NRA Admits Execs Misused Donor Dollars, Settles Carry Guard Lawsuit in New York for $2.5 Million

The NRA reached a settlement with New York regulators over their Carry Guard program. (Photo: NRA)

The New York Department of Financial Services, or DFS, and the National Rifle Association, or NRA, reached a settlement following allegations that the NRA was in violation of New York’s insurance policy. The dollar amount of the settlement is $2.5 million and the NRA will be cleared of any wrongdoing.

In addition to the multi-million dollar payout, the NRA has agreed not to offer insurance in the state of New York for five years, even if the organization obtains all the correct licenses during that period.

Earlier this year the New York DFS alleged that certain NRA programs like the Carry Guard insurance program were not in compliance with New York insurance sales regulations. The NRA ended the program amid several state-level investigations.

“The NRA operated as an unlicensed insurance producer and broke the New York Insurance Law by soliciting insurance products and receiving compensation,” said DFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell, in an announcement. “Even worse, the NRA violated the New York Insurance Law by soliciting dangerous and impermissible insurance products, including those within its Carry Guard program that purported to insure intentional acts and criminal defense costs. The Department will continue to protect the integrity of the insurance market for the purposes of safety and soundness and the good of all consumers.”

Several insurance companies were also fined by the DFS for their part in underwriting the Carry Guard program, including Chubb for $1.3 million, Lloyd’s for $5 million and Lockton Affinity for $7 million.

Gun-control advocates cite this as a win, calling the Carry Guard program “murder insurance.” The NRA canceled the Carry Guard program in 2019, which guaranteed a legal fund for policyholders should they need them in cases of self-defense.

See Also: NRA-ILA: Record Amount of Gun Control Pre-Filed in Texas Legislature

“Carry Guard encouraged its policyholders to shoot first and ask questions later, putting lives at risk and providing a false sense of legal and financial immunity,” said gun control activist Shannon Watts. “This outcome is an encouraging sign that regulators listened to the Moms Demand Action volunteers who filed complaints against Carry Guard in multiple states, and will hold the NRA accountable for their dangerous and unethical actions.”

“Carry Guard was murder insurance, plain and simple, and we’re grateful to New York’s Department of Financial Services for acting on Everytown’s initial investigation, and holding the NRA accountable for this egregious attempt to fill its coffers at the expense of public safety,” said John Feinblatt.

Around 30,000 NRA-endorsed policies were taken out in New York through different insurance carriers. By endorsing, marketing and profiting off these policies, the NRA acted as an unauthorized carrier, according to the DFS.

Proponents of Carry Guard and other self-defense insurance programs would certainly take umbrage with the “murder insurance” characterization. Under the policies offered by various carriers, the insurance doesn’t kick in if, for example, a policyholder was in the process of committing a felony during the shooting.

For instance, someone committing the act of rape or dealing drugs during a deadly force encounter would not be covered.

By and large, the purpose of these programs is not to give violent criminals a green light to commit murder but to protect law-abiding citizens from anti-2A attorneys who believe that one doesn’t have a natural right to self-defense and that even lawful uses of force ought to be prosecuted.

UPDATE: Nov. 26, 2020

NRA has reportedly admitted in a 2019 tax filing that certain executives used donor dollars for personal benefit, including the organization’s leader Wayne LaPierre.

The Washington Post obtained a copy of the tax return that states the NRA “became aware during 2019 of a significant diversion of its assets,” following an internal audit.

NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre along with five former officials received “excess benefits,” according to the filing.

But, the filing makes it clear that LaPierre has since “corrected” his misappropriation of funds, cutting a personal check to NRA to the tune of almost $300,000 for travel expenses from 2015-2019.

The document is not letting the other executives off the hook. It claims that they “improperly” used funds or charged the organization for expenses that were “not appropriate.”

Tax experts who evaluated the filing told The Post that it’s apparent that NRA is trying to get its ducks in a row following a few years on shaky financial ground.

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

“This is the type of cleanup I would expect to see after a history of gross violations of nonprofit law,” said Philip Hackney, an associate professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh.

Hackney, who also worked at the IRS, noted that LaPierre signed the return which is customarily signed by the treasurer.

“He is putting himself on the line, under penalties of perjury, which is what you do if you are trying to get in someone’s good graces,” Hackney said.

“It’s a smart move by the NRA instead of digging in their heels, though who knows how they came up with the numbers,” added attorney and nonprofit expert Daniel Kurtz. “It’s an admission of wrongdoing, for sure.”

NRA leadership wants to put its checkered past behind it and move forward. That much is clear. The real question is whether the organization’s 5 million members are ready to do the same. Will they forgive those at the helm for their lapses in judgment?

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. His ambition is to follow Thomas Paine, as a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 25 comments… add one }
  • T. Paine March 23, 2021, 9:02 am

    I’m an endowment member. I stopped donations after the NRA endorsed obummer’s lackey Harry Reid. My money now goes to GOA.
    That will continue until the crooks at the top (of the NRA) are removed. The appearance of impropriety is as bad as the occurence.

  • Ronnie Maeker March 21, 2021, 11:51 am

    Money corrupts.
    Excess money creates monsters.
    Monsters think they are smarter than everyone.
    Everyone loses.

  • Doug Fearing December 3, 2020, 5:09 pm

    As is the case with most of you, I’m a life member and I’m just as disappointed in the upper echelon of our organization as all of you but we’ve been asking for this for a long time. Many years ago I asked the NRA for an audit of how many people in the organization were getting paid and how much. I was essentially told it was none of my business. The audit material I was offered told me nothing-actually referring me to somewhere in New York for some kind of crap I doubt an accountant could understand. I got mad, quit the organization for a few years and then capitulated, rejoined and became a life member. I did this because despite this (and other) disappointments, they are our frontline defense in the never ending war to protect our 2nd Amendment rights.

    The fact that we, as members haven’t demanded fuller disclosure and transparency from within the organization is our fault-we’ve been too complacent. That has to change and so does our leadership. We thank Wayne for his years of service but it’s time he (willingly) stepped down. If he chooses not to do so, we need to vote him out of office. We can all pull together to make these changes but I, for one urge all or our members to please reconsider pulling your support-any support away from the NRA because we are about to face one of the worst challenges to our gun rights we may ever face. Biden & his cronies have openly vowed to attack us on every front and we need to believe that.

    “United we stand, divided we fall” may be an old cliché but it holds true now more that ever. We not only need each other, we need to strengthen ourselves through membership drives and recruitment. Strength is in numbers and there are millions of gun owners out there that aren’t members. Perhaps we need get past this and focus on making our organization stronger, better and the formidable enemy to the Biden people we need to be.

  • FirstStateMark December 1, 2020, 5:46 pm

    Not another penny till Wayne is gone.

  • john r bowie December 1, 2020, 1:31 pm

    I don’t even remember how long I’ve been a life member, as was my wife, & our four children still are. I don’t like LaPierre. I lost all faith in him when he appeared on stage all buddied up with Harry Reid some years ago. I bet we pay more for just one of his suits than most people make in a month, and LORD knows how much it costs us in his employment package, and he’s not the only one.

  • PGiddy November 30, 2020, 3:11 pm

    I have always liked LaPierre, and frankly he steered the organization to high numbers of members, BUT the rumors have been rampant, and he needs to explain – the good and the bad. We CANNOT do without this organization. Stand with them, but demand accountability!

  • JD November 29, 2020, 1:06 pm

    I have been a proud NRA Life Beneficiary member for many many years. Also a very proud and happy GOA member for not as many years. I am completely and totally disgusted with LaPierre and the board. It is up to us, the members, to vote in a new responsable board that will replace Mr LaPierre and clean house. In the meantime, I have removed the NRA sticker from my vehicle. I will continue to monetarily support GOA and my state gun owners organization. I will work to support and vote for new leadership of the NRA.

  • JohnH November 29, 2020, 5:40 am

    Wayne has to go, just paying back is not enough. He and cronies have used the NRA as a personal slush fund and in process damaged the NRA’s reputation. He must resign to fix this problem. Life member.

  • Jim Zoppi November 28, 2020, 8:09 pm

    I’ve been a NRA Instructor for over thirty some years and have held a FFL and a C&R license for fifty years ! The NRA will receive what’s coming to them for keeping me courant as a member ! But from now on not a penny more !! What a disappointment they are !!

  • The Bearded Pretender November 28, 2020, 7:38 pm

    When this POS Goes (Wayne LaPierre) I’ll back the NRA again…Maybe.
    When I paid for my Life Membership the NRA promised me a Leather Jacket… I NEVER received it and after calling about it they could have gave a shit less…

    So, you’re right..Screw those Thieves.

  • Terry Story November 27, 2020, 2:17 pm

    I am still not at all clear on what happened with the purported “misuse” of organizational funds was, or is. I am a life benefactor member of the NRA, and although I understand all of the previous messages from ex-members. I will not discontinue my membership and I would urge all of those that have done so to reconsider their stance. There are not nearly enough firearms supportive membership organizations in this country and there are a lot of anti-firearms organizations that get a lot of press because the press is also fascist anti-firearms generally. We need everyone in the fight, and if the NRA is doing something that you disagree with, for heavens sake tell them about it and what you want to see as corrective action on their part. I don’t think that there is any organization out there that agrees with what I think 100% of the time, maybe not even much less, but I support all of them that I can simply because we need them. We are losing politically with the election of Joe Biden, and it is going to be a rocky ride since he and his anti-gun guru, Beto O’Rourke will do everything that they can to abrogate the Second Amendment and the right to self defense that is implied by that Amendment. The Bill of Rights is the bedrock of the nation, and if we lose it, we lose it all. This country is supposedly a nation of laws, and the fundamental law is the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, without them, we will decline into a despotic morass of dictatorships like those in New York and California. Don’t let it happen folks, we will never get it back if we allow it to happen, too much has already happened…

  • survivor50 November 27, 2020, 12:25 pm

    Maybe if they didn’t sell SOOOO many ” MADE IN CHINA ” items in their NRA STORE !!!

    I just can’t swallow that one… and I’m an NRA Instructor !!!

    WAKE UP NRA !!!

  • AFvet November 27, 2020, 12:07 pm

    I will terminate my membership until such a time that all NRA criminal elements have been removed and jailed. I will find an organization whose mind is in the game,especially in this time transition and possible civil war in the coming years. Unfortunately this has caused a backlash from the gun club I belong to,as they require an NRA membership to join.

  • Walter November 27, 2020, 11:42 am

    It’s our fault for letting these crooks get away with looting our organization. I’m an endowment member and the NRA is not getting another nickel from me until LaPierre goes. I’m also going to think long and hard before I vote for anyone for the Board recommended by NRA leadership. We need to throw the bums out.

  • GaDawg November 27, 2020, 10:44 am

    I no longer want anything to do with the NRA. They have corrupted their focus and mission and as far as I’m concerned, they can fold. For the last five years, I have supported Gun Owners of America which has stayed true; as well as a state organization called Georgia Carry. Both GOA and GC have remained true to their mission statements and both continue to fight for what’s right and Constitutional.

  • Norm Fishler November 27, 2020, 10:41 am

    This is what the NRA was trying so desperately hard to avoid when they ran Oliver North off after just a few contentious months. Does the NRA wish to make amends? Let them ask Colonel North back to set the ship aright . . . That is if he’ll take the job.

  • alex November 27, 2020, 10:36 am

    i switched all my donations to gun owners of america,at least they stand firm on gun issues and SO FAR doesn’t seem to be ripping people off. it’s a shame but the NRA became corrupted like pretty much everything else in america. wayne is a crook and is only doing damage control,they don’t want the members to see the true extent of the corruption.

  • Fred Csiky November 27, 2020, 10:27 am

    We had corrupt and even antigun officials before,they were ousted in the 70’s.We must thtow these bad apples to the hogs and continue to march.I have een a member since 1966 and will continue my support.
    Wayne is now square with the house, it’s a pity that his integrity will not recover.The others must return the hard earned stolen dues as well.

  • Robert Ubben November 27, 2020, 10:07 am

    Get Rid of Lapierre, been there to long, as bad as Polosie.

  • Kane November 27, 2020, 10:01 am

    So of 30,000 policies, how many “murder insurance” cases went to trial? Anybody?

    Now if only the financial greedy gut Klintons and the Bidens were scrutinized on how they “compensated” themselves.

    This is a good time for the holier than thou Magoos to start calling NRA member Fudds.

  • Robert Leto November 27, 2020, 8:06 am

    Get rid of La Pierre

  • Jeff K November 27, 2020, 8:04 am

    For an organization that purports itself as a 150 year old civil rights organization, they’ve been making some real bone headed mistakes. Maybe it is time to get new leadership.

    • Ron November 27, 2020, 9:29 am

      The NRA can kiss my you know what. I will never support them again. Bunch of dirt bags running the show.

  • Jackpine November 27, 2020, 5:17 am

    “The real question is whether the organization’s 5 million members are ready to do the same. Will they forgive those at the helm for their lapses in judgment?”

    Nope. Didn’t make amends until they were discovered. Zero trust in Wayne, he’s got to go.

    • Fred Csiky November 27, 2020, 10:26 am

      We had corrupt and even antigun officials before,they were ousted in the 70’s.We must thtow these bad apples to the hogs and continue to march.I have een a member since 1966 and will continue my support.
      Wayne is now square with the house, it’s a pity that his integrity will not recover.The others must return the hard earned stolen dues as well.

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