Will No Compromise Gun Organizations be Next?
The National Rifle Association is facing an unprecedented threat from anti-gun forces.
The Trace reported on some of the NRA’s latest fundraising efforts where Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre “warned that liberal regulators were threatening to destroy the organization.”
LaPierre wrote “We’re facing an attack that’s unprecedented not just in the history of the NRA but in the entire history of our country.”
The NRA Executive Vice President continued “The Second Amendment cannot survive without the NRA, and the NRA cannot survive without your help right now.”
This is in reference to the state of New York’s current campaign to shutdown some of the NRA’s insurance services.
LaPierre’s assertions have validity since the NRA has “run annual deficits of as much as $40 million.” Such financial troubles have seen the NRA become “mainly a media company, promoting a lifestyle built around loving guns and hating anyone who might take them away.”
Particularly interesting is Ackerman McQueen, a public-relations firm out of Oklahoma, and its involvement in cultivating the NRA’s brand. Many NRA figures such as Dana Loesch and Oliver North have received considerable payments from this firm.
However, this relationship has been a double-edged sword according to Mike Spies of The Trace. Spies claims that “a small group of NRA executives, contractors, and vendors has extracted hundreds of millions of dollars from the nonprofit’s budget, through gratuitous payments, sweetheart deals, and opaque financial arrangements.”
According to a memo from a senior NRA employee, the NRA workplace has been “distinguished by secrecy, self-dealing, and greed, whose leaders have encouraged disastrous business ventures and questionable partnerships, and have marginalized those who object.”
In 2017, when the NRA made its tax filings public, the organization has been placed under considerable scrutiny.
Marc Owens, who was the head of the Internal Revenue Service division that oversees tax-exempt enterprises, claims that the “litany of red flags is just extraordinary” after reviewing the NRA’s tax filings. Owens continued, “The materials reflect one of the broadest arrays of likely transgressions that I’ve ever seen. There is a tremendous range of what appears to be the misuse of assets for the benefit of certain vendors and people in control.”
Owens then concluded, “Those facts, if confirmed, could lead to the revocation of the NRA’s tax-exempt status”, effectively putting the organization’s existence in peril.
The NRA’s Carry Guard program has also earned it considerable criticism in recent times. This liability insurance program protects NRA members who use their firearms in self-defense.
Many on the anti-gun Left have derided this program as “murder insurance” and are now targeting it via financial regulations.
The Parkland shooting of 2018 saw numerous states pass draconian forms of gun control, with New York being one of those states.
In the wake of the Parkland shooting, the State Department of Financial Services in New York has specifically targeted Carry Guard and declared that it “could no longer be sold in the state.”
This has prompted the NRA to take the DFS and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to court.
It remains to be seen how this decision will turn out, but the NRA is facing an unprecedented threat from anti-gunners.
Many gun owners on the no compromise side of the aisle have criticized NRA for not taking hardline stances in favor of fully restoring gun rights. BLP reported on NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox defending red flag gun confiscation legislation a year ago.
However, this recent episode of the New York State government trying to punish the NRA shows the lengths the anti-gun Left will take to put the clamps on pro-gun organizations. They are willing to weaponize the U.S.’s flawed tax system as a means of shutting down conservative groups. If the NRA goes down, other organizations such as GOA and NAGR will likely be in their crosshairs.
Democrats Introduce Expanded Background Check Legislation
Democrats are going to implement a background check which targets “extremism.”
Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and California Congressman Mike Thompson brought forward legislation on March 2, 2021 that aims to broaden the federal background check system on firearms sales, according to a report by The Hill.
Under The Background Check Expansion Act, gun sales and purchases between all unlicensed sellers and buyers would be subject to a mandatory background check. The background checks would not be applicable for law enforcement officers, lending out firearms for the purpose of hunting, temporary transfers for self-defense, or family members gifting a firearm.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and 43 Senate Democrats have co-sponsored this bill. Thompson, who is the chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, reintroduced this legislation in the U.S. House
“For years, the bipartisan House-passed background checks bill languished in the Senate under Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Now, with Senate Democrats in the Majority, we have the opportunity to act on this overwhelmingly popular, lifesaving legislation to protect American communities,” Schumer declared in a press release.
According to a CBS News report, President Joe Biden has repeatedly called on Congress to pass stiffer gun control laws. This gun control bill will not pass so easily given how it will need 10 Republican senators to vote in favor of it.
Against the backdrop of the January 6 storming of the Capitol, such a background check will likely feature provisions that target so-called “extremists.” The ruling class has routinely lumped average gun owners with domestic extremists and will most certainly use recent events to justify encroachments on people’s right to bear arms.
Biden is a veteran of the gun control movement, as evidenced by his sponsorship of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 and the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. With Democrats in control of all branches of the federal government, they will certainly move to pass gun control. However, their success is not guaranteed due to moderate Democrats like Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia Joe Manchin not being completely receptive to radical gun control that could alienate them from their more right-wing constituents.
Nevertheless, the Left has shown that it’s willing to act regardless of the political context. Keeping this in mind, gun owners must be ready to beat back any kind of gun control coming from D.C. Such fights will allow the Right to rebuild its forces and make a splash in the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential race.
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