Newsletter: NRA Cancels Annual Meeting After Big Companies Back Out, and Biden Bans Russian Bullets

Before I begin this week, I want to take a moment to offer up a prayer for the thirteen American service members as well as the dozens of Afghan civilians who were killed by a terror attack in Kabul on Thursday. May they find peace and their loved ones find comfort. And may we all find a way through this horror.

There were several big developments in the gun world this week. None were bigger than the NRA canceling their Annual Meeting. I break down why it happened in a free report and then what that means for the future of the group in a member-exclusive piece.

We also saw a new ammo importation ban from the Biden Administration this week. And how that will immediately impact the ongoing ammo shortage. Plus, North Carolina’s legislature passes pistol-permit purchase repeal and the mayor of San Jose doubles down on his gun insurance mandate and gun confiscation.

And National African American Gun Association President Philip Smith joined me on the podcast to talk about Biden’s ATF nominee and the recent rise in Black gun ownership.

NRA Headquarters
NRA Headquarters / Stephen Gutowski

NRA Cancels Annual Meeting
By Stephen Gutowski

Houston, we have a problem.

The National Rifle Association canceled its Annual Meeting on Tuesday. The announcement comes just a week before the event was set to begin. The gun-rights group said the rising Covid case count in the host city of Houston, Texas was the motivation behind its decision to cancel.

“Due to concern over the safety of our NRA family and community, we regret to inform you that we have decided to cancel the 2021 Annual Meeting & Exhibits,” the NRA said in a statement. “This cancellation applies to all events and meetings that were scheduled in Houston.”

The news comes after news that major gun makers, including Benelli, were backing out of the event and a report some were pressuring them to cancel. It represents another setback in a long line for the NRA since allegations executives such as CEO Wayne LaPierre diverted money towards lavish personal expenses became public in 2019. The meeting’s cancelation will likely hurt the organization’s already strained finances as the conference is traditionally its greatest single fundraiser of the year.

Click here to read more.

NRA ad
An ad to join the NRA / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: What the NRA Canceling Their Annual Meeting Means for the Gun Group [Member Exclusive]
By Stephen Gutowski

The NRA hit yet another roadblock this week when it was forced to cancel its Annual Meeting.

The announcement came just a week before tens of thousands of NRA members were set to descend on Houston, Texas, to attend the 150th-anniversary meeting. It came after concerns started to mount over the surge of Covid cases in the state. And it’s bad news for the group’s finances.

The Annual Meeting is the biggest fundraising event of the year for the NRA. It had to cancel last year’s event. Now this year’s is down the drain, too, after it had already booked the biggest convention center in Houston and planned the whole event.

So, the group is not only missing out on the membership and merchandise sales it would have had, but it will likely take a substantial hit for the last-minute cancelations.

That’s the kind of financial hit it can’t really afford either. Leaked financial documents show the NRA’s income cratered in 2020 while its legal expenses skyrocketed. After breaking ties with outside marketing firm Ackerman McQueen in 2019, the group has essentially moved the $40 million it was spending on them into the accounts of Brewer Attorneys.

Reload members can read the entire piece here. If you’re not yet a member, join now to access this and other exclusive posts!

Podcast: National African American Gun Association President Philip Smith on Biden’s ATF Nominee David Chipman
By Stephen Gutowski

This week, I’m joined by Philip Smith who is the head of the National African American Gun Association.

He talks about President Joe Biden’s (D.) nominee to head the ATF, David Chipman, and the allegations of racism levied against him by former agents. Smith says Chipman is the wrong man for the job and talks about why the acting director is a better pick.

Smith also responds to recent assertions that the Second Amendment itself is the result of racism. He also discusses the group’s Supreme Court brief calling for the end of New York’s restrictive “may-issue” concealed carry law due to the historically racist use of such laws. And he gives an update on the group’s growth as well as the growth in black gun ownership over the past year.

Plus, I give an update on the horrific situation in Afghanistan including new gun confiscation efforts by the Taliban. And The Reload‘s newest contributing writer Jake Fogleman stops by to introduce himself!

You can listen to the full podcast here.

You can also watch the podcast here.

Russian-made ammunition sits on the shelf in a gun store
Russian-made ammunition sits on the shelf in a gun store / Stephen Gutowski

Biden Bans Russian Ammo Amid Continuing Shortage
By Stephen Gutowski

Americans, already facing an ammo shortage, will soon no longer be able to purchase Russian-made ammunition.

The Biden Administration announced on Friday it would stop approving new permits to import Russian-made ammo and guns. The ban will go into effect on September 7th, 2021. It is part of a new round of sanctions against the Russian government over its poisoning and imprisoning of dissident Aleksey Navalny.

“Our actions today – exercised by the U.S. Departments of State, the Treasury, Justice and Commerce – send a clear signal that there will be no impunity for the use of chemical weapons, including for the individuals and organizations involved,” Ned Price, a spokesman for the State Department, said in a statement. “Any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and contravenes international norms. The United States calls upon Russia to comply with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention.”

The move comes just a few months after domestic ammunition manufacturers warned the ongoing shortage facing Americans could stretch out for years.

To continue reading, click here.

A nearly empty Walmart ammunition shelf from May 2021
A nearly empty Walmart ammunition shelf from May 2021 / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: How Biden’s Russian-Ammo Ban Will Further Strain Supply Right Away [Member Exclusive]
By Stephen Gutowski

On Friday, the Biden Administration announced it would no longer grant permits to import Russian-made guns and ammo.

The administration said the sanctions are tied to the poisoning and jailing of dissident Aleksey Navalny. The rule will deny all future importation permits but won’t cancel those already operating. Some of the current permits could last for another year or two.

So, why does this matter today if some companies can still import Russian ammo for another year or longer?

Well, the reality is…

Reload members can read the entire piece hereIf you’re not yet a member, join now to access this and other exclusive posts!

San Jose Mayor Says Insurance Mandate Would Make it Easier for Police to Seize Guns
By Jake Fogleman

Gun confiscation is not off the table in San Jose, California.

On a podcast appearance with the L.A. Times Monday morning, Mayor Sam Liccardo reiterated his support for the city’s recently approved gun control ordinances. The ordinances will require gun owners to purchase liability insurance and pay an annual fee to cover the public costs of gun violence.

Noncompliance with these new ordinances would be grounds for confiscation, according to Liccardo.

“We didn’t want to criminalize the failure to get insurance,” Liccardo said. “But there would be fines and there would be the ability for, most importantly I think, the police to seize guns.”

Click here to get the full article.

Gun-control supporters
Gun-control supporters at the March For Our LIves event in Washington, D.C. on March 24th. 2018 / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: The Future Battleground Over Gun Policy
By Jake Fogleman

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D.) doubling down on his city’s unprecedented gun-control ordinances this week was notable for more than just his ringing endorsement of gun confiscation. His comments on local action were a bellwether for what’s likely to be the future arena for gun policy.

“Congress has completely abdicated its responsibility over this entire area,” Liccardo said in an L.A. Times podcast appearance on Monday. “Inevitably you’re going to see mayors and local officials stepping up to say, ‘Look if you guys aren’t going to do something to protect my residents, I’m [going to].’ I’ve got a lot of other mayors throughout the country that email me and call me saying ‘Tell me how it goes we want to jump in.’”

The city’s ambitious pursuit of these novel gun-control measures, along with other recent developments across the country, make it clear: The future of gun policy is localism.

Click here to read the full piece.

Customers wait in line outside of Hudson's Outfitters & Firearms in Pottstown, Pennsylvania on March 18, 2020
Customers wait in line outside of Hudson’s Outfitters & Firearms in Pottstown, Pennsylvania on March 18, 2020 / Stephen Gutowski

Study: 2020 Gun Sales Not Linked to Rise in Gun Crime
By Jake Fogleman

The violent crime spike in 2020 was not fueled by increased gun sales, according to a new study.

Researchers from the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis looked at monthly firearm purchasing data and gun violence rates to determine if there was a relationship between the two during the early months of the pandemic. They found “no association between state-level excess firearm purchasing and non-domestic firearm violence.”

“Results from the present study generally do not support an association between an acute pandemic-related increase in firearm purchasing and firearm violence at the state level,” the authors concluded.

The findings may complicate efforts by President Joe Biden (D.) to institute new gun-control measures.

Click here for the full story.

gun and target
Gun and target / Stephen Gutowski

North Carolina Passes Pistol-Purchase Permit Repeal
By Jake Fogleman

It may soon be easier for North Carolinians to buy handguns.

The North Carolina General Assembly sent House Bill 398 to Governor Roy Cooper (D.) on Friday. The bill seeks to repeal the state’s 102-year-old law requiring residents to obtain a permit to purchase a handgun from their local sheriff. Instead, purchases would be subject to a standard National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check.

The current process requires applicants to appear in person to their local sheriff with a government ID, pay a fee, undergo a background check, and provide a valid reason for owning a pistol. Sheriffs are granted discretion in determining whether the applicant is of good moral character. The law requires a permit to be granted or denied within 14 days of a submitted application.

The impetus for the reform comes, in part, from the decision of some Sheriff’s offices to delay the processing of permit applications over the course of the pandemic. Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker (D.) shut down all processing of new pistol permit applications during the early days of the pandemic last year, in the midst of unprecedented demand. He was forced to reopen the process after being sued by gun-rights organizations. A similar lawsuit was filed earlier this month against Mecklenburg County sheriff Garry McFadden (D.) after residents complained of seven-month delays in processing their permit applications.

Click here to read more.

Outside The Reload

Judge won’t force Minnesota State Fair to let visitors bring guns as lawsuit proceeds | Minnesota Reformer | By Max Nesterak

Al Capone’s favorite gun, personal items head to auction | The Associated Press | By Olga Rodriguez

New Leak Shows ATF is Appointing Democrat Donor to Top Lawyer Position | Ammoland | By John Crump

NYC Playing Legal Games With Gun License Applications | Bearing Arms | By Cam Edwards 

NYPD to Replace Triggers on Service Pistols | NY Daily News | By Rocco Parascandola

How American Weapons Find Their Way to International Criminal Organizations | The Dispatch | By Emanuele Ottolenghi 

That’s it for this week in guns.

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

I’ll see you all next week.

Stephen Gutowski
The Reload

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