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.