Everytown for Gun Safety is going on the offensive in a new campaign targeting its nemesis, the National Rifle Association.
The Bloomberg-funded group released an attack ad (see above) this week along with a billboard designed to spotlight the NRA’s money problems over the past few years.
“Today’s NRA isn’t the organization many Americans grew up with, and today’s NRA members have been fleeced,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety in a press release obtained by GunsAmerica.
“With this ad campaign, we’re showing NRA members where their dues have been going, and we’re reminding lawmakers that the NRA has never been weaker — and the time for action is now,” he continued.
Everytown makes the following claims with respect to the NRA’s purported mismanagement of donor dollars:
- Only 10% of what the NRA spends goes toward safety, education and training;
- The NRA spent more than $274,000 to purchase designer suits for CEO Wayne LaPierre from a Beverly Hills boutique;
- The NRA spent more than $243,000 on LaPierre trips to exotic locales like Hungry, Greece, and the Bahamas, spending millions more on private jet travel;
- LaPierre has already secured a post-employment golden parachute from the NRA, which will pay him at least $17.4 million even after he leaves the NRA; and
- The NRA continues to pay tens of millions a year to high-priced lawyers.
“NRA leaders spending members’ dues on luxury goods like yachts and Italian suits and exotic vacations — all while shortchanging gun safety and training programs — makes them more like Bond villains than nonprofit employees,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, a grassroots offshoot of Everytown.
“The NRA has betrayed its members for decades, turning the organization into a personal piggy bank for its executives and vendors,” she added. “And through this ad campaign, we’re making sure NRA members know it.”
Supporters of the nation’s gun lobby would probably argue that Everytown’s damning accusations are old news.
Many of the stories Bloomberg’s minions cite are from several years ago and the NRA is now in the process of putting its checkered financial past behind it and getting its house in order.
As part of righting the ship, the NRA admitted in a 2019 tax filing that executives received “excess benefits” over the years, and while the organization is actively seeking to recover that money from its former execs, its current boss Wayne LaPierre has already made good.
LaPierre “corrected” his misappropriation of funds by cutting a $300,000 personal check to the NRA for travel expenses from 2015-2019.
LaPierre’s mea culpa coincides with the announcement that NRA would file for voluntary chapter 11 bankruptcy and leave its incorporated home of New York for the Lone Star State.
“The NRA announced it will reorganize the Association as a Texas nonprofit to abandon the corrupt political and regulatory environment in New York. This action will ensure our continued success as the nation’s leading advocate for constitutional freedom,” LaPierre said in a January letter obtained by GunsAmerica.
The greener pastures of Texas are what is prompting the move, not reports that NRA is out of money, insisted LaPierre.
“The NRA is not financially insolvent,” he said. “In fact, this move comes at a time when the NRA is in its strongest financial condition in years.”
LaPierre ended the letter with cautionary advisement that seemingly presaged the Everytown barrage.
“Do not believe everything you hear in the media. We fully expect our adversaries to try to gain some sort of perceived advantage over the NRA by mischaracterizing this strategic plan. They will portray a so-called ‘bankruptcy’ as a negative and, once again, predict our demise,” he warned.
“The liberal media, anti-gun gadflies, and left-wing politicians will desperately try to advance another distorted truth about the NRA,” LaPierre concluded.
Time will tell what effect, if any, Everytown’s campaign has on the NRA. But truth be told, even if it somehow forces LaPierre to exit, NRA will not lose its political, social, and cultural clout. The reason is simple. It’s not a top-down nonprofit.
See, unlike Everytown, the power of the NRA stems not from the war chest of a sole, elitist Billionaire, rather it comes from the collective influence of the organization’s five million dues-paying members — members who will vigorously stand and fight against any and all gun control that comes their way.