Podcast: NRA Reformer Reacts to New Leadership

This week, we’re talking to one of the men who led the effort to reform the NRA from within.

Phillip Journey has been an outspoken critic of the corruption that unfolded at the gun group during Wayne LaPierre’s tenure, and he’s been trying to fix the problems from within for nearly half a decade now. That work appears to be coming to fruition now. He and other reformers propelled alternative candidates to three of the NRA’s top four leadership positions last Monday, including LaPierre’s old position.

Journey expressed optimism about the outcome of the leadership elections. He believes the NRA has a real chance to turn itself around and avoid a government-appointed monitor in the second half of its New York corruption trial. Although, he also admitted he doesn’t have direct say over how exactly the group will move forward in a number of areas.

He also cautioned that the NRA doesn’t have a ton of time to work with. The group’s financials are worsening, and those woes even forced it to sell off $44 million in assets at the beginning of the year. Journey urged people to help the organization through the downturn so reformers could have a chance to enact their planned changes.

You can listen to the show on your favorite podcasting app or by clicking here. Video of the episode is available on our YouTube channel. An auto-generated transcript is here. Reload Members get access on Sunday, as always. Everyone else can listen on Monday.

On the news update, contributing writer Jake Fogleman and I discuss my time in Dallas covering the 2024 NRA Annual Meeting, where reformers had major success in getting their preferred candidates into top leadership positions. We also discuss what the leadership turnover says about the group’s ability to reform itself moving forward, especially in light of its latest financial reports showing continued budget and fundraising woes. Plus, we cover the Supreme Court’s decision not to take up a case on Maryland’s assault weapon ban and why there’s a good shot a conservative justice will issue the majority opinion on bump stocks. Audio is here. Video is here.

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


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

Comments From Reload Members

5 Responses

  1. It is encouraging that the reformers won seats on the NRA Board. I am still not going to expend any energy to the NRA where there are several factors that will inhibit real change. The first factor is the Executive Board that can act when the Board of Directors is not in session. The second factor, mathematically, is 5 reformers out of a massive size Board of 76 means 6.6% of reformers will likely not have much impact. I may be wrong in my opinion, but the loss on electing the NRA President is a prime example. I will have a wait and see stance even though I appear to have a somewhat negative attitude toward making any monetary contribution to the NRA.

    All in all, I appreciate your reporting on this. You have been fair in your presentation of the NRA events. I have just formed my own opinion.

  2. Thank you, The Reload. Yeah, I don’t see me contributing any more money until they:

    1. Drastically shrink the BoD to about 9 to 11 members or so.
    2. Radically revise the bylaws so that another LaPierre does not happen again.
    3. Attack and lead the charge to #RepealTheNFA

    Only then I’ll resume giving to the ILA, the PVF again.

  3. Great interview, thanks for doing this. It was very satisfying to get Judge Journey’s insight on things. I kept checking the progress bar thinking, please don’t let this end soon. Thanks to you and him for taking your time with the discussion. Would of course love it if you could interview other board members (even existing or former ones!) and the new officers.

    Also: that graphic on the video, is that a cutting wheel or a welder at work there? Or left to the viewer’s interpretation? 😀

    1. Thanks! I think it’s a good idea to try and get some more NRA officials on the show down the line as this reform plays out. I think the graphic is leaving things up to the imagination, but I’ll have to ask our editor lol.

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