Former NRA Exec: Gun Lobby Has ‘Blood all over its hands’

Joshua Powell is out again in the mainstream media slinging mud at the very organization that once paid him $800,000 per year. 

In an interview with ABC News, the former “No. 2 Guy” at the National Rifle Association argued that the oldest civil rights organization is, in part, responsible for the gun-related violence the country’s witnessed over the past several years or so.  

“When you’re standing in the middle of America and you’re saying, ‘No way are we going to allow any changes to this country as it relates to guns,’ and you’re not a culture of solutions in solving gun crime and gun crime is a problem, then you are the problem,” Powell said. “The NRA has blood all over its hands.”

Powell is making the rounds promoting a new tell-all treatise about his brief 3.5 year-tenure with the gun-rights organization.  It’s called, “Inside the NRA: A Tell-All Account of Corruption, Greed, and Paranoia within the Most Powerful Political Group in America.”

In the book, Powell voiced support for gun control legislation like criminalizing the private transfer and sale of firearms as well as confiscation schemes that allow law enforcement to seize guns from people merely accused — not convicted — of being a danger to themselves or others, as GunsAmerica previously reported.  

The former executive also suggested that the corruption and graft at NRA is as bad as some have claimed.

“Gun owners across America,” said Powell, “should be horrified by what I saw inside of the NRA.”

He added, “The NRA is an absolutely horrible steward of members’ money. Nobody puts their money into that association to see it mismanaged the way that it was. It is an abomination.”

Andrew Arulanandam, an NRA spokesman, was quick to blast the book as a “fictional account” of what goes on behind the scenes at the nation’s gun lobby.  

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“Mr. Powell was effusive in his praise of NRA leadership and the Association’s mission — right up until the day he was fired. He has now reversed course on every position he ever took during his time with the NRA,” explained Arulanandam.

“The facts are, Mr. Powell was replaced as an officer in December 2018, relieved of all of his professional obligations in fall 2019, and, thereafter, terminated in January of this year for misappropriation of funds,” he continued. “Those facts tell you all you need to know about the veracity of the book and Mr. Powell’s motivations.”

Like current Exec. Vice President Wayne LaPierre, Powell, along with two others, is the target of a lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General Letitia James that seeks to dissolve the organization due to the purported “illegal conduct” perpetrated by leadership.  

In addition to self-dealing to family members, an alleged $90,000 payment to his father for photography services and a consultant contract for his wife to the tune of $30,000 per month, Powell is accused of engaging in “abusive behavior” with staff, including two sexual harassment allegations.  

Powell has denied any wrongdoing and is apparently now cooperating with the attorney general’s investigation.  

“I can’t speak too much that,” Powell told ABC News. “My attorneys are talking with the attorney general’s office on it. I will tell you, I’m very comfortable with the facts of the truth.”

Given what you know about the situation, what do you think of Powell, his newfound positions on gun control, and his accusations against the NRA?

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 43 comments… add one }
  • Andrew N. September 17, 2020, 2:19 am

    The comments about salary are completely normal. Everyone wants the best person for the job, but doesn’t think they should get paid X amount, it’s WAY too much. Which brings to mind this old story: A man calls a TV repairman as his screen is all wonky, he can’t make out anything. The repairman gets there, looks at the screen, takes off the back and turns a screw 1/4 turn. The TV is now repaired. He puts the back on, and hands the man a bill, for $100. The man is FURIOUS! He hands the bill back to the repairman and tells him “You turned a screw 1/4 turn! You better rewrite this bill!” So the repairman says “OK” and rewrites the bill. He hands the new bill back to the customer. It now breaks down the charges as follows: “Turning a screw 1/4 turn-25 cents. Knowing which screw to turn-$99.75”. The man pays. The “moral” of the story is this; sure the salary sounds way too high, but with that salary comes the contacts and friends that would otherwise be unavailable to a cheaper replacement. Knowledge is power, and it costs money. I have no problem paying someone with the “ear” of every Congressman and Senator in our Gov’t, as well as the President’s.

  • David Einspahr September 13, 2020, 1:45 pm

    The first thought I had after reading this was wondering if Soros or one of his pals is paying this guy. Maybe the management of NRA has done some bad stuff. Maybe it is all fake news. I have no way to prove anything either way. It appears that the NRA should have a bit more transparency. However, the NRA has done as much to protect the U.S. constitution as any organization while there are hundreds of organizations trying to destroy our country. If you want our country to survive with the same ideals as the founding fathers, we cannot afford to destroy the NRA. It may need some fixes, but we need the NRA to keep up the fight against those who are trying to take away our rights and freedoms.

  • Tim Spalding September 13, 2020, 9:31 am

    Anti gunners just love reading what you just posted here. While we are all mired in disunity, they are full steam ahead with their agenda to hurl all your guns into the smelter while you stand there bitching about ol’ Wayne.

  • alex September 11, 2020, 9:59 pm

    it looks to me that this guy got caught doing some illegal shit and started singing like a bird! he strikes me as a piece of shit,but the nra does need a good house cleaning,that’s a slimey bunch there now.

  • Ralph September 11, 2020, 9:28 pm

    The NRA has had it’s dirty laundry aired and hasn’t done a damn thing to fix the problem.

    LaPierre and his henchmen have to go.

    I’ve supported the NRA for 45 years and will give them until the end of year to have an ironclad agreement with membership to clean up their act. Else I’m done with the NRA.

  • David Welsh September 11, 2020, 8:31 pm

    Probably now getting $1,000,000 from Bloomberg or Soros to betray our Republic.

  • Terry P. Edwards September 11, 2020, 5:17 pm

    I’m a Canadian and our slimeball overseers just snuck in a massive gun ban under cover of the Covid crisis! The anti-gun folks are self-righteousness liars who have doomed their own cause. Resist at all costs.

  • John September 11, 2020, 4:56 pm

    I’ve believed for decades that all corporations are cut from the same bolt of cloth, like lawyers, politicians, bankers, and used car salesmen, they are only about the money, and much of what they say is based in lies to those who make donations or become members. If true, there is no valid excuse for paying anyone $800, 000.00 per year. Greed corrupts and few can ignore stealing when there is no penalty for legalized criminal behavior. The NRA has a lot of explaining to do, this a major breach of faith on the membership.

  • Ken September 11, 2020, 2:23 pm

    There’s a great book, “Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist.” written by Richard Feldman, a former NRA lobbyist, that I found by accident several years ago.

    The book details the inner workings and secrets of the NRA, salaries of LaPierre and other high-ranking officials as well as its’ bi-annual fund-raising campaigns that use carefully-crafted scare tactics to exploit members’ fears and maximize contributions. Another take-away is that the NRA does not want to win the fight against gun control. They want to keep it going so they have a reason to keep asking for contributions from members. It’s still available on Amazon and I highly recommend it.

  • Rollin L September 11, 2020, 2:08 pm

    NRA Executives like this clown are the reason why the org has signed onto every major gun control initiative since the 1934 NFA. They signed onto the GCA 1968, They signed onto the Hughes Amendment in 1986, and they were the first to call for ATF to rewrite statute and ban the innocuous bump stock. NRA, for all the good it has done for gun owners, has sold us out in equal measure. This idiot has just illustrated why it happens. LaPierre is of this same ilk, and is in it only for his own enrichment. Screw Joshua Powell. He’ll be working for Bloomberg by next year.

  • Charles Baker September 11, 2020, 1:58 pm

    $800,000/yr!!! WTF!!!!! I feel half of that would excessive. No wonder the Negotiating Rights Away, has to send constant pleas for more donations!!

    Here’s a thought. The leadership should do a lot of donating!!!!

    • II GUN September 11, 2020, 3:30 pm

      Like your comment Chuck which brings to question; How much has this douche bag donated from his income source to fight for our 2nd amendment gun rights?!! Guessing, NOTTA!

  • DAVID INGRAM September 11, 2020, 12:32 pm

    People with integrity are getting harder and harder to find. He got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, flips sides, writes a book, and goes on the speaking tour. A real class act.

    • John September 11, 2020, 1:39 pm

      Typical anti-trumper commie lib-dem type. Whine to the media as a defense.

  • Peter Brown September 11, 2020, 12:26 pm

    I’ve been betrayed with dishonor a few times. Who hasn’t felt the impact of someone’s absence of integrity and moral compass? That character’s words are nothing. “Former” is illustrative and really, all that one needs to know about this one.

    • S Smith September 11, 2020, 3:51 pm

      Wayne LaPierre & the NRA are the Best Friend’s gun owners & freedom in America have;

      Sic’em Wayne; members should pony up, anything less is giving in to the radical left

  • Gen Douglas D'Zaster (ret.) September 11, 2020, 11:56 am

    I signed up for NRA membership for a couple years. What turned me off was the constant mail urging me to donate more. I do appreciate the NRA as our lobby and supporting us gun guys but I’m glad I bailed out.

    • Edward Allen September 13, 2020, 5:40 am

      I agree. The constant fear tactics are only effective for so long. But I drew the line at them calling my and my wife’s, cell phones.

      I notified them that if they called again, I would not give a dime.

      I don’t care if the email me or snail mail be. Those I can put in the trash.

      My hopes are that Wayne and Co will finally step down. If so, I’ll contribute. If not, contributions will dry up. There are plenty of other 2nd amendment organizations that a doing a bang up job.

      California Rifle and Pistol Assoc, National Gun Owners of America, CalGuns, Second Amendment Foundation, and the list goes on. We just need to see who will fight the hardest.

  • John Boutwell September 11, 2020, 10:43 am

    I am a NRA member and pissed about mishandling of funds! I won’t renew my membership.

    • Bruce Conzo September 11, 2020, 7:44 pm

      Who are you going to join now? T
      he anti gun crowd like moms demand action, or every town for gun safety.

  • Floyd September 11, 2020, 10:25 am

    I believe there are many more members of Wayne La Pierre staff that make 800K a year, then think about how much Wayne’s Yearly salary must be! Three or four times the President of the United States! As far as I can tell Wayne is not a gun enthusiast or a real hunter, he started out as a lobbyist and then moved into his position. I am a Army Veteran and a Life member and I am sick of him! HE IS RIPPING US OFF AND NEEDS TO GO!

  • Matthew Olier September 11, 2020, 10:18 am

    Wayne you need to go and leave the suits and the rest of items you stole from the hard working people for years you sorry SOB.

    • Marcia Mason September 11, 2020, 4:05 pm

      Amen

  • jakbak September 11, 2020, 10:03 am

    I am an NRA member, always will be, however, The guy is a turd, but brought to light some serious concerns about the NRA. The “blood on the hands crap” is BS and he knows it. Just another ass hat writing a book disparaging the hand that fed it for the sake of the almighty $. The NRA does need to right the ship, clean house and win back its members trust again. Defending this upcoming litigation will be costly.

  • pete September 11, 2020, 9:35 am

    lol he’s right. Your headline suggests that his high salary should have been good enough for him to sell his soul? He’s so right.

  • Dan September 11, 2020, 9:26 am

    800K Really NRA? I’m a member but that is insane. No exec in that org should get over 200K. Our money should go elsewhere.

  • Josh Golden September 11, 2020, 9:18 am

    NRA is corrupt organization that has squandered alot of money from the middle class.

  • Dr Motown September 11, 2020, 8:55 am

    As much as I disdain this tool Powell, he does expose major problems in the NRA that aren’t being addressed: nepotism, ridiculous salaries, poor vetting of employees, etc

  • TERRY September 11, 2020, 8:54 am

    Do I believe there are massive abuse of funds in the NRA? hell yes and it does piss me off and needs to be weeded out. Is it any different than any other huge company? Probably not. But this dude reaks of sour grapes.

  • Nic Toos September 11, 2020, 8:37 am

    Over 147,000 members have to renew their membership to pay Wayne LaPierre salary.
    There is no questions that NRA has become mismanaged organization, where executives get richer and abuse the trust American gun owner have given them.
    Oliver North tried to fix that, but was pushed out by Wayne LaPierre and his gang.

    After 40 years, I will not renew my membership, Wayne LaPierre and his gang need to go.

  • Gomer September 11, 2020, 8:13 am

    This yagoff should be sued for all wages paid over his tenure at NRA, plus anything gained as a result of this book. Given this bonehead’s positions as stated in the article, he’s guilty of obtaining monies under false pretenses. It’s generally referred to as FRAUD.

  • Carl September 11, 2020, 8:04 am

    Nice job if you can get it $800k a year …wow glad I joined GOA and not the NRA

    • Daniel BeauDean September 11, 2020, 8:35 am

      Yes , I agree. GOA is the best 2nd amendment group you can support. They are very good at letting you know about legislation both state & federal. They also provide feedback back to politicians on this legislation from you. I am a member of both the NRA & GOA for many years. NRA has a nice magazine which I enjoy reading, but I think GOA is the more effective organization I keeping the pols inline.

  • Hendrik Joseph Haan September 11, 2020, 7:38 am

    Powell just got busted. Now he’s trying to rat out his “former bro’s” and make more money yet! Perhaps he should go pro and join the Democrats.

    • Calvin Johnson September 13, 2020, 1:56 pm

      AMEN to that.

  • BigC September 11, 2020, 7:34 am

    Of all the murders and other crimes involving a firearm, how many have been attributed to NRA members? Yeah, that’s what I thought!

  • Herbert J Sugden Jr September 11, 2020, 7:07 am

    What a crybaby. I think he did wrong, got fired and is now trying to get even. Only an anti gun leftwing organization would hire him or pay attention to his whining.

  • Travis Jenkins September 11, 2020, 7:05 am

    Time to get a big boat, load all of these aholes up and use it for target practice. One question does come to mind though. How does a liberal traitor get into such a high position at the NRA?

  • Michael September 11, 2020, 5:29 am

    How about words like: Liar; Self-Centered; Self Grandizing; or, wait for it….TRAITOR!!!

  • Taxx73 September 9, 2020, 12:49 am

    Sounds like sour grapes to me. The guy loved the NRA till they kicked him out. Can we say “disgruntled “?
    TRUMP 2020!
    Remember If you come for mine you better bring yours!!
    LEAVE OUR RIGHTS ALONE!!!!!!!

    • JMichael270 September 11, 2020, 6:19 am

      I guess after losing a job paying $800,000.00 a year there wouldn’t be any animosity…lol. Talking about nepotism geeze, $30,000.00 a month consulting fee for his wife. Unbelievable!!!

  • RGP September 8, 2020, 6:20 pm

    “Lobbyist” is an occupation in Washington DC… and lobbyists are for sale every bit as much as politicians are. They don’t care whose side they peddle or for whom they work as long as they get paid.

    • Tina Roberts September 13, 2020, 2:01 pm

      Lobbyist is another label for a person with a good line of BS, a salesman (like a used car salesman, only scummier). Like a lawyer, only lower. So, what do you call 10,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start.

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