Newsletter: Georgia’s Kemp Goes After Perdue, Abrams on Guns

This week we’ve got a sneak peek of our exclusive interview with Georgia Governor Biran Kemp (R.).

He makes news on several fronts, including attacking his primary opponent David Perdue (R.), and his potential general election adversary Stacey Abrams (D.). He says Perdue is only backing permitless gun-carry out of political convenience. He says Abrams wants to take Gerogians’ guns away.

The full interview will be available publicly on Monday. However, Reload members will get access to it on Sunday. So, make sure you buy a membership today for early access!

We also saw Beto O’Rourke make news by backtracking on his pledge to take away everyone’s AR-15s and AK-47s. He now says he doesn’t want to take anything from anyone. The reversal comes as little surprise, given he’s trying to become governor of Texas.

However, the timing and way O’Rourke went about the reversal were very odd. I take a closer look at how things turned out in a member-exclusive piece.

There were several other stories on tap this week as well. Washington state moved closer to imposing a new ammo magazine restriction, the Air Force was forced to pay for its mistakes that led to the Sutherland Springs shooting, and Jake examines how the NRA’s publications are doing.

Plus, the podcast featuring Ohio State University Accounting Professor Brian Mittendorf talking about the detailed internal NRA financial document we published last week is live for all.


Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R.) appears on the Weekly Reload Podcast
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R.) appears on the Weekly Reload Podcast / Stephen Gutowski

Exclusive: Georgia Governor Kemp Calls Perdue ‘Johnny-Come-Lately’ on Permitless Gun-Carry
By Stephen Gutowski

Incumbent Governor Brian Kemp (R.) took a shot at his leading primary challenger over gun policy on Friday.

Kemp questioned the sincerity of former Senator David Perdue’s (R.) pledge to support permitless gun-carry, which activists call Constitutional carry, during an exclusive interview on The Weekly Reload Podcast. He said voters prefer somebody who has accomplishments over just promises.

“I think that’s what people want,” Kemp said. “They want a governor that’s got a record of not only saying what they’re going to do but actually doing it when they’re in office, which is what I’ve done. Versus somebody like my opponent who promises everything, goes and does something differently or is a johnny-come-lately to the policy side of this.”

He pointed to his executive order keeping gun stores and ranges open during the pandemic as well as suspending permit renewal requirements as examples of what he’s accomplished on guns. He said he plans to push permitless gun-carry through the legislature this year.

The Perdue campaign fired back at Kemp.

Click here to read the full piece.


Governor Brian Kemp on the Weekly Reload Podcast / Screenshot
Governor Brian Kemp on the Weekly Reload Podcast / Screenshot

Exclusive: Georgia’s Kemp Says Stacey Abrams ‘Doesn’t Want Law-Abiding People to Have Firearms’
By Jake Fogleman

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R.) went after his likely Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams stance towards guns on Friday.

The incumbent Republican Governor did not mince words on his potential Democratic challenger during an exclusive interview on The Weekly Reload Podcast.

“Well, I think if you really translate what she’s saying is she doesn’t want law-abiding people to have firearms and to be able to carry,” Kemp said.

The Governor’s remarks come as the gubernatorial race is beginning to heat up ahead of election season this November. Kemp—who is also facing a primary challenge from former Senator David Perdue (R.)—will be looking to retain his position in the Governor’s mansion in a potential rematch against Abrams, whom he defeated in 2018. Gun politics have recently played an increasingly prominent role in Georgia, as major firearms manufacturers moved to the state and the general assembly is taking up multiple pieces of gun legislation.

Click here to read more.


Beto O'Rourke political campaign "Beto For America"
Photo by Josh Olalde on Unsplash

Beto Backtracks on AR-15 Confiscation: ‘I’m not Interested in Taking Anything From Anyone’
By Stephen Gutowski

Hell no, Beto O’Rourke does not want to take your AR-15. At least, not anymore.

The Texas Democrat currently running for governor said he does not want to force Texans to turn in their guns.

“I’m not interested in taking anything from anyone,” O’Rourke told supporters during a campaign stop in Tyler, Texas on Tuesday. “What I want to make sure that we do is defend the Second Amendment.”

Click here to read the full piece.


A rack of AR-15s at SHOT Show 2022's range day
A rack of AR-15s at SHOT Show 2022’s range day / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: Beto’s Bizarre Backtracking on Seizing AR-15s [Member Exclusive]
By Stephen Gutowski

Beto O’Rourke does not want to take your AR-15. Or, at least, that’s what he’s saying now.

The Texas Democrat, who is currently running to unseat incumbent governor Greg Abbott (R.), claimed on Tuesday he doesn’t want to seize any guns. In fact, he positioned himself as a defender of gun rights.

“I’m not interested in taking anything from anyone,” O’Rourke told supporters during a campaign stop in Tyler, Texas on Tuesday. “What I want to make sure that we do is defend the Second Amendment.”

Of course, that’s a direct contradiction of what he said back in 2019.

If you’re already a Reload member, click here to read full analysis. If not, make sure you pick up a membership today! Your purchase will help fund our pursuit of sober, serious firearms reporting and analysis. It’ll also get you exclusive access to dozens of pieces like this one.


Podcast: OSU Accounting Professor on NRA Revenues Falling by Half Since 2018, Legal Fees Ballooning in 2021
By Stephen Gutowski

On this week’s episode, we drill down into the details of the internal financial document The Reload obtained from an NRA source.

Ohio State University Accounting Professor Brian Mittendorf joins the show to give insight into what the document says and what the massive drops in revenue and membership reveal about the future of the country’s most influential gun group. He says the NRA has actually improved its financial position, but only by drastically cutting back on its core services. That puts it in danger of entering a kind of “death spiral” with fewer members leading to fewer revenue and services, leading to fewer members, he said.

Allegations of corruption against NRA leadership, including CEO Wayne LaPierre, and the effects of the pandemic have combined for a serious blow to the organization. With membership shrinking, revenues have dwindled. That’s forced the gun-rights behemoth to make difficult choices about cutting its training, community outreach, competitive shooting, and many more programs.

Professor Mittendorf has followed the NRA’s finances for years and said the internal document obtained by The Reload is one of the most in-depth accountings ever made public. He talked about the complex makeup of the group, its bankruptcy, its legal spending, and its fascinating debt payments. Plus, he talks at length about how new planned gifts have cratered despite being a major source of long-term revenue.

Plus, Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman provides a deeper look at the NRA’s membership situation. Dues have fallen by half since 2018. Membership has continually declined since then. The NRA’s internal accounting contradicts its public claim it reached 6 million members in that year. Instead, it was below 5.5 million at its peak and is now closer to 4.75 million.

I also explain why the NRA’s financial situation continues to matter so much. Not just for NRA members and staff, but for everyone who cares about guns. The group continues to loom large over the gun-rights fight in America by dwarfing most other groups combined.

You can listen to the full podcast on your favorite app or by clicking here.

The video podcast is also available on our YouTube channel.


A guns and several ammunition magazines pictured at a shooting range
A guns and several ammunition magazines pictured at a shooting range / Stephen Gutowski

Washington Senate Passes Ammo Magazine Ban
By Jake Fogleman

After several years of failed attempts, lawmakers in Washington state have started to move a magazine capacity restriction bill.

During a late Wednesday night vote, Democrats in the state Senate voted to pass Senate Bill 5078 on a 28-20 vote. The bill would prohibit the manufacture, distribution, and sale of magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds. Supporters argued the restriction will prevent crime.

“My community lost three beautiful souls to a mass shooter nearly six years ago,” Sen. Marko Liias (D.), the bill’s sponsor, said in a statement. “These tragedies are all too common in America, but they can be prevented through reasonable gun safety legislation. The only use for large-capacity magazines is to inflict the maximum amount of injury in the shortest amount of time, which makes them a favored tool for mass shooters.”

Click here to read more.


Seal of the United States Air Force.
The seal of the United States Air Force / Photo by Levi Meir Clancy on Unsplash

Federal Court Orders Air Force to Pay $230 Million to Texas Church Shooting Victims
By Jake Fogleman

The U.S. Air Force has been found partially liable for the 2017 shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Judge Xavier Rodriguez of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas awarded $230 million in damages after determining the Air Force “failed to exercise reasonable care” when it did not submit the gunman’s criminal record to the FBI. The shooter’s extensive criminal history meant he was prohibited from owning a gun, but the Air Force’s negligence meant he was able to pass a background check to buy one anyway.

“The losses and pain these families have experienced is immeasurable,” Judge Rodriguez wrote in a ruling handed down on Monday. “Our civil justice system only allows us to rectify these kinds of losses through money damages.”

Click here to continue reading.


NRA Publications Website / Screenshot
NRA Publications Website / Screenshot

The State of the NRA’s Publications [Member Exclusive]
By Jake Fogleman

The financial state of the NRA’s publications made a modest improvement from 2020 to 2021. However, the improvement was not enough to change the fact that they continue to operate at a significant loss.

The group’s internal financial report obtained by The Reload showed its overall publications revenue was approximately $13.4 million as of August 2021. That represents an improvement of roughly $753,000 from the same time the previous year. In addition to boosting revenue, the group also managed to slash spending on its publications by nearly a million dollars from the year prior.

Publications offered to members may be considered a service provided by the NRA, but the group at least attempts to offset the cost of providing them. It’s not clear how the group judges a publication’s performance, though. Amy Hunter, an NRA spokesperson, told The Reload the group believes the overall picture presented by the internal financial report was good.

“Naturally, the NRA is not inclined to discuss non-public business strategies with those outside the organization,” she said in a statement this week. “In any event, the NRA report is, as objective observers agree, very positive.”

But while the group’s publication performance improved on net by roughly $1.75 million year-over-year, the overall picture was less positive.

If you’re already a Reload member, click here to read more. If not, make sure you pick up a membership today! Your purchase will help fund our pursuit of sober, serious firearms reporting and analysis. It’ll also get you exclusive access to dozens of pieces like this one.


Outside The Reload

Missouri Supreme Court weighs law against federal gun rules | AP News | By Summer Ballentine

Gun Shop Inside Residential Home At Center Of Neighborhood Dispute | CBS 4 Denver | By Karen Morfitt

Why a High-Ranking FBI Attorney Is Pushing ‘Unbelievable’ Junk Science on Guns | The Daily Beast | By Radley Balko

Fairfax County School Board moves to expand ban on firearms, citing rise in threats of violence | FFX Now | By Angela Woolsey

Violence Against Women Act drops gun provisions | Bearing Arms | By Tom Knighton

Vermont Legislature sends firearm background check bill to Governor | VT Digger | By Ethan Weinstein


That’s it for this week in guns.

If you want to hear my analysis of these stories and more, make sure you grab a Reload membership to get the exclusive analysis newsletter every Sunday!

I’ll see you all next week.

Thanks,
Stephen Gutowski
Founder
The Reload

Join For Sober, Serious Firearms Reporting & Analysis

Free Weekly Newsletter

Get the most important gun news

Monthly
$10/Month
  • Weekly News & Analysis Newsletters
  • Access to Exclusive Posts
  • Early Access to the Podcast
  • Commenting Privileges
  • Exclusive Question & Answer Sessions
Buy Now
Lifetime
$1000
  • Access to Exclusive Shooting Events
  • Weekly News & Analysis Newsletters
  • Access to Exclusive Posts
  • Early Access to the Podcast
  • Commenting Privileges
  • Exclusive Question & Answer Sessions
Buy Now
Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Share

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Comments From Reload Members

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Menu

Get your copy of our FREE weekly newsletter!