James Seeks NRA Dissolution

While there was some speculation earlier today that NY Attorney General Letitia James’ “national announcement” would have to do with President Trump. That was wrong. The original speculation was that it had to do with the NRA was correct.

James has moved to dissolve the NRA in NY Supreme Court for New York County. She has an 18 point, 169 page complaint which includes claims that Wayne LaPierre, Josh Powell, Woody Phillips, and John Frazer have violated their fiduciary duty.

James in her press conference said that she will be forwarding information to the Internal Revenue Service regarding the NRA’s non-profit status. As to freezing assets of both the named individuals and the organization as a whole that is included in the complaint. When asked if she will be seeking criminal charges, James said the investigation is ongoing and any criminal charges will be referred to Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr. if necessary. James also denied that bringing this dissolution action has anything to do with her personal views on “gun violence” and is only seeking to enforce New York charity law.

James, in her press release, says the resolution she seeks is:

As a result of all the allegations mentioned above, Attorney General James seeks to dissolve the NRA; asks the court to order LaPierre, Phillips, Powell, and Frazer to make full restitution for funds they unlawfully profited and salaries earned while employees; pay penalties; recover illegal and unauthorized payments to the four individuals; remove LaPierre and Frazer from the NRA’s leadership (Phillips and Powell are no longer employed by the NRA); and ensure none of the four individual defendants can ever again serve on the board of a charity in New York.

You can watch the full announcement below. I will be scanning through the court filing in an effort to provide a digest later today.

Josh Powell And NRA Have Split

While it was reported yesterday that Josh Powell was on administrative leave from the NRA, it now appears that their employment relationship has been severed. The initial report was based upon court filings by Ackerman McQueen in Alexandria Circuit Court.

Newsweek is reporting that an email was sent this evening to the members of the Board of Directors informing them that Powell was gone.

From Newsweek:

However, according to an internal email obtained by Newsweek, Powell has departed the NRA entirely.

It was not clear whether Powell was fired or if he resigned. The NRA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The email clarifying the nature of Powell’s departure was sent to the board of directors Saturday evening by the NRA’s general counsel John Frazer.

“Several directors have reported receiving media queries regarding Josh Powell and his employment status with the Association,” he wrote. “For the sake of clarity, we note that Josh is no longer employed by the NRA.”

In noting the sensitivity of discussing personnel matters, Frazer made reference to “the assortment of pending and threatened litigation” facing the gun-rights group.

The Newsweek article also raised a question that someone asked me on Twitter this evening: how did Ackerman McQueen know or find out that Powell had been placed on leave?

Save the Second raised some interesting questions regarding the termination of Powell’s employment with the NRA.

From their Facebook post:

 1. Why, specifically?

2. Was this a move against Wayne’s wishes/protection?

3. Was there an insultingly generous severance package to add insult to injury after his disastrous tenure as an overpaid executive that didn’t seem to do anything right?

4. Will the problems he and his decisions/appointments caused in the NRA’s Education & Training Division be undone ?

Given that it will be classified as a personnel matter, I think the whys and wherefores of his termination may never be fully known. Moreover, unless either Wayne or one of his inner circle talks, we won’t know the answer to number 2.

We may have to wait until the Meeting of Members at the Annual Meeting in Nashville to find out if any severance package has been paid. If then.

Only time will tell if the problems Powell caused in Education and Training will be solved.

Hat Tip: Save the Second for the Newsweek article

AckMac Court Filing Noting Josh Powell’s Administrative Leave

Below is the Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendant’s Motion to Compel Plaintiff to Provide Meaningful and Supplemental Answers to Interrogatories. This was filed on January 23rd by attorneys for Ackerman McQueen in their legal battle with the National Rifle Association. It covers both the first and second lawsuit filed by the NRA against AckMac in City of Alexandria Circuit Court.

This is where we first learned the Wayne LaPierre’s Chief of Staff Josh Powell was on Administrative Leave. As far as I know, it had not been public knowledge before that.

There is a lot of legalese in these pages but a scan through them does give the reader a sense of the battle between the two former allies.

There is also the amusing line of Q&A indicating that Wayne was upset that someone at AckMac told the Wall Street Journal his grandniece had drawn on the walls of The Four Seasons with crayons.

2020.01.22_Ack MTC Rog Responses by jpr9954 on Scribd

Hat Tip – Beth for the document

NRA’s Josh Powell Placed On Administrative Leave (Updated)

Wayne LaPierre’s Chief of Staff Joshua Powell has been placed on administrative leave. This is according to court filings in one of the lawsuits involving the NRA and Ackerman McQueen in Virginia courts.

From the Washington Post:

A top National Rifle Association official has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the nonprofit group’s lawyer, according to a recent court filing, in a sign of ongoing turmoil surrounding the nation’s largest gun group.

The removal of Joshua L. Powell, the NRA’s chief of staff, was referenced in a Jan. 23 filing in Alexandria Circuit Court by the NRA’s former public relations agency, Ackerman McQueen. “Mr. Powell has now been placed ‘on leave’ by the NRA pending an investigation by NRA counsel,” the filing in Virginia says.

According to the story by Beth Reinhard, the NRA has not responded to multiple requests for comment. It is also unknown whether he is on paid or unpaid leave. His last reported compensation was $919,969 according to the 2018 NRA Form 990.

Powell also refused comment. The Post notes that he, ” removed “National Rifle Association Chief of Staff – Senior Strategist” from his Twitter bio this week.”

Powell has had a checkered history at the NRA. He was the one responsible for rushing CarryGuard out before it was ready when he served as Director of General Operations. He has also been named in sexual harassment allegations involving an Ackerman McQueen employee. It was serious enough that AckMac told Wayne LaPierre that they refused to work with Powell anymore.

As to why now and not earlier, that is unknown. Some have speculated he knew too much dirt and the powers that be wanted to keep him close. Powell has had a reputation according to some of looking out for himself above all else. If so, it would not have been unreasonable to suspect that he would cut a deal to save himself if it came to it.

Eventually we may know the full story. As for today, we know he is on administrative leave and that’s that.

UPDATE: Thanks to Rob Pincus, we have a photo of the filing in question. It is a filing by Ackerman McQueen asking the court to force the NRA to provide additional information regarding its interrogatories. As Powell is on administrative leave and “not in good standin”, his prior responses on behalf of the NRA under oath are no longer sufficient.

2018 NRA Executive Compensation

When looking at compensation, you have to look beyond mere salaries and bonuses. Total compensation includes both salaries and bonuses but it also includes things like deferred compensation, group life insurance, contributions to retirement plans, and taxable personal expenses.

I was finally able to get a copy of the 2018 Form 990 for the National Rifle Association. This is the tax report that all not-for-profits must file with the Internal Revenue Service. Both 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations are included in this category. The NRA itself is a 501(c)(4) which allows it to engage in political campaign activities while the NRA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) and is not allowed to engage in political campaign activities.

Below is a table of the 12 most highly compensated NRA officials ranging from Wayne LaPierre at the top to Director of Education and Training Eric Frohardt at the bottom. If you click on the icon on the bottom right of the embedded spreadsheet, it will open the full spreadsheet.

In the notes of page 3 of Schedule J of the Form 990 is this explanation of how compensation is determined.

Compensation of the NRA’s top management officials is established by methods including independent compensation consultants, compensation surveys and studies, and comparability data. In addition, under the NRA Bylaws compensation of certain elected officials (including the Executive Vice President) must be approved by the Board of Directors, based on recommendations by the compensation committee. All decisions are properly documented.

I have posted the 2018 Form 990 here for reference.

Since comparability data is one criterion used in establishing these officials compensation, I thought I’d look first at publicly traded firearms companies to see how they compensated their top managers. Their compensation is divided into two portions: cash compensation and equity (or stock) compensation. Equity compensation is used to align the interests of managers with that of stock holders.

At Sturm, Ruger and Company, CEO Chris Killoy had a 2018 salary of $500,000 with a profit sharing bonus of $60,324 and a performance bonus of $503,000. His total cash compensation was $1,063,324. Stock awards raised his total compensation to $2.1 million. Killoy manages a company with over 2,000 employees with plants in three states. By contrast, the NRA has somewhere between 500 and 1,000 employees. The base salaries of the other top managers at Ruger ranges from $240,000 to $325,000.

James Debney, CEO of American Outdoor Brands Corporation, had a higher salary in 2018 but no cash bonus. His cash compensation was his salary of $734,039. He did receive a substantial stock award which raised his total compensation to $2.2 million. He manages a workforce of 1,853 employees. Meanwhile, the base salaries of American Outdoor Brand executives range from a low of $283,000 to a high of $402,000 for the CFO.

When you look at other politically active 501(c)(4) organizations like the Sierra Club and Planned Parenthood, the compensation of their executives is substantially less than that of the NRA. For example, Cecile Richards who was the CEO of Planned Parenthood had a total compensation of $1,033,274 from all sources. Meanwhile, the Sierra Club paid Executive Director Michael Brune a total of $333,797 and their CFO about $250,000.

When looking at the compensation of the top managers of the NRA, it is critical to look beyond Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox. Those two are (or were in Cox’s case) very highly compensated as you might expect. However, it is the salaries of next level down that are really concerning.

Who in their right mind could justify paying Josh Powell over $900,000 with a base salary greater than the CEO’s of either Ruger or American Outdoor Brands? Powell is the guy responsible for the debacle of NRA Carry Guard, the guy the NRA spent money on to settle his sexual harassment problems, and the guy who has run multiple companies into the ground. It is ridiculous!

When you compare the salaries of the managers one level down from Wayne to that of virtually any comparable manager in a publicly traded small cap company, there is no comparison. The NRA managers are compensated beyond the level of their position and responsibility. If I had to hazard a guess, they are being compensated as much for their loyalty to their master – Wayne – as for the work that they actually do. This is just not right and sadly I see no change coming in the near to mid future.

Someone Is Going Under The Bus

The New York Times ran a story by Danny Hakim regarding the financing of the “Russia trip”. It appeared in Thursday’s paper. The “Russia trip” was a visit to Moscow organized by Maria Butina. It was attended by former NRA President David Keene, then-1st VP Pete Brownell, Sheriff David Clarke, and some other board members. The trip was for the purpose of building stronger ties between the NRA and gun-rights supporters in Russia.

The financing of the trip has been of interest to both Congressional investigators and to NY Attorney General Letitia James. There have been a complicated series of personal checks and reimbursements which has attracted their attention. According to the article, the NRA’s outside counsel William Brewer III has asserted in internal presentations that “those involved had exposed themselves to wire fraud charges.” Other attorneys disagreed with this assertion.

Brewer is also asserting that Wayne LaPierre was opposed to the trip. This, however, is contradicted by emails from the time which marked trip-related invoices as “Wayne approved”.

While the whole financing issue is of interest to investigators, it is what is buried in this story that caught my attention. In other words, the story within the story. It concerns the bureaucratic infighting between some of LaPierre’s closest associates.

The invoices for the trip were overseen by LaPierre’s closest aide Millie Hallow.

The 2016 transactions were overseen by Millie Hallow, an aide to Mr. LaPierre, according to emails. In one February 2016 email, Ms. Butina sent an invoice directly to Ms. Hallow for “Hosting of NRA leadership group for six days in Moscow,” according to the document, and thanked her “for your invaluable advice these past few months.”

In a May 26 email that year, Ms. Hallow told other N.R.A. officials that an invoice related to the trip submitted by Mr. Brownell’s company, the firearms retailer Brownells, had been authorized: “Wayne approved these special projects involving Outreach that Brownell has done,” she wrote.

Now it appears that Josh Powell, Chief of Staff to LaPierre, is trying to throw Millie under the bus.

On Thursday, Josh Powell, the N.R.A.’s chief of staff, said in a statement that “in order to facilitate the transfer of funds to Brownell, Millie falsely stated that Wayne approved of certain expenses when he had not. In fact, Millie apologized to me (and others) later for the misrepresentation.”

You may remember that in late July I did a blog post regarding Millie Hallow. It detailed how she had been convicted of felony embezzlement while directing the DC Commission on Arts and the Humanities. My impression was that had been kept a closely guarded secret. I had NRA board members tell me they didn’t know Ms. Hallow was a convicted felon until that post was published.

It now appears that someone wants that information in the public domain.

But Ms. Hallow is one of Ms. LaPierre’s closest aides, and raising questions about her credibility comes at an inopportune time. The N.R.A. is relying on her word in its battle with Oliver North, the organization’s former president, who stepped down this year shortly after making a call to Ms. Hallow that N.R.A. officials described as threatening toward Mr. LaPierre. Ms. Hallow also once pleaded guilty to a felony related to the theft of money from an arts agency she ran in Washington. (emphasis mine)

It would be interesting to know which one of Hakim’s sources pointed that out to him. It does serve the purposes of Josh Powell but the question remains whether he is smart enough to made use of it. I don’t see it serving the purpose of Brewer as he needs her to be a credible witness against Ollie North. That is, unless it is more important to protect LaPierre in the Russia investigation than it is to continue the fight against Ollie North. If that is the case then there is a lot more substance to this whole Russia fiasco than we previously thought and it is a lot more dangerous to the personal fortune of LaPierre. Time will tell.

Don’t Shoot The Messenger, Part 2

Just like Chinese water torture, I think we are in for a series of NRA articles from The New Yorker detailing self-dealing, lavish spending, accounting irregularities, nepotism, and sweetheart deals at the National Rifle Association. The latest episode was released yesterday and is entitled, “An Internal Memo Raises New Questions About Self-Dealing At The N.R.A.”

The article starts off describing a one and a half page memo from the NRA’s accountants to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. The memo details a range of “questionable transactions and business arrangement” involving several of the NRA’s top vendors and executives. This memo, unlike earlier leaks, does not go into the Ackerman McQueen issues but rather deals with other items that were found to be irregular. These include reportedly payments made to former CFO Woody Phillips’ “significant other”, cumulative rent of $1.8 million paid for a house to be used by Associated Television International and owned by ATI’s president, and to their fund-raising contractor Membership Marketing Partners.

The memo goes on to question management overrides and approval of housing expenses for certain upper executives.

In addition, the memo drew attention to “senior management override of internal controls,” which led to violations of “accounts payable procedures” and “HR policy,” including “hiring of staff without HR knowledge.” It names four executives who, at the time, were receiving “reimbursement of expenses relating to apartments and living expenses beyond HR Policy Manual stipulations and on a permanent basis.” The N.R.A.’s accountants added that there was “no contract to support the reimbursement request,” which the four individuals continued to claim as a “relocation expense.” The executives named include Doug Hamlin, the N.R.A.’s executive director of publications; Eric Frohardt, the director of education and training; Joe DeBergalis, the executive director of general operations; and Josh Powell, LaPierre’s chief of staff.


Andrew Arulanandam, the N.R.A.’s managing director of public affairs, said that the organization “has, at times, made such accommodations for employees who travel extensively for their jobs.” He added, “The practice of providing such accommodations is approved by N.R.A. leadership and is not uncommon for an organization the size of the N.R.A.”

Powell is the person responsible for bringing in CarryGuard while Eric Frohardt is the former Navy SEAL whom Powell installed as director of education and training and director of training for CarryGuard. Frohardt still lives in Colorado where he owns a range and other businesses according to his LinkedIn page. It is my understanding from those who would know that Frohardt is flown in at the NRA’s expense to work 3-7 days a month. While I have the utmost respect for Frohardt’s service to the nation, 12 years as a Navy SEAL does not make one an expert in training civilians in the legal use of a firearm.

As to Josh Powell, the memo to the Audit Committee mentions his multiple conflicts of interest including the hiring of his dad to do photography for the NRA and his wife, Colleen Gallagher, was hired by a top NRA fund-raising vendor McKenna and Associates. It gets worse.

The N.R.A.’s accountants completed their memo in mid-July. Around this period, the N.R.A.’s new C.F.O., Craig Spray, had to temporarily step away from his role at the organization to deal with a health matter. Someone would need to take his place as the organization’s chief manager of financial activities. According to an internal N.R.A. communication, in July, 2018, Powell was appointed acting C.F.O. for about three weeks, placing him in charge of the accountants who documented his conflicts of interest.

I won’t get into the other issues with regard to Powell other than to say his departure from the NRA would help the organization. Placing him as the senior strategist to work with outside counsel William Brewer on New York litigation is a disaster in the making.

I would be remiss if I didn’t note that a lot of the research on the NRA’s problems come from Bloomberg’s The Trace and they did help with The New Yorker articles. I have a theory as to how they are gathering this information. I think Michael Bloomberg and his associates have hired a corps of private investigators whose job it is to find former NRA employees who have left because they were disgusted with the self-dealing and other financial issues. I can’t think of any other way that they could be gathering this inside information unless it was being funneled to them by Ack-Mac.

One way or another the NRA will get its house in order. It can be done either by the Board of Directors or it will be done for them by the State of New York, the Internal Revenue Service, and other outside agencies. Far better that the changes come from within than from without. It can be controlled and managed to make the organization stronger, bigger, and more diverse.

My fear is that new officers of the NRA – Carolyn Meadows, Charles Cotton, and Willes Lee – and much of the Board are such stalwart Wayne LaPierre supporters that they will go along with the status quo (ante bellum) to the NRA’s detriment. Ignoring it is not going to make it go away and will only make matters worse. That, however, is the most probable outcome as things stand now.

A Tale Of Two Letters – Part 1

There were two open letters published on Facebook within the last couple of days addressed to the NRA Board of Directors. They both come from former NRA employees who were employed in the Training and Education Division. You have often heard the refrain that the NRA is the largest gun safety organization in the world due to the number of people it trains. Well, these guys were part of the reason.

These are long letters so I will publish them in two posts. The first is from Andy Lander who ended his career with the NRA as the Training Counselor Program Coordinator. Training Counselors, for those that don’t know, are the folks who train the trainers. In other words, they are the instructor’s instructors.

April 29, 2019

An Open letter to the NRA Board of Directors.

First off, I would like to congratulate all the newly elected NRA board members, I’m sure your reason for running for the NRA Board of Directors (BOD) was driven by patriotism, pride ,and selfless service to millions of law abiding gun owners. This letter is not for you. I would like to say a sincerer thank you for your willingness to sacrifice your own personal health and sanity to try and guide the NRA through its most turbulent times. As for the incumbents who are on the NRA Board this letter is for you. I’m sorry to say that I’ve lost all faith in you as leaders. I’m also unsure if any of you actually understand what leadership is. Many of you have been on the board for many years and even decades, and continue to remain an elected member of the NRA BOD, in what appears to those of us who have worked at the NRA as nothing more than a shill or yes man/woman. I’m not just speaking to those on the Finance Committee, or Nomination Committees, I’m speaking to all incumbents including those working on committees that have nothing to do politically and operate only in the realm of the programs side of the Association. I request that you remove highly overpaid executives particularly NRA’s Executive Vice President Mr. Wayne Lapierre, Josh Powell, along with cutting all business ties to Ackerman and McQueen (Ack Mack) and anyone that has ever worked with Ack Mack. For some of you, it appears that you are nothing more than a paid vote to ensure the longevity of Mr. Lapierre or elected to ensure that Ack Mack can leech off the NRA thus receiving compensation from Ack Mack itself. I can only draw one of the two following conclusions, the first one is that you’re incompetent in your duties as an NRA Board member, or two you’re part of the actual problem.

I worked at the Association for over 13 years ending my time as the Training Counselor Program Coordinator. My job was to coordinate and conduct the NRA Training Counselor Workshops, or the folks who trained NRA Certified instructors. When I started in the training department in 2005 there where 42,000 NRA instructors, when I left the NRA there were over 120,000 instructors. My entire time at the NRA I worked 2-4 job at any given time to pay the bills. There are quite a few employees that still do this at the NRA to make ends meet.

That being said, I can think of no other non-profit organization that compensates their Executive Vice President the kind of salary and benefits that Mr. Lapierre gets relative to how much employees receive. I also cannot understand how a person like Mr. Lapierre treats the people that work for him like his own personal indentured servants, unless you know the secret handshake, then you’re compensated very handsomely as long as you follow along blindly providing no resistance to the people running the organization. Those BOD’s that OBEY, are rewarded with NRATV contracts provided by Ackerman and McQueen, or are paid handsomely for speaking arrangements. The things that are taking place within the organization, I feel are things that corrupt Congressmen would be doing not the leaders of oldest civil rights organization in the country. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but it is to my understanding that the BOD knew a year in advance of how NRA Employees retirements were going to be frozen and run the risk of not existing at all. Yet before employees received the letter notifying them of the possibility of having little to no retirement. Mr. Lapierre and a few other executives cashed out their retirements so they wouldn’t loose any money. I’m not an attorney but this appears very fishy and has the appearance of what in the business world is referred to as insider trading. This is not just a moral violation but one would wonder if it would follow into the realm of possible criminal behavior? When I started at NRA, I was still eligible to be in the NRA retirement program, I was hired in 2004 as a membership specialist at starting salary of $28,000 a year working in one the richest counties in America. The retirement was stopped, (IIRC by the BOD) in 2007 for all new employees. The letter shows exponential drops in percentages as well as 13.3 million dollar funding short fall for 2018, a 4.5 million dollar funding short fall for 2017, and $0.00 shortfall for 2016 for non NRA executives retirement funds. This letter was dated April 15, 2019 and was from Ms. Shawn Soto from NRA Human Resources.

It is interesting to note that all the short falls started around the time in which Josh Powell took over as the Executive Director of NRA General Operations. The individual or individuals that came up with the idea to put Josh Powell, a man who has had shady dealings, lawsuits, and what appears to have led multiple failed businesses, in charge of the most important organization pertaining to individual rights in this country is either pure BOD’s incompetence or are possibly somehow involved in these dealings themselves. If you’re a board member who helped to put Mr. Powell in charge, you’re part of the problem. If you’re a board member who knew about this and did nothing to stop it you’re part of the problem. If you’re a board member and knew nothing about Mr. Powell’s shady dealings until the articles started to come out you’re part of the problem. If you’re a board member and you’re being paid by Ackerman and McQueen than you’re part of the problem. If you’re not actively seeking the removal of Mr. Lapierre you are the problem.

I have heard numerous excuses for Mr. Lapierre from board members, including speeches at the recent NRA members meeting on how Mr. Lapierre has taken the Association through the tough times and should trust him since he has been at the helm for the last 40 years. If I speed through a neighborhood for 10 years only to get pulled over with the excuse of “I’ve been doing this all along therefore you should let me continue to do so Officer” my excuse is a poor one at best. Mr. Lapierre and his colleagues have demonstrated what appears to be a great deal of impropriety as it pertains to running what is supposed to be the brightest beacon of freedom we have left in this country. The leaders of NRA should not be lining their own pockets, creating never-ending retirements for themselves, and conducting shady under the table dealings with ad agencies that their family members work at or have financial dealings. A perfect example of this is allowing Mr. Josh Powell to pay his father what is suggested of being in the 10’s of thousands of dollars to photograph the 2017 NRA World Shooting Championship for one single day. This is highly unusual and I don’t understand why he would have needed to hire any outside photographer, especially since NRA publications had already sent their own photographers to that event.

Despite the fact that current employees continue to be underpaid, fired, used as scape goats such as in the recent termination of Mark Richardson ( a loyal employee of 10 plus years and former army veteran) in some cases are ordered to travel, only to find their NRA credit card has been canceled and have to use their own credit cards to finance their business expenditures is direct result of Mr. Lapierre’s lack of leadership. This means they must put their personal bills on hold because of NRA’s financial shortcomings. I had this happen to me personally a few times during my time at NRA. In the mean time NRA executives continue to accumulate astronomical compensations not seen in any other non profit 501(c3).

Then there is the case of the Director of NRA Competitive Shooting Division Cole Mcculough who I believe is currently involved in litigation to shut down a neighboring shooting range to his family owned personal for profit shooting range. The name of the range is Shadow Hawk located in West Virginia. Shadow Hawk is privately owned and operated shooting range which is highly respected and loved by the local competitive shooters in the area. Another riddle I have yet to answer is, how does the NRA Competitions Director get paid a handsome salary, and draw a large profit estimated in the in the 100’s of thousands of dollars from the NRA’s World Shooting Championship? The Director of Competitions is the same individual that decides where the World Shooting Championship is held every year. Let’s not forget how Cole forgot to report the winnings from the World Shooting championship in 2016/17, only to have NRA Human resources take 2016 taxes out of 2017 pay checks two days after Christmas. I was on vacation at the time and received a pay check of less around $300 dollars. Another employee didn’t even receive a paycheck. I also believe what the NRA did was actually a violation of IRS tax code. Then there is the issue of possible cronyism going on in the Competitive Shooting Division, yet I digress. This made me ask the question to myself, why is a current NRA Staff member trying to actively shut down a shooting range?

I always thought the NRA stood as a barrier fighting the good fight. I remember a long conversation with my late friend Pat Rogers (editor from SWAT magazine) who supported the NRA, but said, “I don’t always agree with what the NRA, then again I didn’t always agree with what my mother said, but she was right most of the time”. I felt the same way until the motive of the NRA shifted from fighting for freedom, to fighting for money. I personally sat in on meetings in which the discussion was to put USCCA out of business because they were taking what should be ours. I’ll be honest I was a little to shocked to hear the NRA was in the business of trying to put pro gun companies out of business?

I could go on and on, but to be honest I have better things to do. Service as an employee to the NRA is behind me now. I personally have moved on to other things, yet still maintain deep friendships with people at NRA HQ. I hear their pain, I can see their suffering, and at what expense? So Wayne Lapierre, Josh Powell, and friends can make another million? The only people that can stop this is you! The NRA’s survival is at stake, the soul of the organization, the NRA employees that sacrifices a good paying job, gets treated like dirt by folks at Ack Mack, and are forced to loose the most important thing to anyone, time away from their families, will one day come into work and find out they are working for free. The history of the NRA is being written as we speak, I wonder will that history be a relatively short one, causing a collapse in the ability to protect the Constitution particularly the second Amendment. Thus writing your name in the history books as the last BOD’s of the National Rifle Association? Or will you do the right thing and ensure the NRA remains strong for decades to come. I pray that in the future my follow up letter to this will be thanking you for doing the right thing, rather than writing to all you, see I told you so.

Andrew Lander
NRA Life Member
NRA Senior Training Counselor
NRA Staff alumni 2004-2018

Please forgive all the misspellings and typos.

There will come a time in every bodies life to choose between what is right, and what is easy.

The Josh Powell mentioned in this letter is the Chief of Staff to Wayne LaPierre and served for a time as Executive Director of General Operations. His business background was spotty and he was described to me by a board member as “an idiot” who needs to go. According to the last report filed with the State of New York Charities Bureau, he earned over $700,000 as of the end of 2017.