A sign outside the 2021 NRA Members' Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina
A sign outside the 2021 NRA Members' Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: First Thoughts on the NRA Oversight Meetings [Member Exclusive]

I got back from the NRA meeting of members and the board meeting on Saturday night. I’ll have more reporting on what happened there this week, but I wanted to give you guys some brief insights.

The members’ meeting was tiny. One of the people in the room counted 128 people. I’d put the number a bit higher. Maybe 150. But that’s a tiny percentage of the 5 million members the group has. Plus, a large portion of the people in attendance were board members, the family of board members, and staff.

It had to have been one of the smallest members’ meetings in the group’s history.

It may have been one of the shortest too. After a few quick speeches, a single resolution was put up for consideration. Frank Tait, who is also trying to intervene in the New York dissolution suit to remove NRA leadership, entered a resolution demanding the resignation of CEO Wayne LaPierre and other executives. A board member objected to the motion, and a vote to decide whether to debate the resolution was taken.

About ten people in attendance voted to debate. Most of the rest voted against it. So, the resolution failed without anyone on either side making their case. And, about an hour and a half after it started, the meeting ended.

The board meeting provided a little bit more interest.

While I was allowed to sit in on the members’ meeting, I was told I couldn’t sit in on the board meeting because I’m not an active member. There appears to have been some sort of miscommunication because I was allowed to sit in on the previous board meeting despite not being a member. But, either way, I waited outside while the events unfolded and heard about them shortly afterward.

The biggest bit of news is that Wayne LaPierre was re-elected. BUT it’s wasn’t unanimous this time.

In 2019, Allen West–who has since resigned his seat–told me the board was presented with a single slate of executives to vote for, and it was done by voice vote instead of recorded roll call. LaPierre was re-elected that year without any votes for anyone else in part because there were no alternatives offered.

This year, dissident board member Phil Journey nominated fellow dissident Rocky Marshall to challenge LaPierre for the Executive Vice President role.

LaPierre won easily with 44 votes, while Marshall received two votes and three board members abstained. As small as the resistance is on the board, it’s not non-existent even after a slew of resignations over the past two years. The vote was also secret. So, it’s not clear who exactly voted which way.

Also, those of you who are aware that the NRA has 76 board members may have noticed the math here doesn’t add up. That’s because 27 of the board members didn’t even show up to this meeting. That may sound remarkable, but it’s actually par for the course for the NRA at this point. They had about the same number of board members show up when the board held an emergency meeting to vote on whether or not to retroactively approve LaPierre’s bankruptcy filing on behalf of the organization.

LaPierre won that vote too.

The situation at the NRA has remained fairly stable since the big fight between former president Oliver North and LaPierre broke out into the open in 2019. There are a small number of board members who still challenge LaPierre and the rest of leadership. But a large percentage of board members, or the ones that actually show up to the board meetings anyway, are still staunchly supportive of LaPierre and the group’s current legal strategy as they face down the genuine possibility of dissolution.

Anyway, I’ll have more on the ins and outs of the meetings later this week. Stay tuned.

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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