‘NRA is Slowly Dying,’ Says Newsweek

in 2nd Amendment – R2KBA, This Week, Uncategorized
NRA Reacts to ‘Ghost Gun’ Ban
Is the NRA slowly dying? Newsweek says so! NRA Exec. Vice President Wayne LaPierre. (Photo: NRA)

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

In a recent article for Newsweek, journalist Kate Plummer argues that the National Rifle Association is “slowly dying.”

She points to the following to make her case:

  • Membership Decline: Wayne LaPierre, head of the NRA, predicted in 2013 a growth to 10 million members. However, as of a recent report, the membership has declined to about 4.3 million.
  • Financial Struggles: The NRA’s revenue dropped significantly, with a 52% decrease in overall revenue and a nearly 59% drop in membership dues since 2016. Membership dues in 2022 were down more than 40% from 2018.
  • Past Successes: The NRA had 230 legislative victories from 2003 to 2013.
  • Recent Failures: More recently, the NRA failed to secure major legislative changes in 2017 and 2018, even with Republican control in Washington.
  • Lawsuit by New York Attorney General: Letitia James filed a lawsuit alleging misappropriation of funds by top NRA officials, including LaPierre, for personal use.
  • Bankruptcy and Financial Mismanagement: The NRA faced a $64 million reduction in its balance sheet over three years, turning a surplus into a deficit.
  • Shift in Views: An NBC/WSJ poll showed 40% viewing the NRA negatively in 2018, a first-ever overall negative perception.

There are other headwinds for the organization, Plummer points out, including the rise of the Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety over the past decade.

Thanks to Bloomberg’s billions, Everytown has proven to be a force to reckon with. For example, it just outspent the NRA 10 to 1 in its own backyard, in the 2023 Virginia elections.

Has the NRA seen better days? No doubt about it. But is it “slowly dying” — doubtful.

Look, the elephant in the room is Wayne LaPierre. He has become a divisive figure due to the aforementioned allegations of financial mismanagement. It’s not only about what happened to the organization under his watch but also what he was personally doing with donor dollars.

SEE ALSO: Cool New Colors for the Springfield Armory Hellion Bullpup

LaPierre was, apparently, flying in private jets, buying lavish suits and receiving other “excess benefits” to the tune of $300,000. LaPierre has since made good, though. He cut a personal check to the organization to right his wrongs.

For some members this was enough. For many others, including key “whale” donors, it wasn’t. As a result, those who were still disgruntled flocked to other pro-gun outfits, including the Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America, and the Firearms Policy Coalition.

The truth is gun owners may have stopped donating to NRA due to LaPierre’s perceived shenanigans, but they haven’t stopped donating to the pro-gun cause. Nor have they stopped buying guns.

To Plummer’s credit, she acknowledges this in her article.

Plummer writes, “Forty-five percent of U.S. households owned at least one firearm in 2022, according to research compiled by Statista, the highest figure since 2011—and 8 percentage points higher than in 2013, the year LaPierre said the NRA was on track for ‘unprecedented’ growth.”

One can argue that the pro-gun movement has never been stronger. With approximately 72 million gun owners in this country, gun banners certainly have their work cut out for them.

Four million of those still belong to the NRA, as highlighted earlier. Four million dues-paying members is nothing to sneeze at. And it all but ensures the NRA will continue to have a role to play in the 2A battles to come, even if that’s in a diminished capacity for the time being.

It’s also worth pointing out that LaPierre, 74, is not going to be around forever. So, it’s reasonable to think that a change in leadership could rejuvenate America’s longest-standing civil rights organization,.

Whether it’s through internal reform or a renewed focus on its core mission, the NRA’s fate isn’t sealed yet. It’s a dynamic entity in a country where the debate over gun rights is far from settled. The story of the NRA, like the story of gun rights in America, is still being written, one chapter at a time.

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  • WT November 22, 2023, 7:39 pm

    NRA and it’s board of directors are worthless and money grabbers!! I was a member for a long time glad I got some what wiser 😵‍💫

  • Lance Keen November 19, 2023, 7:50 pm

    I have joined other organizations that defend the 2’nd Amendment more to my liking than the NRA has been. I left mainly because of LaPierre and his antics. He needs to be gone.

  • Shardale November 19, 2023, 10:24 am

    As soon as LaPierre is gone I will rejoin, as I assume thousands of others will.

  • Josh November 18, 2023, 9:33 pm

    It’s LaPierre.

    At least he’s the reason I send my money elsewhere. I don’t need to put gas in his jet.

  • Hondo November 18, 2023, 4:55 pm

    I wasn’t happy with how the NRA was going and just let my membership expire, they have a cancer in there organization and I just can’t put my money in there anymore.

  • Dave November 18, 2023, 8:15 am

    We lost our opportunity to reform when Oly North declined to take the seat. I agree with Paul.

  • Dave November 17, 2023, 9:57 pm

    Not an NRA member. Dropped my membership in 1986 after the NRA supported the 1986 anti NFA act

  • Nobody November 17, 2023, 7:28 pm

    NRA will always be stagnant as long as Wayne is at the helm. YMMV

  • Snowedin November 17, 2023, 6:06 pm

    The NRA, was dead to me as soon as they caved into the Cop Killer Bullet Issue, aka the Armor Piercing Bullet Prohibition, in the 1980’s. It was a ban on bullets that would go through “Bullet Proof Vests, although many conventional bullets would pierce them as well, and what does not go through has the ability to cause physical damage as the energy from the impact has to go somewhere, but the corrupt progressive, commie, demoncrap, and RINO politicians mentioned anything about it.

  • Paul November 17, 2023, 5:09 pm

    I am a benefactor life member of the NRA. I donated heavily in election years for a long time. Since I learned about Wayne’s $2,000 ties, huge pay raise and pension plan equal to his current salary, I refuse to give one cent. And I won’t with a leadership change either. The board needs to do the right thing before I give them my hard earned money. The right thing to do is to remove Wayne, end his salary and pension and show economic reform. Unfortunately, Wayne has all his cronies on the board so they won’t do the right thing. Yes, the NRA is dying…
    Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is far more effective and efficient. They deserve all of our donations.

    • Gary Major November 18, 2023, 8:16 pm

      I agree completely. I also was a member of the NRA for many years. I got tired of getting phone calls several times a month to give more of my money to fight against this gun grabber or that anti-gun politician. All the while LaPierre is hunting all over the world in his custom outfits and making a seven-figure salary and I can’t even afford to hunt outside of my own state or buy camo that matches on a paycheck that I’m living week to week on.
      I will not give one red cent to the NRA until LaPierre and his cronies are history!!!

  • LibsWorshipSatan November 17, 2023, 4:41 pm

    The NRA has caved on too many things lately for me to support them. I’d rather support Gun Owners of America – this is NO time or place for moderate fence-sitters!

  • kent November 17, 2023, 4:38 pm

    I’ve been in the NRA for 51 years. I stayed because I still believe in the NRA programs, and so I can tell the fundraisers when they call exactly why I will no longer give to them until WLP and the board is gone. I would love to hear Larry Potterfield’s opinion on this. He must be sick at heart. Pete Brownell has had enough… No more NRA roundups there. The NRA is bigger than WLP and his cronies, they need to go. Jail is fine, but I will settle for a resignation. Chris Cox left and they mean-mouthed him… WLP is a political leftist sewer rat like all the others, posing as a gun supporter. BTW, I thank Col North for discovering this, but as a former Marine myself, I think he is a traitor as well for what he was doing with the CIA bringing drugs back from central America on the planes during Iran-Contra. His secretary Fawn Hall was shredding documents 24-7 during the hearings. I pray this country can survive all this tyranny.

  • Major Tom November 17, 2023, 3:52 pm

    When I receive a solicitation letter to rejoin, accompanied by Wayne’s resignation letter and indictment, I will give it serious consideration.

  • Rex Burkheimer November 17, 2023, 3:48 pm

    Change in leadership? Already done. Since 2021 the president is now Charles Cotton, a rock-solid attorney from Houston TX. Cotton has Zero tolerance for anything that is not 100% above-board. He has a solid 2A resume – runs the TXCHL online forum, and is very active in Texas politics. With Cotton leading the NRA, I feel much better about how my dues are being used. I cannot imagine a better steward of the organization than Chas. Cotton.
    As for Lapierre, he is still CEO, but a lot of people want to see him off the masthead. He has become an icon for all that is wrong with NRA. Apparently that will take some time. I’m willing to give Cotton that time and hope Lapierre fades away sooner rather than later.

  • jerry November 17, 2023, 3:02 pm

    No mention of the move to Texas? I thought bailing out of NY was an outstanding move. The “American Rifleman” magazine is an outstanding publication. I am proud to be an NRA Patron Life Member. It’s fine with me that SAF and others have taken up part of the financial burden of litigations. The Illinois Rifle Association (and others) has done a lot, too. FYI: Lateeesha can kiss my buttstock.

  • Jay Clay November 17, 2023, 2:38 pm

    Anyone else see the irony of Newsweek claiming the NRA is dying? Newsweeks been on life support for years now.

  • Dan in Ohio November 17, 2023, 11:58 am

    I’m a life member of the NRA, and it looks to me like Wayne LaPierre has gutted and destroyed the whole organization.
    I’m also a life member of Gun Owners of America, and yearly member of Second Amendment foundation, and Buckeye firearms Association here in Ohio.
    The NRA will soon be destroyed, and good riddance, thanks to Wayne.
    The NRA is not the gun lobby. Me, you, and 100 million other Americans are.

  • Jerel R Rachael November 17, 2023, 11:04 am

    Contrary to the statement in this article, LaPierre did NOT make good… the check he cut was just a feeble attempt to appear to reimburse NRA for the suits, his wife’s spa treatments, and some of the travel expenses that were highlighted in the court case. It does not make good for the theft of NRA’s funds by him and the band of thieves that he brought onboard to raid OUR piggy-bank for their own personal enrichment, or the absurd legal fees that are being paid by NRA, not him, to keep him and pals out of jail. Just imagine what could have been done on behalf of the membership towards protecting their 2A rights if it had been used as was implied in all of the “sky is falling!” mailings received by the membership over the past few decades! We’re probably talking in the $100 millions before this legal process runs its course! It’s not just him and his cronies who have been robbing us, but the absurd 70 plus member Board of Directors are complicit in this too for not auditing, managing, and exercising control over operation of the NRA as they are supposed to do. A number of them have been enriching themselves at our expense too, so hopefully they wind up in jail with LaPierre and friends before they run the NRA completely out of money! The NRA is worth saving, and very important to us in this community. I just hope they can get these criminals in jail and force a restructuring of NRA before it is too late to save it!

    • Mike November 18, 2023, 1:01 pm

      NRA has been gutted by the senseless greed and unethical crap Wayne LaPierre has brought to bear. He has done irreparable damage to the NRA as counterbalance to the liberal gun grabbing tyrants. He needs to resign today!

  • Nic Toos November 17, 2023, 11:01 am

    I stopped membership and support when North was kicked out for reveling how corrupt Wayne LaPierre is.

    They moved the NRA to Texas and yet same crooks were left in charge.

    Wayne LaPierre takes care of board members $$$$$$$$, so he is voted to keep his job..
    NRA needs complete overhaul to get me back.

    • Stephen November 17, 2023, 11:26 am

      I was a life member back in the 80’s/90’s, I asked for help with a problem I was having. I was told get a good lawyer, so much for support from the NRA. I beat the case.
      I immediately canceled my membership. As long Wayne LaPierre is involved with the NRA I will never rejoin them. Rather be a GOA member.

  • TERRY November 17, 2023, 11:00 am

    As long as LaPierre and the current leadership is in power, I will never donate a penny to the organization. My money goes to other organizations that support the 2nd Amendment and will not waste funds on administrative costs. I maintain my NRA membership in the event that they do get new leadership and focus their attention on what made it a great organization.

  • dacian November 17, 2023, 10:58 am

    Wayne L has also corrupted the election process in the NRA effectively making himself dictator for life with no chance of him ever being voted out of office. Until the NRA can somehow get rid of him they will continue to lose members and revenue and not be able to fight the anti-gun people which is
    putting all gun owners rights in extreme jeopardy because the small fry pro-gun organizations never have had the power and clout of the NRA. The future for gun owners looks dark and gloomy.

    • Kane November 17, 2023, 11:54 am

      Hey dacian, were you NOT recently call for storage laws, all manners of registration schemes including but not limiled too a national registration and all sorts of other ant-2A polucies?

      Are you now tring to sell youself is an NRA member in good standing?

      Or are you try to spread disinformation and disuntity?

      If you are a member tell whose picture is on page 16 of the November 2023 edition of the “America Rifleman”?

      • D.J. November 21, 2023, 9:26 am

        A little handicapped by the King’s English , are we ?

        Or is it the formation of a coherent thought ?

        • Kane November 23, 2023, 11:29 pm

          If you are going to make a big deal out of typos and any other little issues then make it a big deal. Start by cleaning up your own short and petty posts, learn the rules on how to place question marks and commas in the proper places. Here are a of couple rules that most every first grader has already learned, a question mark replaces a period at the end of a sentence and commas generally follow a the preceeding word without a space. Do you see your mistakes now?

          Speaking of “coherent thought,” ya got any? Maybe in the future you should avoid the condescending “are we” since you make three basic mistakes in a short two sentence post. Your expressed concern for the “King’s English” is pitiful.

  • Dan November 17, 2023, 10:53 am

    I will never renew my NRA membership as long as the crook LaPierre has ANYTHING to do with the NRA. The testimony he gave and what he admitted to is available online. It is a disgrace for this individual to have anything to do with the NRA. GET RID OF HIM!

  • John Boutwell November 17, 2023, 10:48 am

    When you get money from hard working Americans to do a job and spend it on homes and fancy suits, people don’t like that

  • C. A.Pate November 17, 2023, 10:45 am

    just one more note we as gun owners should form our own organization without a dictatorship.

    • Kane November 17, 2023, 12:13 pm

      GOA will welcome you to the fold and so will SAF and many others including state organizations.

  • C. A.Pate November 17, 2023, 10:39 am

    I’ve been an NRA member at least 15 years off and on.Not gonna rejoin I don’t like the idea that Lapierre can fire a club president at will .that makes the place his private posting .I thought I had joined a public political organization.. not his dawn club .we need to start our own Political organization.thres also to much rake off going out

  • Terry November 17, 2023, 10:27 am

    I am done with the NRA. We, in South Carolina, are in a battle to get Constitutional carry enacted. I have not seen any interest at all from the NRA. I emailed them wanting to know what they were doing to help it get passed…crickets. There are just to many organizations popping up to make money, with no regard to actually do anything. I believe the NRA is now one of them.

  • LJ November 17, 2023, 10:26 am

    As a level 3 life member for over 40 years, the NRA knows exactly what the problem is – Wayne LaPierre and his cronies. I had planned to bump up to the benefactor level and leave my collection to the NRA in my Will, but I just had it rewritten and had the NRA removed. It’s only about $50,000, but it’s $50,000 LaPierre won’t be able to line his pockets with.

    Until the NRA gets rid of LaPierre and his cronies I’m done with the NRA.

  • Ray Perry November 17, 2023, 10:26 am

    I have maintained for at least a decade now, that the greatest thing the NRA or any gun right’s body could ever do is to find a case that would lead to or force the SCOTUS to revisit the US vs Miller case from 1939. ALL – gun control has it’s basis in that mendacious ruling by FDR’s SCOTUS. Or so it seems to me. We now have the most favorable to righteous causes SCOTUS for many MANY decades. NOW – is the time to challenge US vs Miller. I have to ask – has not Wayne LaPierre or anyone in leadership at the NRA considered that? JUST DO IT.!!!!

    • Kane November 17, 2023, 11:57 am

      great points

  • Michael J November 17, 2023, 10:19 am

    The mere appearance of impropriety is enough for me to question what exactly am I supporting? These not for profit CEOs who receive obscene compensation and benefit packages on the backs of payday to payday donors
    should be carefully stewarded. As for-profit organizations, these exorbitant compensation packages maybe more palatable since their money is internally generated. Both types of organizations seem to share the same business model where board members award these outrageous salaries. For non-profits, maybe this should be revisited.

    • Kane November 17, 2023, 12:00 pm

      One thing is for sure, Letticus (sp?) James NY AG does NOT care a flip about the NRA Members funds being misappropriated.

  • Dwayne Oxford November 17, 2023, 9:51 am

    I quit them when they decreed their peons couldn’t possibly ever need armor piercing ammo.

  • Calvin mclean November 17, 2023, 9:37 am

    I have supported for years but the the never ending calls made by paid fundraisers is turning me off. Less focus on money and more effort to raise membership and involvement by members every time I hear paid fundraiser I get a mental picture of some pink haired clock rider reading a script .

  • Randy Allen November 17, 2023, 9:21 am

    Wayne’s World is dying. I do the movie disservice for even connecting it with LaPierre. He is why the NRA is dying. The Executive VP who can never be replaced or voted out? He is a crook and probably needs to do jail time for using the organizations money for personal use. Their M.O. for getting money is to create chaos and beg members for more and more money to fight wrongs in different places in the country. Some of those “victories” they claim, they never even showed up to help. I have told them over and over that I would never give them another dime as long as Wayne was in charge, but they keep on begging!

  • Mikial November 17, 2023, 9:18 am

    My wife and I are still NRA members in spite of Wayne LaPierre. We maintained our memberships to send a message to the anti-2A people who wrongly believe the reduction in NRA membership indicates that people want gun control. That is nothing but stupid Liberal propaganda. But even though we kept faith with the NRA they did not keep faith with us. The NRA has been too little too late in fighting for our rights. I am also a member of Gun Owners of America, a Front Line Defender in the NAGR, and an active member of our state gun rights organization. They are the ones actively fighting the Democrats right now, not the NRA. If Wayne LaPierre would step down I think we would see other former NRA members some back. Oliver North first began blowing the whistle on LaPierre and his cronies and we saw what happened, LaPierre got rid of anyone who stood up to him. WLP needs to go…now! He is a dishonest traitor to the gun owners the NRA is supposed to represent and he would have never written that check if he hadn’t been caught stealing from us.

    • Kane November 17, 2023, 11:41 am


  • W November 17, 2023, 8:39 am

    Guns America reply page sucks!
    The NRA was dead to me on the 2nd… the 2nd they endorsed Harry Reid. If you don’t remember him, look him up. He was a known liberal demonicrat that supported gun control.
    I moved my support to the National Association of Gun Rights. Their actions have satisfied me that they truly are for second amendment rights instead of collecting money.
    And they do not endorse gun control demonicrats!

  • T Caine November 17, 2023, 8:09 am

    Good assessment. I worked in Washington DC area for 40 years and saw corruptions negative effect on this country. The NRA abuse of member funds and related activities has diminished its standing in my view. The NRA executive director staying on mimics the pattern of DC politicians.

    Enough already.

    • Theodore J Erikson November 17, 2023, 8:39 am

      I have been a member for many years. My support ends with the expiration of my current membership. I’ll renew when LaPierre is gone.

  • Anthony J Romano November 17, 2023, 7:54 am

    Sadly this is not wrong. LaPIerre is a cancer to the NRA. I know a lot of shooters that won’t renew because of him.

  • Scott Cain November 17, 2023, 7:50 am

    They never got the Hughs Amendment repealed and they’re swamped with scandals unrelated to gun rights.
    I hope that organization does so something else takes its place.

  • Edward Nelson November 17, 2023, 7:46 am

    Larry Z’s article is dead on! I was a 30 year member of the NRA but I could no longer stomach LaPierre’s antics. So I left the NRA. It’s time for new leadership or dwell away.

  • JT November 17, 2023, 7:43 am

    Slowly dying? It’s not “dying,” it’s being killed off by Wayne LaPierre’s ego and lack of any semblance of ethics. Unless and until the NRA shows some chutzpah and gets rid of him, me and tens of thousands of NRA members will continue to have no use for the organization. Wayne’s and his sycophants need to go.

  • SuperB November 17, 2023, 7:38 am

    It’s well known that they’ve been suffering from some poor leadership.

  • Michael Bruscell Sr November 17, 2023, 7:35 am

    DUMP LaPIERRE, The NRA’s resident crook. At one time this self-serving phony wanted the NRA to buy him a mansion outside Ft. Worth, and, of course, he wanted the membership to fund his high-living lifestyle.

    I am a Life Member of the NRA. I frequently get letters from the NRA asking for more financial support. They all go immediately into the trash. If the leadership thinks so poorly of its members that it would tolerate someone like LaPierre in an executive position for years, they certainly can manage without my help.

  • William Davis November 17, 2023, 7:24 am

    This may be the first bit of factual reporting by Newsweek in a very long time. NRA is committing suicide. They are no longer for front in defending 2a. They have evolved into a lobbyist money exchange. Folks getting fat on a reputation.

  • Bill November 17, 2023, 7:18 am


  • Pete Walsemann November 17, 2023, 7:17 am

    For those of us that live and breathe the Second Amendment, unity is our key strength. NRA, as with any organization is made up of people and people have an unerring ability to make wrong decisions. Nevertheless, the NRA remains the stalwart loudest and most significant voice – the oldest civil rights organization in our US history – in the freedom campaign.
    If we have any hope to maintain our rights in this society, we must continue to support the mission of the NRA, encourage new membership and give as we are able.
    I am not turning my back on the other organization voices, but the NRA remains the single most influential voice. Strengthen it.

    We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately. Benjamin Franklin

    • Kane November 17, 2023, 12:08 pm


      The NRA needs a real 2A person to replace W Lapierre, he seems like he never goes to ranges or shoots. He seems like he should be an funerael director or involved with a Mega Church instead of heading the oldest civil rights and firearm training organization in US.

  • Blaine Nay November 16, 2023, 12:24 am

    I briefly met Wayne LaPierre during the 2009 NRA annual meeting in Phoenix. Even though the organization seemed to be doing very well at the time, I felt like I was looking into the eyes of a snake.

  • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment November 15, 2023, 1:26 pm

    wow 300k most “important” people waste more on spilt drugs and booze! divide and conquer seems to be what the left is doing with the nra.

    • Kane November 17, 2023, 11:42 am


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