Newsletter: NRA Reschedules Oversight Meetings as Legal Battle Heats Up

NRA members and directors are headed to Charlotte, North Carolina in just over a week. There they’ll discuss New York Attorney General Letitia James (D.) ramping up her legal attack on the group. Her new 187-page filing represents a real threat to the existence of the group moving forward.

They may also discuss the NRA’s latest legal filing which puts at least some distance between the group and CEO Wayne LaPierre. I explain what’s going on with that, and what it means for the future of the biggest gun group in the country.

The Supreme Court’s gun-carry case is also heating up. The case moved one step closer to oral arguments this week as the deadline to file amicus briefs closed and dozens of supporters of New York’s restrictive law, including big players like the ACLU and the federal government, filed their arguments.

And more setbacks for gun owners in California with a new law even putting their personal information at risk. Plus, National Review’s Jim Geraghty talks about President Biden’s failed ATF nomination and the NRA turmoil on the podcast!

2019 NRA Leadership Forum
The 2019 NRA Leadership Forum in Indianapolis, Indiana / Stephen Gutowski

NRA Reschedules Oversight Meetings as New York Ramps Up Legal Attack
By Stephen Gutowski

National Rifle Association members and directors will have another opportunity to provide input on the group’s direction in just over a week.

The gun-rights group will hold its members’ meeting and a meeting of the Board of Directors on October 2nd in Charlotte, North Carolina. It will hold both at the Sheraton & Le Meridien Charlotte Hotel Complex, according to the NRA’s website.

“Join NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, NRA-ILA Executive Director Jason Ouimet and the other NRA officers for the Annual Members Meeting as they share the vision for NRA going forward,” a message on the site said.

The meetings come just a month after the NRA canceled its full annual meeting in Texas where they were initially scheduled to be held. The rescheduled meetings will allow NRA members and directors to provide feedback on the direction of the organization. It also presents the first opportunity for them to discuss new allegations levied against it just a few weeks ago by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D.). If the group cannot convince a New York court either the allegations are false, or it has made sufficient reforms to combat internal corruption, it faces the real possibility it will be shut down.

The accusations against NRA executives led the members’ meeting at the group’s last full-scale Annual Meeting to erupt into a shouting match between reformist members and members of the Board who stand by LaPierre. A resolution calling for LaPierre and leading members of the Board to step down from that 2019 meeting was referred to the Board after leadership managed to outvote the reformers. The Board did not adopt the resolution.

Click here to read more.

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre attends the 2019 members' meeting
NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre attends the 2019 members’ meeting / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: Why Did the NRA Distance Itself From Wayne LaPierre in Court This Week? [Member Exclusive]
By Stephen Gutowski

Lawyers for the NRA broached a new argument in its dissolution case this week.

“Nowhere does the Amended Complaint allege that the purported looting and self-dealing allegedly engaged in by the individual defendants furthered the NRA’s business,” the NRA said in a filing. “Nowhere does the NYAG explain how the alleged false financial filings, which were not alleged to have been reviewed or approved by the Board, advanced the NRA’s business by omitting portions of director income.”

That’s the first time there has been space between CEO Wayne LaPierre, who is one of the individual defendants in the case, and the NRA as an organization. The NRA’s lawyers essentially argue that the allegations that LaPierre and other executives used NRA money to fund luxurious trips and shopping sprees for themselves or their family members don’t directly implicate the organization. So, even if the court finds the executives broke the law, it shouldn’t hold the NRA responsible.

In fact, the group goes further than that. The NRA’s filing argues that, if the allegations are true, the NRA itself is the actual victim in the case.

“Even if the allegations against current and former executives are taken as true (as they must be, for purposes of this Motion), the NRA and its Board would be the victims of the alleged wrongdoing—not perpetrators,” the group said in the filing. “Thus, no provision of New York law justifies punishing the NRA or its members.”

If you’re a member, click here to read the whole piece. If not, join today!

Podcast: National Review’s Jim Geraghty on NRA Turmoil, and Fallout From Biden’s Failed ATF Nomination
By Stephen Gutowski

his week, I spoke with National Review’s Senior Political Correspondent Jim Geraghty. As you might gather from his title, Jim has a lot of experience in covering and analyzing politics. He’s also spent a good amount of time covering gun politics and, in particular, the National Rifle Association.

That’s why I wanted to have him on to discuss the failure of President Joe Biden’s ATF Director nomination. Jim also provides some key insight into what will likely come next in President Biden’s efforts to install a director as well as his pursuit of new gun-control measures.

Jim also gave us his take on what’s going on with the NRA and where the corruption charges levied against it in New York are headed.

Plus, Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman and I talk about the latest estimates on how many new gun owners have been created this year and what that means for the long-term future of guns in America. And we discuss the last two installments of my exclusive, in-depth interview with gun activist Rob Pincus.

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

You can also watch the video podcast on The Reload‘s YouTube channel.

Pistols on display at a gun store
Pistols on display at a gun store / Stephen Gutowski

New California Law Allows the Release of Gun Owners’ Personal Information
By Jake Fogelman

California gun owners will soon have their personal information released to gun-violence researchers across the country.

Governor Gavin Newsom (D.) signed Assembly Bill 173 into law on Thursday. The bill requires the California Department of Justice to supply information identifying firearm and ammunition purchasers to a newly created research center at the University of California Davis or any other university that requests them. The information includes details such as the buyer’s name, address, date of birth, what they purchased, when and where they bought it, and more.

“This bill would name the center for research into firearm-related violence the California Firearm Violence Research Center at UC Davis,” the bill’s text reads. “The bill would generally require that the information above be made available to the center and researchers affiliated with the center, and, at the department’s discretion, to any other nonprofit bona fide research institution accredited by the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, as specified, for the study of the prevention of violence.”

California already records all gun and ammunition transactions performed by a licensed dealer in a state registry. This law expands that level of record-keeping by requiring the registration of “firearm precursor parts.” It then makes all registry data available to researchers.

Click here to read the full piece.

The sun rises over the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.
The sun rises over the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. / Stephen Gutowski

Dozens of Supreme Court Briefs Supporting Gun-Carry Restrictions Come In as Submissions Close
By Jake Fogleman

Gun-control supporters have made their argument to the High Court on one of the biggest gun cases in a generation.

Political nonprofits, lawyer groups, and government officials filed more than 30 different briefs with the Supreme Court on Tuesday in support of upholding New York’s gun-carry law. The flood of briefs came at the deadline for supporters of the restrictive gun-carry law to submit amicus briefs.

The briefs seek to persuade members of the Supreme Court before oral arguments begin in NYSRPA v. Bruen. The case will decide if New York’s “may-issue” law, which gives officials broad discretion in determining who has “proper cause” to carry a gun in public, violates the Constitution. It will be the first time the Supreme Court has decided whether—or how far—Second Amendment protections extend beyond the home.

The outcome of the case could produce far-reaching consequences for the right to carry a firearm across the country. If the Supreme Court decides to strike down New York’s restrictive law, it could threaten the restrictive gun-carry laws in the seven other states with may-issue permitting. While 42 states and Washington, D.C., have gun-carry laws that remove subjective determinations by officials from the process, the states with laws similar to the one in New York are home to about a quarter of the American populace.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), American Bar Association (ABA), the NAACP, and the Biden administration were among those who filed amicus briefs in support of legal restrictions on public carry.

Click here to continue reading.

The United States Capitol Building on a sunny day in Washington, D.C.
The United States Capitol Building on a sunny day in Washington, D.C. / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: How Section 230 Reform Is Just the Latest Attempt to Impose Civil Liability On the Gun Industry [Member Exclusive]
By Jake Fogleman

Section 230, the legislative bugaboo of Republicans and Democrats alike, has become entangled with gun control.

Senate Bill 2725 was officially introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) this week. Entitled the Accountability for Online Firearms Marketplaces Act of 2021, the bill would remove Section 230 protections for any online service that facilitates transactions of firearms or firearm accessories, hosts listings of private person-to-person sales, or that posts 3D-gun files or instructions on how to complete unfinished receivers.

Debate surrounding Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act is most notably associated with social media, with opponents across the political spectrum accusing it of either providing legal cover for big tech companies to censor conservatives or to spread misinformation, depending on who you ask.

What the provision actually says is “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” In other words, online service providers aren’t liable for third-party content posted on their websites just because they might moderate it.

According to the sponsors of the bill, the attempt to remove this civil liability shield from online firearms marketplaces is a way to prevent people prohibited from owning a firearm from obtaining them online.

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

An unfinished AR-15 lower receiver
An unfinished AR-15 lower receiver / PB Firearms

San Diego Outlaws Unfinished Gun Parts
By Jake Fogelman

Another California city has gone on the offensive against “ghost guns.”

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria signed an ordinance on Thursday banning the possession and sale of “ghost guns.” The rule, entitled Eliminate Non-serialized Untraceable Firearm (ENUF), defines the items as unfinished frames and receivers and non-serialized firearms.

“San Diego has seen a dramatic increase in gun violence across our city using ghost guns,” Mayor Gloria said in a press release. “These guns are untraceable and can end up in the hands of people prohibited from having firearms making them a threat to public safety. Addressing the proliferation of ghost guns aligns with my commitment to have San Diego lead on gun violence prevention.”

The new ordinance comes when other major California cities have made a push to ban “ghost guns.” Both San Francisco and Los Angeles have taken similar steps in recent months.

It also comes as unfinished gun parts have become the center of the national debate over guns. President Joe Biden (D.) is pushing to unilaterally expand the ATF’s power to regulate unfinished frames and receivers by redefining what constitutes a firearm through federal rulemaking. His proposal received nearly 300,000 public comments, the majority of which were against the idea.

Click here to read more.

Outside The Reload

Rise in DC concealed carry permits | Fox 5 DC | By Stephanie Ramirez

Virginia AG Leans In To Gun Control Ahead Of Election | Bearing Arms | By Cam Edwards

Vermont AFL-CIO Says No To Gun Control | Bearing Arms | By Cam Edwards

Clay Target Superstar Reanna Frauens | Shooting Sports USA | By Dana Farrell

Strapped: Black Women Are Becoming Registered Gun Owners At An Incredible Rate | Yahoo Life | By Shannon Dawson

A gun was stolen from a small shop in Wisconsin. Officials have linked it to 27 shootings in Chicago. | The Chicago Tribune | By Jeremy Gorner, Annie Sweeney and Rosemary Sobol

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.

Stephen Gutowski
The Reload

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