The Board of Directors for the National Rifle Association closed ranks around Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre over the weekend, voting 44-2 at their annual meeting to keep the embattled NRA leader in the position he’s held since 1991.
“The NRA is focused and energized – standing tall in the face of unprecedented attacks on our Association and constitutional freedoms,” LaPierre said in a statement. “I am honored by the trust placed in me by the NRA Board of Directors and the millions of patriots they represent. Together, we will continue to confront our adversaries, and fight for our freedoms and values. We are resolute in our mission as America’s greatest defender of constitutional freedom.”
Several attempts were made to oust LaPierre and the board that supports him, but they were quickly quashed.
Endowment Life Member Frank Tait reported that he introduced a resolution calling for the resignation of the officers and the board and stating that the current officers do not deserve to be reelected. Board member Joel Friedman objected to the resolution, according to Tait, and the objection was sustained on a 150-10-member vote.
During the board meeting, Judge Phil Journey nominated NRA Director Rocky Marshall to replace LaPierre as EVP. Journey was the first board member to publicly criticize the NRA, and he filed a motion in February to appoint an independent examiner to investigate allegations against the gun-rights organization.
Marshall told GunsAmerica that 44 board members voted for LaPierre while only two members voted for Marshall. Two additional members abstained from voting.
Marshall told us Journey’s nomination marked the first time in 20 years that a candidate was nominated to oppose LaPierre. He believes the board’s actions provide further justification that the board should be dissolved, as he asked the New York Supreme Court to do last month.
“The outcome was not a surprise, and it does reveal that the Board of Directors is fully supportive of Wayne in the midst of these scandals,” he said. “The Directors could have simply abstained and therefore sent a message that they did not support LaPierre. Instead, voted for him once again. This election is further validation that the Board of Directors will not address the problems and the only hope of saving the NRA is through the courts.”
The NRA has been locked in legal turmoil since New York Attorney General Letitia James launched an investigation into the organization for alleged mismanagement by leaders, including LaPierre. The AG accuses LaPierre of wasting member money on lavish private jet and yacht trips, clothing, hunting safaris, and expensive handouts to contractors and board members.
In total, James accuses LaPierre of wasting about $16 million since about 2014.
NRA leaders like Journey and Marshall have spoken up, but so far LaPierre has remained in his position.