Former NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre Has Cost the Gun Rights North Of A Billion $$


Opinion

Wayne and Co Bomb Going Off
Wayne and Co

Former CEO of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, has finally admitted virtually everything that he’s been accused of over the past five years, and a jury has found him liable for padding his own pockets to the tune of $5.5 million.

LaPierre’s hand-picked Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, Woody Phillips was also found liable for $2 million in personal profit at NRA members’ expense, and the NRA itself (really the NRA’s current Board of Directors) was found to have failed in its fiduciary obligations to shepherd and safeguard the members’ assets. Keep in mind that none of this really takes into account the millions paid to “consultants” with nothing of substance to show for it, or the hundreds of millions spent on lawyers and the losses in membership and revenue over the past five years.

All told, the bogus spending and lost income amount to something north of a billion dollars!

Now, New York Acting Supreme Court Justice Joel Cohen has the difficult task of deciding how best to remedy the situation. Unfortunately, there’s an important absence in Justice Cohen’s courtroom: the members of the NRA!

On one side of the table is Letitia James, the Attorney General of New York, who, during her election campaign, pledged to destroy the NRA and called it a terrorist organization.
On the other side of the table is the ridiculously overpriced lawyer William Brewer for the NRA (the Board), whose firm has been paid approximately $2 million per month – every month – for the past 5 years.

Every move William Brewer has made in that time has done nothing but dig the NRA’s hole deeper.

AG James and her office have a legal obligation to represent and protect the interests of the members of the NRA. Does anyone believe that she is, or has any interest in living up to that legal obligation? Is the interest of the NRA membership her primary motivation – or any part of her motivation – in this action?

William Brewer, III, the New York lawyer who claims residence in Dallas (and who was a big contributor to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and “Beto” O’Rourke (Seriously!), is supposedly representing the NRA. You’d think that his obligation would be to the NRA members, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. He was initially hired by Wayne LaPierre and has spent almost all of his efforts over the past 5 years making terrible legal moves that gave every appearance of protecting LaPierre at NRA members’ expense. Then, right before the trial started last month, LaPierre stepped down for “health reasons.”

Brewer then declared that the NRA’s position has always been that the Association was the victim of “unscrupulous vendors and insiders,” and, with LaPierre’s departure, the NRA has fixed all of the problems that allowed that victimization…

Sitting next to Brewer at the table isNRA Board President Charles Cotton and the NRA Board of Directors. Like AG James and attorney Brewer, Cotton and the Board have a legal, ethical, and moral duty to act in the best interest of the National Rifle Association – its members.

Well, there’s a problem. Like AG James and Attorney Brewer, President Cotton and the NRA Board appear to have divided loyalties as well.

Wayne LaPierreWayne LaPierre
Wayne LaPierre
Letitia James public image jamesforny-comLetitia James public image jamesforny-com
Letitia James public image jamesforny-com
William A. Brewer III: Whose law firm the NRA paid over $17 million in just the 90 days preceding the bankruptcy declaration.William A. Brewer III: Whose law firm the NRA paid over $17 million in just the 90 days preceding the bankruptcy declaration.
William A. Brewer III: Whose law firm the NRA paid over $17 million in just the 90 days preceding the bankruptcy declaration.
Charles Cotton Video thumbnail for youtube video owiu_dvygkoCharles Cotton Video thumbnail for youtube video owiu_dvygko
Charles Cotton Video thumbnail for youtube video owiu_dvygkov

Not only did they sit by and allow LaPierre, Phillips, and those “unscrupulous vendors” [read friends of Wayne] to siphon hundreds of millions of dollars out of NRA accounts over at least two decades, when the evidence of the corruption came to light in 2019, they rallied around LaPierre, loudly pronounced him innocent of any wrongdoing, and shunned, defamed, and denounced anyone who dared to even ask questions or suggest an investigation.

Rather than demanding an accounting and miscreants’ heads on pikes, Cotton and the assembled Board took every action to cover Wayne’s increasingly exposed backside.

Even as LaPierre’s story shifted over time, with new lies replacing old lies and newer lies replacing the previous lies, Cotton was at the forefront, repeating the lies – and adding in a few of his own – while defending LaPierre at every turn with the docile Board meekly “believing” and parroting each and every iteration as gospel.

So where is Justice Cohen supposed to turn to find a voice that truly represents NRA members?

He certainly can’t have any confidence that AG James, Attorney Brewer, or the officers or directors of the NRA truly represent the interests of rank-and-file NRA members. With this menagerie of conflicted and self-serving individuals, how is the judge supposed to determine what’s best for the NRA and its members? He should realize that the majority of NRA members who vote in Board elections and keep reelecting the same people to the Board, don’t trust the legacy media at all and get almost all of their trusted information about the NRA from NRA publications, which are controlled by the current regime. If he removes the obviously complicit Board members, how many would be left, and how many of those are incompetent and/or cowardly?

It would be pretty arrogant and presumptuous to suggest that the four of us who are running as reform candidates for NRA Board seats in the current 2024 election (Phil Journey, Rocky Marshall, Dennis Fusaro, and me, Jeff Knox) could speak for all NRA members. We do think we understand most members’ interests better than any of the previously mentioned characters, but who could possibly fairly represent three to four million others, and how is the judge supposed to find those representatives?

As you might have guessed, I have a few ideas on this topic.

The NRA has thousands of volunteers working every day all around the country.

From local state Friends of NRA committees, to Volunteer election Coordinators, to coaches, Range Safety Officers, match coordinators, Hunter Safety Education instructors, gun club officers, state association leaders, and more. Most of those volunteers, though not all of them, work through or under their local state association. The state associations are the natural heirs and beneficiaries of NRA’s assets, and they actively work to serve the needs of the NRA members in their state. While not all NRA members in a state are members of the state association, all members of the state associations are NRA members, and they are typically the most active and involved NRA members in the state.

Judge Cohen needs ready access to people who can authoritatively speak for NRA members. State associations and other NRA state affiliates are in the best position to provide him with that access.

It is my hope that the judge will remove all officers and directors who have failed in their fiduciary obligations to NRA members, appoint a Special Master or Receiver to oversee a thorough housecleaning and reorganization of the Association, and appoint a Members’ Committee, made up of candidates recommended by the various state associations, to help guide and direct that reorganization.

It all sounds simple on paper, but there’s a lot to do in a very short time.

  • The first step is to convince you that this is a good idea that should be pursued.
  • The second step is for you to help convince your local state association leaders that they really need to get involved and run with this idea.
  • The third step is for the state association leaders to petition the judge and convince him that he needs their help. Finally, the judge and the state association leaders will need to come up with some guidelines and processes for nominating candidates and submitting them to the judge.

The key to all of this is the involvement of state association leaders, and the key to getting those leaders involved is your advocacy. This can only happen if large numbers of NRA members begin pushing the idea at their local gun clubs and directly petition their state associations. Begin by sharing this article with your gun-owning friends and the leadership of your local clubs, Friends of NRA committees, and state association leaders. Follow that with calls and emails asking those leaders to take immediate action.

The NRA is literally on the verge of insolvency. The Association’s future is about to be decided by a New York judge who has limited knowledge or experience with the NRA or NRA members, and his only points of reference are the NRA-hating Attorney General, legacy media, and the self-serving NRA “leaders” who got the Association into this mess in the first place. The judge needs an alternative source of information. He needs to give NRA members a voice in the future of their organization, and a Members’ Committee nominated by state associations could provide that voice.

I truly believe Judge Cohen wants to do the right thing. He’s been very fair and reasonable throughout this whole long, drawn-out process. Let’s get the judge what he needs to make good decisions about the future of our organization. Let’s get our state associations to intervene in this case and give our members a real voice in the upcoming trial and the Association’s future.

Read Related:

Charles Cotton Must Never Be Allowed to Head the NRA!

NRA’s Bankruptcy Lurches Forward ~ But Who Speaks for NRA Members?


About Jeff Knox:

Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father Neal Knox led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.

The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs, and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education and analysis of current issues and brings a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona, and Manassas, VA. Visit www.FirearmsCoalition.org.


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