“The NRA invests in gun safety and hunter education as a core part of its mission.”
In its most recent tax filings, the NRA described its nonprofit mission as “firearms safety, education, and training; and advocacy on behalf of safe and responsible gun owners.”1Part I, Line 1, 2020 IRS Form 990, National Rifle Association, November 2021, https://nrawatch.org/filing/2020-nra-irs-990/. Despite this and other claims, however, only a small part of what the NRA spends each year appears to be dedicated to this effort. In fact, between 2018 and 2020, the NRA reported cutting spending on “safety, education & training” in half.2National Rifle Association, 2020 Consolidated Financial Statements, 6, September 16, 2021, National Rifle Association, https://thereload.com/app/uploads/2021/10/NRA-2020-Consolidated-Financial-Statements-compressed.pdf; 2019 Consolidated Financial Statements, 6, March 11, 2020, https://freebeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/NRA-2019-Annual-Report.pdf; National Rifle Association, 2018 Annual Report, 7, March 13, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/nra-2018-annual-financial-report/05b36d8c-cd64-4011-a685-e0a26eba9be6/ ($32,698,093 in 2018, $28,439,529 in 2019, and $16,464,626 in 2020.). In 2020, less than 6% of what the NRA spent was dedicated to the “safety, education & training” category in its financial statements.3National Rifle Association, 2020 Consolidated Financial Statements, 6, September 16, 2021, National Rifle Association, https://thereload.com/app/uploads/2021/10/NRA-2020-Consolidated-Financial-Statements-compressed.pdf.
Similarly, the NRA’s spending on “Hunter services” has been decimated in recent years: since 2018, it has plummeted by nearly 90%.4The 2020 audit of the National Rifle Association of America filed with the North Carolina Secretary of State reported that the NRA’s spending on Hunter Services dropped from $572,664 to $168,769, a decrease of 70.5 percent. The previous year’s audit reported that the NRA’s spending on Hunter Services dropped from $1,558,662 in 2018 to $577,012 in 2019 (p. 7), a decrease of 63 percent. The 2018 audit reported that the NRA’s spending on Hunter Services dropped from $3,958,334 in 2017 to $1,558,661 in 2018, a decrease of 60.6 percent.