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Update on the NRA Board meeting after the NRAAM
LaPierre relected as NRA EVP
On Sunday afternoon, I attended the Audit committee meeting. The only item on the agenda was related party transactions. Bill Brewer attended. After calling the roll, they went into executive session, and I had to depart. For what was billed as “going to be the shortest meeting on record,” I didn't see them exit the meeting for several hours.
One item from other conversations was that the discovery deadline for the NYAG matter is November 1. The NY trial will likely not happen until after the next NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis in 2023. This timing will limit the NRA’s influence in the upcoming midterm elections.
Attendance at the board meeting was higher than any I’ve attended in the past three years, with 62 of the 76 board members present. The only regular NRA members present other than NRA staff, and family members of board directors were former NRA director Rocky Marshall, Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms, and myself. Media present outside the room were Steve Gutowski of The Reload and Will Van Sant of The Trace.
After the routine approval of the agenda, the awarding of the Law Enforcement Officer of the year, swearing-in of newly elected directors and re-elected directors, and catching up for Kim Rhode and Buz Mills, we got to the officer reports.
All of the officers thanked the staff for a great event. President Cotton reported that attendance for this year's convention was 61,254. As noted in a tweet by Steve Gutowski, this is the lowest attendance since 2006. Cotton also provided an update on the Headquarters relocation committee. The feasibility study is completed with 6-7 potential sites with a strong favorite in the North Texas area. “Will it work? Yes. Where? Northern Texas. Is it worth the move? That is what the committee is doing now.”
EVP LaPierre said that he spoke to a family from Uvalde, TX. He said that the number 1 reason people are not joining the NRA are gas prices and inflation.
I over heard conversations at the meeting where board members stated that membership is the lowest in a decade, that net membership has been down an average of 27,000 per month for the past year and that membership renewals are down 45%. It seems like NRA staff aren’t telling LaPierre the number of members that say “nothing to the NRA until LaPierrre is gone.”
Joe DeBergalis noted that attendance at the Great American Outdoor show this year was about 165,000 and had about 1,000 exhibitors. Board member Sandy Froman asked Joe if we could increase resources to the School Shield program. DeBergalis said that he would look at that in light of the budget. DeBergalis also said that they were looking to expand the program into a “Community Shield” program that would include shopping malls and places of worship. Looking at the 2021 annual report, it shows that the NRA expenditures for the School Shield program were only $13,000.00, hardly a material effort.
Jason Ouimet said that Steve Dettelbach, the ATF director nominee, will likely be approved. He believes that the filibuster will remain. He also claimed NRA credit for the recent preemption wins in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Secretary Frazer said that the next board meeting will be at 9am September 17 at the Hyatt in Tysons Corner VA.
Treasurer Rowling said that the annual report is available to all members and that they are “managing to contingencies.” I’ve been in senior management long enough to translate what that likely means is the NRA is falling well below forecasted revenues and are having to institute further cost reductions to keep up the funding level needed to support the Brewer lawyers. Note that legal fees are the single largest expenditure as noted on page 10 of the NRA annual report.
For the annual officer elections, director Phil Journey nominated Lt. Col Allen West as EVP challenging Wayne LaPierre. Tallies of the secret ballot were 54 for LaPierre, 1 for West and 7 directors did not cast a vote so LaPierre was reelected as EVP. All other officers, Cotton, Lee, Coy, Frazer, and Rowling, were unopposed and were reelected.
The meeting went into executive session and we had to depart. We heard the election results after the meeting adjourned.
I am the only non-elected Director candidate so I should be asked to fill any vacancies on the Board from death or resignation. I stand ready to serve.