Former NRA Exec. Josh Powell Says Gun-Rights Group Should Support Background Checks, Red Flag Laws

(Photo: NRA)

A former executive for the National Rifle Association will release next week a tell-all book about his experience with the NRA titled, “Inside the N.R.A.: A Tell-All Account of Corruption, Greed, and Paranoia Within the Most Powerful Political Group in America.”

Josh Powell was fired in January after allegedly improperly using NRA funds. He was also accused of gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

The New York Times received an advanced copy of Powell’s book, and they outlined in a recent article his accusations against his former employer.

Powells claims the NRA has abandoned “its roots as an organization focused on gun safety and education” by turning its back on the majority of gun owners, who Powell claims support universal background checks and red flag laws.

“I was part of a message machine that helped to perpetuate the problem and exacerbate the extremism of the gun debate, something I wouldn’t fully appreciate for a long time,” he writes. “I would become lost. And my experience would ultimately convince me that the N.R.A. itself had lost its mission, and lost its way too.”

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While Powell personally doubts the efficacy of universal background checks, he believes the NRA should take that issue off the table. He also believes they should support red flag laws that allow family members and friends to petition a court to confiscated a person’s firearms – “as long as there is a process” that “involves both medical doctors and psychiatrists, and some sort of bipartisan oversight.”

He also accuses the NRA, and specifically Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, of significant financial mismanagement.

LaPierre “couldn’t run an organization on a fiscally sound basis to save his life,” Powell claims.

Powell was himself a businessman, but his previous ventures into men’s clothing catalogs were not successful. He was sued numerous times in connection with the catalogs over the nonpayment of debts, according to the New York AG’s lawsuit against the NRA.

Powell claims that LaPierre confided in him about quitting last year. According to Powell, LaPierre speculated that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee or former House member Jason Chaffetz might replace him.

The NRA denied Powell’s version of that conversation in an interview with the New York Times. A spokesman claimed that LaPierre spoke to many people about succession planning “if, and when, he ever left the N.R.A.”

The Times also reports that, in the weeks before he was fired, Powell was seeking to restructure his contract and receive $1.7 million as a consultant.

“My loyalty to the Association is without question,” he wrote to LaPierre at the time.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at

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  • RIC CARTER December 20, 2021, 11:39 am

    Get rid of Wayne and his henchmen, and we would gain a million members.

  • Hank December 4, 2020, 11:12 am

    Fecal matter is fecal matter and the NRA has had it at the top of the organization far to long! As a mechanic would say, the heads need to be replaced!

  • Hank December 4, 2020, 9:05 am

    Red flag laws not only go against the Constitution, but above all else get innocent people killed! There are are ready laws on the books where family members can request a mental evaluation! Envision this, you are driving your vehicle which has a hunting or pro gun sticker on it and some wacko liberal sees the sticker, gets your plate number and calls you in as a gun nut! Guess what happens next, who may get shot? Not a good thing for anyone involved in a red flag event! It has already happened where Marxist government has enacted these discrimination red flag laws! Not for America sorry!

  • Pat J September 10, 2020, 9:07 am

    Sweaty little TV politico-preacher: “They want to take away your christmas, morons, send me money!”
    Sweaty little mongrel W. LaPierre: “They want to take away your guns, morons, send me money!”
    Something I learned in Texas long ago, “don’t give money to trash, they just get into trouble with it.”
    I also learned that Texas girls really know how to whisper in the dark, and horsewomen have the best asses.
    I believed those girls more than I will ever believe any religionist jack-ass or East Coast NRA “leader/thief”,
    and I know some of those girls were lying to me. But what a place to be 26 years old.

  • Thomas September 6, 2020, 7:41 pm

    Red flag laws seem to be a weapon against gun owners take all the guns from a bad guy he will have another by morning, all you do is p..,, him off.

  • Dale Kehrer September 6, 2020, 12:27 pm

    This guy is a proven liar and thief and I’m supposed to believe him? Yeah right! With all the gun buying going on since Covid 19 feces, I’m sure most Americans want the unconstitutional red flag laws.

  • Michael September 4, 2020, 11:00 pm

    Support Gun Owners of America – the real non-scompromising 2and Am

  • Raymond Smith September 4, 2020, 3:06 pm

    I am a life member since early 80s and it seems like the NRA has moved away from the teaching of gun safety and classes for the younger next generation of owners. I think they should return to their roots and lose some of the hard line stances the executives stances. We must as responsible gun owners pass on the rights to the next generation. Thanks Raymond

    • Kane September 6, 2020, 10:03 am

      The NRA has been a one issue lobby group since 1969, well before my time. Do you get a monthly magazine of “American Rifleman” or “American Hunter”?

  • D.J. September 4, 2020, 11:01 am

    I am certain we all can see why Mr. Powell is a ” former ” excecutive ,
    can we not ?

    Nothing like loyalty to a cause , eh ?

  • RJ September 4, 2020, 10:00 am

    Judging by his comments, perhaps the red flag law should be enforced on him. Insanity ???

    • michael September 5, 2020, 7:46 am

      Exactly. Let him get a taste of it & see if he still wants them.

  • 2WarAbnVet September 4, 2020, 9:48 am

    Consider “The Reign of Terror” that followed the French Revolution. It was possible for anybody to accuse somebody they held a grudge against as a counter-revolutionary. Since defense counsel and witnesses weren’t allowed, the accused was almost invariably condemned and faced the guillotine. The similarity between “Red Flag Laws” and “The Reign of Terror” and the totalitarian dogma that spawned both is unmistakable.

    • Kane September 6, 2020, 10:09 am

      Excellent post, the French Revolution was early left-wing politics before Marx refined the horrendous philosophy.

  • skipNclair September 4, 2020, 9:29 am

    Well Josh we don’t care what you think, as we don’t take kindly to traitors.

  • Rich K. September 4, 2020, 9:27 am

    A=nd then people ask me why I don’t support the NRA any more. Over the last few decades, especially, they have been caving in more and more often to leftists, while all the while smiling at gun owners and lying and saying that they are on our side.

    • Michael Boyd September 4, 2020, 10:36 am

      Exactly why I will not be renewing my membership!

    • Kane September 4, 2020, 9:59 pm

      A dubious former executive named Josh Powell claims the NRA has catered to extremists and then people claiming to be former supporters argue that the NRA ” have been caving in more and more often to leftists.” The NRA will never be able to totally satisfy the standard deviations on every issue.

  • Chris September 4, 2020, 8:21 am

    The NRA has never been anything but an infringement organization. The NRA wrote some of the most damaging legislation to ever affect the Bill of Rights.

  • William Matthew Dennis September 4, 2020, 6:32 am

    This is why I send my money to a real 2nd organization.

  • Jrp September 4, 2020, 6:18 am

    Sounds like someone is a little disgruntled and 99.9% communist. Forget about due process let’s just do everything the movie minority report does. Don’t worry about the ending though where it turns out to be a sham. Back to the unconscious bias we all have. Got to keep that free thinking in check. Can’t legislate evil out of existence. This what years of indoctrination will do. Like Iran teaching their kids to blow themselves up.

  • Darren September 4, 2020, 3:28 am

    And that is why most of the NRA executive leadership is a cancer. They are the ones responsible for the most egregious gun laws anyway and then the current leadership uses it as an opportunity to strike fear in people to get money out of them. If people can be restricted, then the same thing should be applied to teachers and professors. They can’t practice without bipartisan oversight and if they suffer the mental illness that is modern liberalism, they should have their license for teaching taken away.

    Something a lot of “common sense” people like him fail to realize is that if a compromise is always increasing gun control as it has done for the past 90 years, then there is no compromise. If there was a discussion of “Well that didn’t work, we’ll roll that back if we can find something that might work,” then we could believe it.

  • Darren September 4, 2020, 3:25 am

    And that is why most of the NRA executive leadership is a cancer. They are the ones responsible for most gun laws anyway and then the current leadership uses it as an opportunity to strike fear in people to get money out of them. If people can be restricted, then the same thing should be applied to teachers and professors. They can’t practice without bipartisan oversight and if they suffer the mental illness that is modern liberalism, they should have their license for teaching taken away.

  • Taxx73 September 3, 2020, 9:18 pm

    This nitwit actually owns guns? He’s a liberal plant. No true American believes that criminals will obey laws. That’s why they are called criminals. Gun laws only affect law abiding citizens. Universal background checks only work with universal registration which leads to 1 thing… confiscation. Red flag laws are so unconstitutional that it’s almost funny but when people start to say “NO you are not taking my guns!!” it will be the start of a 2nd civil war.
    TRUMP 2020!!!!!
    Remember If you come for mine you better bring yours!!!!

    • Hardtimez September 4, 2020, 10:21 am

      Trump supports red flag laws

      • Taxx73 September 4, 2020, 5:16 pm

        I know but its either Trump or a demonrat. Nobody’s perfect.

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