“After a period of loose management, the NRA has gotten its house in order.”
The NRA has been plagued by changes in leadership. Most notably, the NRA ousted its former board president, Oliver North, who publicly raised issues about spending at the NRA under LaPierre’s leadership. Many of the NRA board members who raised questions about the leadership at the NRA have resigned. Meanwhile, despite these departures, the NRA has doubled down on its embattled CEO, elevating long-time LaPierre supporters to positions of leadership on the board.1The NRA elevated Carolyn Meadows to board president in 2019. Meadows was then replaced in 2021 by Charles Cotton. Both Meadows and Cotton have testified at depositions in support of LaPierre and praised his leadership of the organization.
The NRA’s problems persist. The NRA is continuing to fight expensive legal battles, including with the attorneys general in New York and Washington D.C. about allegations of violations of charities laws. In fact, the NRA continues to spend millions on legal fees, with recent filings alleging the NRA spent over $75 million with LaPierre’s favored outside counsel (just between March 2018 and December 2020).2“NY AG Files Amended Complaint against NRA, LaPierre, and Others,” NRA Watch, August 16, 2021, para. 494, https://nrawatch.org/filing/ny-ag-files-amended-complaint-against-nra-lapierre-and-others.
Further, public filings indicate the NRA reduced its staff by over 21%.3Comparing NRA IRS 990 filings from 2018 (listing 816 employees) and 2020 (listing 640 employees). And the most recent financial disclosures from the NRA show that its revenue was down in 2020, with membership dues dropping almost 30% from 2018.4Comparing NRA IRS 990 filings from 2018 (listing membership revenue at $170.3 million) and 2020 (listing membership revenue at $119.7 million). The NRA filed for bankruptcy saying they put their governance issues behind them, but LaPierre took the organization into bankruptcy without informing the majority of the board or several key executives — something a federal judge called “nothing less than shocking.”5“Court Dismisses NRA Bankruptcy Case,” NRA Watch, May 11, 2021. https://nrawatch.org/filing/court-dismisses-nra-bankruptcy-case/.