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ICYMI: Washington Post: New Filing Shows “NRA Boosted Executive Pay While Cutting Funding For Key Programs”

According to a new tax filing, compensation for top officials at the National Rifle Association increased by 41 percent last year, while at the same time the NRA reduced “spending on programs central to its mission,” the Washington Post reports. The filing indicates that CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre’s compensation surged 57 percent in 2018, raising his overall annual compensation to $2.15 million. The article details new financial revelations about the NRA and notes “[t]he pay hikes, coupled with program cuts, feed into a line of attack coming from some board members and firearms enthusiasts: that NRA leaders are putting their own financial interest above those of dues-paying members.”   

The Post’s investigative piece, which can be read in full here, also reports: 

  • “The filing also shows perks for top officials that are typically associated with the corporate world, including charter and first-class travel with companions as well as dues for health or social clubs.” 
  • In 2018, “NRA spending plunged 22 percent for education and training, 61 percent for hunter services and 51 percent for field services, which includes organizing volunteers, fundraising for shooting sports and promoting the NRA at gun shows and other events, according to a previously released audit.”
  • “According to the tax filing, legal fees more than tripled in 2018, to more than $25 million. For the first time, the tax filing lists the Texas law firm of William Brewer III as one of its most highly compensated contractors, receiving $13.8 million. Brewer has become one of LaPierre’s most trusted advisers despite his lack of experience in Second Amendment litigation. NRA officials stand by Brewer.”
  • On October 15, 2019, “To address concerns, [Wayne] LaPierre summoned members of the “Golden Ring of Freedom” — donors who have given at least $1 million — to huddle at the [NRA’s] Virginia headquarters last month, according to attendees.”

The Washington Post piece quotes an NRA spokesperson responding to the filing as saying “We make no apologies for doubling down on the investment required to confront our enemies and unprecedented attacks on our members in 2018.”