The NRA Meeting Of Members – Part 2

I have been sent a couple of videos taken from the Meeting of Members yesterday. Both are from the debate over moving NRA headquarters from Fairfax, Virginia to the Dallas, Texas area.

The first video is of Rob Pincus raising questions about the move including who authored the resolution. A friend who was there described Rob as being like a dog with a bone in forcing the admission that the resolution was drafted by 2nd VP David Coy.

The second video is by David Yamane who recorded the full debate on the move to Texas resolution. It runs for about 33 minutes but is well worth a look in order to get the feel for how Cotton and the Cabal lost control and the members plus reform-minded Directors took it.

It will be interesting to see if the reformers can translate this win into success on Monday in the Board meeting. Fingers crossed!

The NRA Meeting Of Members – Part 1

The NRA Meeting of Members was one for the history books. For the first time in recent memory, you had sitting Directors speaking out in opposition to the leadership. Though President Charles Cotton tried to control the meeting including putting a hard stop time limit on it in an effort to limit debate, it was evident by the end that control had passed to the members.

I regret somewhat that I could not be there in person to witness it. However, there have been some great reports on it from Twitter as well as a couple of videos that have since been posted.

Stephen Gutowski of The Reload did a great job tweeting from the meeting. Here are some of his reports from X or Twitter.

It was the resolution phase of the meeting where things started to go awry for the Cabal. Bearing in mind there was a hard stop to the meeting, they started with a resolution praising President Trump and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX). While nice, it was an effort to run the clock out and not let any of the resolutions that were critical of the NRA or its leadership to be heard. (I have seen multiple resolutions that were intended to introduced that condemned Charles Cotton and his leadership.) They then moved on to what they assumed was going to be a resolution that in Texas would just sail through. The Cabal asked the members to approve a resolution approving moving NRA Headquarters to Texas.

Here is a blow by blow when Stephen’s tweet are rolled together.

There’s now a resolution to move the NRA’s headquarters to Texas. Leadership really wants to do this even though it would have no impact on the New York case. I honestly don’t know what significant benefit this would have for the NRA. 

A member asks what kind of fiscal impact a move from Virginia to Texas given the severe drop in revenue the NRA has experienced recently. NRA president Cotton claims it would be less expensive to operate in Texas. He says Texas has a lot of big companies, too. 

The member wants more specific details on the actual cost of the move. Cotton refers to Arulanandam for that. Arulanandam says the NRA’s current headquarters is too big for the 60 or so staff that actually go in on a regular basis. 

Arulanandam claims the current NRA building is also expensive to maintain. He also says people in Virginia don’t want to work for the NRA. So, he thinks Texas will be a better job pool. Cotton calls Virginia “DC south.” Sounds like an outright retreat from Virginia. Remarkable. 

Arulanandam claims selling naming rights for the new Texas buildings will cover the costs of moving. However, he’s not giving any concrete numbers. The member who asked about it isn’t satisfied with the responses. He wants hard numbers. 

NRA board member William Bachenberg gets up and claims the board hasn’t been given hard numbers on the cost of the mov either. He claims one estimate is $80 million. He also says they can’t sell naming rights for museum exhibits because they were previously sold. 

Cotton is now attacking Bachenberg directly. He says he is wrong and hasn’t been active on the board for years. 

NRA board member Jay Printz gets up and attacks Bachenberg, too. He has been an attack dog for leadership since the corruption scandal first erupted at the 2019 meeting. He jokes that he’s well known for cursing out the opposition. 

Rob Pincus, who was one of those opposition members back in 2019, gets up to speak against the Texas move. Or, at least, moving right now. 

I’m definitely getting some deja vu from the 2019 NRA members meeting. It’s not as roudy, but it’s very similar. 

NRA board member Maria Heil is now speaking in opposition to th Texas move as well. You’re seeing a lot more board members speak out against what leadership wants that usual. That’s very interesting. 

NRA board member Amanda Suffecool is now also speaking against the Texas move resolution. 

Cotton gets loud boos when he insinuates that Suffecool isn’t in a position to understand what’s going on with the move because she’s only been on the board for a year. The biggest reaction so far. 

The resolution to move to Texas is put to a vote. It fails. There was a big laugh when Cotton initially said who couldn’t tell which side won because it was pretty clear. 

And that is where the meeting essentially ended thanks to the Cotton-imposed hard stop.

Just a few comments with my impressions on the meeting. First, attacking gun blogs is ridiculous. I don’t know any gun blogger who doesn’t want the NRA to be more than it has been in the fight for 2A rights. If we have been critical of the NRA, it is because the corruption has impaired the never-ending fight with the gun prohibitionists. Second, Andrew Arulanadam suggesting “naming rights” for a NRA building in Texas would pay for the move is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. To even suggest it is to insult our intelligence. Third, seeing Directors standing up to the Cabal was wonderful. Finally, Cotton attacking Amanda Suffecool was a big mistake and the members present let him know it with their boos.

Will Texas Politics Impact NRA EVP Succession?

With so much attention focussed on the trial involving the NRA in New York City, scant attention has been paid to who succeeds Wayne LaPierre as CEO and Executive Vice President of the NRA. I think most observers would agree that Andrew Arulanandam, who will serve as the interim EVP upon Wayne’s January 31st resignation, is a place holder and not a serious contender for the permanent position.

An article by Stephen Gutowski in The Reload posted today may give some clue as to a potential successor. After discussing what I called “the dueling letters” regarding post-employment compensation and health issues of Wayne, Gutowski provides this potential clue.

Prominent NRA supporters have already begun publicly circulating at least one alternative. Former NRA Institute of Legislative Action deputy executive director and general counsel Wade Callender, who helped coordinate with the group’s state affiliate in the successful 2022 Supreme Court Bruen case, has already received the backing of several elected officials. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R.) and State Senator Drew Springer (R.) posted a call for Callender to take over the NRA’s top perch on social media this week.

Callender left the position as General Counsel and Deputy Executive Director of NRA-ILA due, in large part, to the growing interference from the NRA’s outside counsel William Brewer III. Callender confirmed this to me in a face-to-face conversation we held at the 2022 Gun Rights Policy Conference held in Irving, Texas. He has since returned to private practice in Dallas area.

Texas AG Ken Paxton has been a stalwart supporter of the Second Amendment and has signed on to a number of amicus briefs in support of it. Paxton, who was last year impeached by the Texas House of Representatives, was acquitted on all charges in the trial in the Texas Senate. The move to impeach Paxton was led by Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan who is his arch political enemy. Phelan, who is considered a RINO by Texas conservatives, and has been asked to resign by the leaders of the Texas Republican Party.

After the murders of school children in Uvalde, Phelan formed a House Select Committee on Community Safety to review all firearms-related legislation. This included red flag laws and raising the age to purchase a modern sporting rifle. While the committee composition was officially seven Republicans and six Democrats, the Republican chair had been a Democrat until just recently.

With this as a background, Randy Kozuch, Executive Director of NRA-ILA and Chairman of the NRA-PVF, endorsed Dade Phelan and rated him A+.

This brought pushback from a number of conservatives including Dana Loesch who served as a special assistant to Wayne at one time. She said of Phelan that he “was an obstacle while fighting red flag laws, and dragged out our fight to win Constitutional carry.” Others are saying they are dropping their NRA membership or looking for alternatives.

One must wonder who pushed Randy Kozuch to give an A+ rating to Phelan who by most accounts is a RINO and who is marginal on gun rights. Was it the Old Guard on the NRA led by NRA President Charles Cotton who is a Texan? Was it Bill Brewer who saw an ally in a RINO politician who was barely so-so on gun rights? If Brewer, was it with knowledge that it would anger true Second Amendment supporters in Texas?

Giving Phelan the A+ rating and endorsement obviously angered his arch-enemies Ken Paxton and Sen. Drew Springer as the next day they endorsed Wade Callender for EVP. This move by Paxton and Springer is definitely a call for new blood to lead the NRA and a repudiation of the Old Guard.

ATF Gets Stay On VanDerStok Injunction (Update)

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives was successful in getting an administrative stay in VanDerStok v. Garland from the Supreme Court. Judge Reed O’Connor had granted a nationwide injunction against the implementation of the ATF’s frame or receiver rule. He had determined it was in “excess of their statutory jurisdiction”.

As might be expected, ATF and the Department of Justice appealed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals which refused to grant a stay of Judge O’Connor’s order. The 5th Circuit said the ATF had not “demonstrated a strong likelihood of success on the merits, nor irreparable harm in the absence of a stay.” The 5th Circuit still will be hearing ATF’s appeal of Judge O’Connor’s final order.

Yesterday, the ATF and DOJ filed an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court to receive a stay while the case is under appeal. This would mean the Final Rule would still remain in effect while it was being appealed.

Today, Justice Alito granted an administrative stay until August 4th at 5pm.

UPON CONSIDERATION of the application of counsel for the applicants,

IT IS ORDERED that the June 30, 2023 order and July 5, 2023 final judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, case No. 4:22-cv-691, are hereby administratively stayed until 5 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, August 4, 2023. It is further ordered that any response to the application be filed on or before Wednesday, August 2, 2023, by 5 p.m. (EDT)

Well, crap!

I am sure the attorneys for the Firearms Policy Coalition as well as DOJ are working hard to craft their responses as I write.

UPDATE: Attorney and law professor Mark Smith of The Four Boxes Diner has an explanation of what happened yesterday. The administrative stay was requested by the Solicitor General and the SCOTUS usually grants these without question. Bottom line is that we shouldn’t panic.

A Precursor To Selling The NRA HQ Building?

A good friend was sent a listing for leased office space in the NRA headquarters building by a commercial real estate broker. The broker suggested that it was the precursor to selling the building. That confused me a bit so I did some more digging.

I found the leased space listing on at least five websites serving the commercial real estate market in the Metro DC area. It was on,,, and in addition to The listings in all five were virtually identical.

From CommercialEdge:

There is currently one space available at 11250 Waples Mill Road. The building’s general use is office. The space listed for lease is described as general office. Current availability totals 8,977 square feet. Of this, minimum divisible area is 8,977 square feet. The listed lease rate is $30.00/SF/YR.

The space is on the 3rd floor. According to the FAQ, this is the only space available for lease in the NRA headquarters building. All five of the listings note that the building was updated in 2022 and emphasize its location. However, none of the listings nor any of the photos indicate that it is the NRA headquarters building. The big red NRA letters are on the other side of the building.

I reached out to a commercial real estate broker with a large firm here in North Carolina for his opinion. Lee was aware of the listings above. He took note that it was the only space available for lease in the building. Given that, he said, having a full occupancy makes a building more attractive to buyers. Or as he put it, “Lease it up first to then sell.” I mentioned the building’s condition and he said the tenants will make them fix the roof before they’d lease it. I imagine a seller would do the same or use it to really whittle down the price.

As can be seen in the photo below of the ceiling of the building’s atrium, there is still damage left from the leaking roof. While the powers that be assert they have fixed the roof, I think that is questionable. The photo below was taken within the past month or so (update based on metadata – May 2022)

I submitted a resolution at the 2022 Meeting of Members to address the issue of the headquarters building’s condition. I was told an independent inspection would be a waste of money by director Ron Schmeits and the problem was being addressed. The resolution went down to defeat as might be expected. I asked for an independent inspection because I frankly didn’t trust the majority of the board to do more than pay lip service to it. Obviously, I was correct.

The board has authorized a search committee to explore a move to Texas. They may even vote on finalizing a move at the board meeting after the conclusion of the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. Selling the Virginia headquarters building would certainly fit into that move. However, the question remains how they can afford to fix the building, buy or lease a new one in Texas, move everything, and do it given the state of their finances. Even if they can sell the building, the monies realized would only pay off the existing over-extended line of credit. Unlike the gun control lobby, there is no sugar daddy billionaire waiting in the wings to rescue the NRA.

UPDATE: I was told by Frank Tait that the Board of Directors voted in January 2020 to sell the Headquarters Building. If memory serves me correctly, that meeting was before the Covid-19 pandemic hit its stride and everything shut down. (Correction – the vote to sell was not the HQ building but adjacent 2-story brick office buildings located at 11244 Waples Mill Rd. They are also owned by the NRA. Their combined assessment is $2 million. Frank reports it has now been taken off the market. The HQ is 11250 Waples Mill Rd.)

The normal thing to do when trying to sell a house – or a building in this case – is to spiff it up and get it in top-notch shape in order to receive the best offer. While I grant you that the pandemic shut-down was in full force, building maintenance workers and contractors were considered essential employees. Unfortunately, maintenance of the Headquarters Building was obviously put off and damage resulted. This is mismanagement at its worst because it is letting a valuable asset erode in value.

UPDATE II: I was wrong on the date of the atrium photo. Checking the meta-data on the original, it was taken in May 2022. A friend who visited the NRA HQ on business within the last two weeks assures me that while the atrium is closed, the damage to the ceiling has been repaired. It was also noted that the roof is in much better shape.

It has been brought up that the building has had a number of outside leasees. That is not denied. However, it was the ad that in the professional opinion of a commercial real estate broker was to be considered a precursor to a sale. I confirmed this with another broker with whom I have a trusted working relationship.

“You Can’t Solve Something Like This With A .45”

There is a 2022 movie called Vengeance starring B. J. Novak from The Office. It is described as a darkly comic thriller about a podcaster who travels from New York City to West Texas to investigate the death of a girl he briefly hooked up with. Her family thought it was more and has welcomed him with open arms.

In one scene, the family matriarch is giving her opinion on what it will take to solve this.

You have to love Texas, Texans, and Texas matriarchs.

Right now Vengeance is available for free on Amazon Prime. If you don’t have Prime, you can get a 30 Day Trial for only $3 using this link. (commission earned)

Every Picture Tells A Story, Part XIII

Texas officially became the 20th 21st state to enact permitless or constitutional carry yesterday. Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) kept his promise and signed HB 1927 into law. It becomes effective on September 1st. The bill allows anyone who is age 21 and over who can legally possess a firearm to carry, openly or concealed, a handgun so long as it is a non-prohibited public place. There is an exception made for those convicted of certain misdemeanors within the past five years. They are only allowed to carry in their homes or vehicles.

GOA Texas has an excellent summary of the exceptions, the prohibited places, and what the bill contains.

With Texas becoming the 20th 21st state to allow permitless carry, there are almost as many states allowing permitless carry as there are with shall-issue carry. The addition of Texas jumps the percentage of the US population living in a permitless state from 17.6% to 26.4%. As Rob Vance who has created the graph below notes, “This is what a preference cascade looks like.”


When Rob Vance and I started this series almost ten years ago, Illinois still had not enacted shall-issue carry. I commented that in 2011, shall-issue carry was the new norm. In 2021, we are almost to the tipping point where permitless carry will be the new norm. If large shall-issue states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio, or North Carolina were to adopt permitless carry, then we would have tipped.

We are still waiting on Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) to either sign or veto Louisiana’s SB 118 allowing permitless carry. He has said he will veto it but the legislation passed with a super-majority meaning his veto would probably be overridden. Since the bill passed within the last 10 days of the legislative session, Edwards has until approximately June 24th to veto it or it becomes law without his signature.

The usual suspects are crying that blood will now run in the streets of Texas. The Demanding Moms plan to picket the Governor’s Mansion and other places to attract attention from their compliant media allies. Progress Texas is condemning it claiming a majority of Texans didn’t approve of it. As we have seen time after time, despite the hyperbole, nothing of the claimed actions does actually happen.

And This Helps Impact National Gun Policy How?

I don’t know who runs the blog NRA In Danger but they have some damn good connections. They just published an internal memo from Wayne LaPierre to NRA staffers. The gist of it is that the NRA will be moving its headquarters to Texas. Gee, I wonder if Brewer, Attorney and Counselors, does any real estate law and would they be any better at that than they are at bankruptcy law.

Here is the memo:

Not for Distribution

Dear Employees:

As we reported, the recent developments in our bankruptcy proceedings have no impact on our overarching goals or efforts to make the NRA more efficient in achieving its mission. As such, we will continue to analyze our business arrangements, cost structure, and operational demands.To that end, I am pleased to announce the formation of a special committee by President Carolyn Meadows to study issues relating to our proposed move to Texas – and to analyze the logistical requirements of those plans. First Vice President Charles Cotton will chair this committee. Second Vice President Willes Lee and board members David Coy, Joel Friedman, and Tom King will join Mr. Cotton on the committee. The following staff members will serve on a project team providing administrative resources:  Joe DeBergalis, John Frazer, Jason Ouimet, Sonya Rowling, Tyler Schropp, Vanessa Shahidi, Linda Crouch, and Jim Staples.

Our first goal is to explore moving our principal place of business to Texas. This is an executive office from which we can manage aspects of our business. Texas is home to more than 400,000 NRA members – the #1 ranked state for NRA membership. It offers a fair regulatory environment and, a positive business climate, and celebrates the Second Amendment freedoms in which we believe. This move will affect a small number of employees.

The second part of our plan involves assessing a potential relocation of our headquarters. This is an endeavor that involves the review of the real estate market, impacts to staffing, and other strategic considerations. We have engaged a leading commercial real estate firm, Colliers International, to assist with this project and we will retain other advisory firms to assist with strategic considerations. Naturally, any major decisions regarding NRA real estate will be undertaken in coordination with the Board, subject to its full approval. Importantly, there are no immediate changes planned to our staffing or programs. Any changes to our organizational structure will be made in the best interests of our members, employees, and with responsibility to achieve our core mission:  protecting the Second Amendment. We will ensure our employees have an opportunity to participate in the continued progress of our great organization. You will hear more from this committee in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, please feel free to contact Vanessa with any questions. I have never been prouder of the NRA or our collective efforts to protect the freedoms in which we believe.


Read the comments on it made in the NRA In Danger blog.

My own comment is that the people happiest about this move are every gun control organization in America, every anti-gun politician in Congress, Bill Brewer, and perhaps Susan LaPierre as she’ll probably get that social membership at the golf club now.

The NRA is inside the Beltway for a reason: it is the best location to be if you want to impact national gun rights policy. If the politics of Virginia and Northern Virginia are not good for gun rights right now, do something about it and don’t run off to Texas like a whipped dog with its tail between its legs.

More On The NRA’s Bankruptcy Filing

There was a very interesting and informative blog post regarding the NRA’s bankruptcy filing on on Friday. The post was by Georgetown law professor Adam Levitin. Levitin is an expert on bankruptcy and business restructuring. His list of publications regarding bankruptcy includes both law books and multiple law review articles.

The post says there are many issues with the filing:

This is going to be one heck of an interesting case. There are already so many glaring issues (or should I say “targets”?): venue, good faith filing, disclosures, the automatic stay, the trustee question, fiduciary duties to pursue claims against insiders, executory employment contracts, the fate of Wayne LaPierre, and the generally overlooked governance provisions of the Bankruptcy Code.

Read the whole post. The gist of it is that by filing for bankruptcy, the NRA has opened a can of worms and there could be a lot of unintended consequences. For example, if as the NY Attorney General alleges, Wayne LaPierre has a contract that guarantees his salary for life even if removed, bankruptcy law limits that to one year’s salary.

I hope this is the last post I have to do on the NRA filing for bankruptcy for the time being. There are other important matters to write about such as the virtual Shot Show that starts today.