Is The National Rifle Association In Trouble?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

John Richardson:

In the last couple of days since the lawsuit against Ackerman McQueen I’ve spoken to a former lobbyist for the NRA and two serving NRA Board Members. The conversations were off the record and not for attribution. Then I read this article in The New Yorker thanks to a link to it posted on Facebook by Prof. David Yamane.

The article is entitled “Secrecy, Self-Dealing, and Greed at the N.R.A.” Mike Spies article has a subhead saying “The organization’s leadership is focussed on external threats, but the real crisis may be internal.” I hate to say this given all the attacks on the NRA from every Democrat running for President, the State of New York, and the media but from what I’ve gathered Spies is correct. Just because we don’t like the source doesn’t mean they are wrong.

Last August, the N.R.A., in desperate need of funds, raised its dues for the second time in two years. To cut costs, it has eliminated free coffee and water coolers at its headquarters and has frozen its employees’ pension plan. Carry Guard, which was meant to save the organization, has proved disastrous. According to the memos, in 2017, the year that Carry Guard was introduced, Ackerman McQueen received some six million dollars for its work on the product, which included the creation of a Web site and media productions featuring celebrity firearms trainers. The lawsuit against New York State has created an additional burden. Sources familiar with the N.R.A.’s financial commitments say that it is paying Brewer’s firm an average of a million and a half dollars a month.

An official assessment performed by Cummins last summer dryly describes the N.R.A.’s decision-making during the previous year as “management’s shift in risk appetite.” The document analyzes the organization’s executive-liability exposures and discusses insurance policies that “protect NRA directors and officers from claims by third parties that they have breached their duties, such as by mismanagement of association assets.” From 2018 to 2019, it says, insurance costs increased by three hundred and forty-one per cent. “To say this is a major increase would be an understatement,” Peter Kochenburger, the deputy director of the Insurance Law Center at the University of Connecticut, told me. “This seems to be pretty direct evidence that the N.R.A.’s problems are not due to New York but rather to how the organization conducts itself.”

David Codrea links a different source, but concludes essentially the same thing: “You would be right to assume Bloomberg front The Trace will use everything it’s got to hurt NRA as much as it can.  You would be wrong to dismiss everything they have presented here because of that.”

Commenter BRVTVS links the same source as John, comments “lays out pretty well why the NRA fails to protect gun owners.”

I don’t have money to throw away, and I have not renewed my NRA membership and never will, at least, not under these circumstances.  It would be “nice” to be able to say that we’re losing the NRA (because to be able to say that would mean it has served us until now), but the truth of the matter is that we lost the NRA a very long time ago.  Since initially joining, I’ve never been happy with their work on our behalf, and given this, why would I be a member?

They should have left insurance alone and focused on applying honest grading to politicians, but they haven’t been honest for a long time.  As we’ve all discussed before, they are the most well-connected, well-financed, most powerful gun control lobby in the history of mankind and on earth.  They supported the NFA, the Gun Control Act, the Hughes Amendment, the bump stock ban, and red flag laws.

If any other organization had tried to do more harm to the rights of gun owners in America, what action would they have taken that the NRA hasn’t?


  1. On April 19, 2019 at 4:47 am, Nosmo said:

    I became a Life Member about half a century ago, when running the numbers said it would pay for itself over annual membership (that was the only available choice – I belonged to a club whose charter stipulated a 100% NRA membership requirement, and some competition events also required membership).

    So, I’m not going to cancel or request a refund, it’s a sunk cost, and not completely without benefit; 5+ million members do carry some weight. But over the last 15 years my dimes, quarters and dollars have gone to SAF, not the NRA because SAF is doing the heavy lifting on gun rights, and I’m not really sure what it is the NRA is doing, other than inventing revenue programs for itself.

  2. On April 19, 2019 at 6:27 am, Annoyed Old Guy said:

    I signed up to the NRA a few years back but last year made the decision to switch to the SAF. I kept the NRA membership for the ID; no other reason.

  3. On April 19, 2019 at 7:16 am, CW Buff said:

    I was an NRA annual member for many, many years. Became very disenchanted them on several issues over the years but still paid my dues. When they advocated for a bump stock ban/red flag law, I finally had enough. My money and support now goes to GOA.

    CW Buff out…

  4. On April 19, 2019 at 8:52 am, Ned2 said:

    The NRA is a self serving organization that has done virtually nothing for gun owners since the 1960’s. They helped refine the 1968 GCA and have been complicit in practically every gun regulation created since from the Fed to State level.
    I am a benefactor member, but regret sending them anything at all.

  5. On April 19, 2019 at 9:25 am, Fred said:

    Carry Guard, like the ARRP for the Medicare gap insurance, was supposed to come about because of Federal legislation requiring carry insurance. It was a scam from start predicated on the NRA’s belief that legislation would pass to make carry insurance mandatory. That’s your NRA. If that doesn’t absolutely tilt your wheel then you have brain damage because an insurance requirement IS registration.

    The AARP wrote the legislation that created the gap that it had pre-positioned itself to fill. That’s how’s commies get ahead, not the merit of hard work, but through legal requirements making it’s products mandatory. ObamaCare, for another example. That’s the model the NRA copied.

    Shame on the NRA. I only have one question left, have they started shredding documents yet?

  6. On April 19, 2019 at 9:33 am, Michael (from Utah) said:

    Received a solicitation call from the NRA several years ago asking me to sign up for membership to “protect our 2nd Amendment rights”.

    I lit into the phone rep (I was polite but very firm) and said I would never join the NRA because the NRA had supported every major gun control initiative ever passed in this country. I suggested that he push that message up the line because there was more than just me who was upset about the NRA’s stance on many issues.

    I think he was a bit taken aback because he took a moment to respond and said he would pass the message along. I haven’t heard from them since, however. :)

  7. On April 19, 2019 at 9:58 am, Jack said:

    This POS was backed by the NRA years ago.
    NRA and I went round and round via Email.
    Basicly..they told me “I didn’t understand”
    BS, i saw right threw her and them.

    And thats why i sent back my life membership, told them never contact me again(at least they lived up to that) and have got others to dump them.

    NRA is FoS!

  8. On April 19, 2019 at 11:46 am, J J said:

    Wondering if the NRA will cancel and refund part of my life membership that I paid for in 2016 before I realized how far down the organization has gone.

  9. On April 19, 2019 at 2:34 pm, dad29 said:

    Without regard for other issues, “D&O Liability Insurance” (Directors and officers) has been around for 30++ years and is purchased by thousands, or tens of thousands, of companies. It may even be a requirement (covenant) for obtaining bank financing. So yes, there are reasons to NOT like the NRA, but that should not be one of them.

  10. On April 19, 2019 at 3:58 pm, scott s. said:

    NRA should probably be split from NRA-ILA. The Firearms Museum is a worthwhile asset. Competitions IMHO needs work. It was before my time, but the split with USOC that resulted in creation of USAS I don’t think helped. For me, the National Matches are the centerpiece of the NRA’s activities.

  11. On April 19, 2019 at 8:49 pm, Gryphon said:

    Years ago (more than 10) I encountered in a casual way a Board Member of the NRA, and in the conversation, I asked Him, …at What Point does the NRA tell its Membership to Openly Disobey a non-Constitutional “Law” like gun confiscation?
    Well that ended the Conversation with the NRA guy Sputtering like Porky Pig sniffing Helium. Ever Since Then, I have seen that organization as part of the Problem, not a valid “Gun Rights” group. If you Cannot hold to the Constitutional PROHIBITION of “Gun Laws” that the Second Amendment establishes, you’re likely just another commie pinko libtard ‘Gun Grabber’ who needs to be Shot…

  12. On April 19, 2019 at 11:30 pm, Steve Miller said:

    won’ SAF either – convicted felon (convicted of FRAUD no less) Alan Gottlieb (owner of SAF, JPFO, CCRKBA and others) is the co-author of the Machin-Toomey AWB and authored, in response to WA’s I-594 background check (and other abominations) initiative, filed his OWN background check initiative whose number I don’t recall. He financed a constant drumbeat (radio ads, robocalls, emails) of “vote no on I-594 vote yes on….” his initiative. When he bought JPFO he fired several writers who then created Zelman Partisans.

  13. On April 22, 2019 at 4:33 pm, Michael Murray said:

    I keep my NRA membership ONLY in order to keep my LEO instructor certification. Period.
    I haven’t liked the NRA since they supported 1986 FOPA bill (Firearm Owners’ Protection Act), and the 1994 Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act (AKA the “assault weapons” ban). More damn Orwellian new speak, because neither did a thing to protect firearm owners, just ways to screw us over again.

  14. On April 22, 2019 at 6:19 pm, Jaque said:

    The NRA has lost its way when it created the ILA. In addition the NRA needs gun control fears to maintain its cash flow. Connect the dots. The NRA has helped legislate most all Federal gun Control acts. Then it uses the Boogy man to incite fear of losing gun rights. The stand they took on Bump Stocks is exactly the opposite what one would expect from a gun rights organization. When I get ( it has slowed down) 5 or so big fat mailings each month offering cheap Chinese goods with the NRA logo on it for contributions to become a top dog ( I am an endowment member) member I saw waste-expensive waste. I too have chosen the SAF for all future donations. The NRA needs to be audited- the waste has to be borderline criminal.

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This article is filed under the category(s) National Rifle Association and was published April 18th, 2019 by Herschel Smith.

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