know because David told me.

I saw a post from John today on Facebook that just had me shaking my head.

Just a single point of data, but it is true. I was asked by the NRA to kind of headline a training push at NRAAM this year, and so asked to do 6 classroom seminars over the weekend. I agreed and all I asked in return was two coach plane tickets and a pro-rata share of the Airbnb I am renting for ASP staff for the weekend.

They initially agreed but yesterday emailed to tell me that they no longer can offer any reimbursement for speakers travel or any honorarium.

I guess that failed bankruptcy filing and making sure WLP has a nice jet to fly on and new suits costs too much to think about the people who will actually help your constituents at your conference.

Le sigh. We will still be there, and I will still do a seminar every day because it will help the attendees and the overall RKBA. But as a benefactor patriot whateverthehell level life member I am right now, it’s frustrating to see the organization miss the mark so often.

John wasn’t asking for a private Gulfstream charter with a suite at the Four Seasons. He was asking for coach tickets and a pro-rata share of his Airbnb.

Do you think Wayne flies coach and stays at an Airbnb to save on the NRA’s expenses?

If you listened to just a few minutes of his rambling testimony during the abortive bankruptcy trial you know the answer to that.

All I can say – as many of us have said over and over – WTF NRA?

Randy Luth’s Shot Across Wayne’s Bow

Randy Luth was the founder of DPMS/Panther Arms and is the president of Luth-AR. I have a Luth MBA-1 buttstock on my “Charlie Foxtrot” DMR AR-15. He has been in the AR end of the firearms industry a long time. He is also no fan of Wayne LaPierre and wants him gone for the benefit of the NRA.

He sent an open letter that has been published in The Outdoor Wires series of online publications. He says something needs to be done to capture the attention of the go-along, get-along NRA Board of Directors as it is obvious that Wayne LaPierre is not going to step down on his own. His suggestion is an industry and member boycott of the NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Houston over Labor Day weekend. The Annual Meeting is a big money generator for the NRA from booth rentals and the fundraising events.

Here is Mr. Luth’s open letter:

Dear Friends and 2nd Amendment Supporters:

Wayne LaPierre- Go Away!

After watching this train wreck over the last 2 years, it is time for the firearms industry to assist in removing Wayne LaPierre from our beloved NRA.

As the bankruptcy proceedings have confirmed, there is a direct lack of leadership at the Executive level as well as the lackluster Board of Directors.

The members of the NRA donate hard-earned money to support the strongest amendment in the Bill of Rights, that would be the 2nd Amendment, not the 1st. When the NRA executives are living like Kings and Queens at the expense of working members, it is long past the time for removal or retirement of the Royalty.

Just think to the lobbying efforts and Pro-gun efforts that could have been initiated if LaPierre and his sidekicks had not caused the many lawsuits and distress within the NRA. It appears the NRA has paid attorneys close to $100,000,000 on the many lawsuits in the last few years. How can any nonprofit organization be involved in that many lawsuits?

It has become obvious the LaPierre will not step down, so it is time to help him make that decision. I propose that the firearms industry and the members boycott the upcoming annual convention/meeting in Houston over the Labor Day weekend. Exhibitors can boycott by either not attending or not setting up a booth. Members can boycott simply by not attending at all.

This proactive protest will send a strong message and may help LaPierre and his followers to pack their bags and depart. This is the only way to save the NRA, we need new Leadership and new ideas. How can there be 100,000,000-gun owners in America and less than 5 million members? I believe the reason is lack of leadership and marketing.

As a Lifetime member of the NRA and a member of the Hunters Leadership Forum, I have suspended all gifting legacy donations as well as HLF donations, in the meantime, I have donated similar dollars to other pro-gun organizations to help fight the fight.

Once new leadership is installed, I will reinstate my donations and support for the NRA, as I have done for 4 decades.

We need the NRA, but we need new Executive leadership and Board of Directors.

I ask that you stand with me. We CAN and WILL be heard loud and clear. We can right this sinking ship. Begin the Boycott!

-Randy E. Luth

I have heard many people express doubt that the NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibition will actually happen. I don’t know but I’d for sure get a room and flight with free cancellation! I probably will go if only to be there if it does come off to be a thorn in the side to the powers that be.

I do wonder how many Texas politicians will find scheduling conflicts when it comes to the NRA’s Leadership Forum. If I were Ted Cruz or John Cornyn or Greg Abbott, I think I might have other pressing matters that called for my attention.