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NRA Verdict: Guilty. What Next?



The jury deliberated for five days, and on Friday evening, rendered its verdict: Guilty.

Well, not exactly. This wasn’t a criminal trial … although there may be a couple of those coming down the pike for Wayne LaPierre and Woody Phillips, the longtime Executive Vice President of the NRA and his trusty CFO. What the six-person jury found was that Wayne, Woody, and the NRA were liable for the gross mismanagement of funds totaling in the tens of millions. The jury ordered Wayne and Woody to pony up a total of $6.4 million dollars to be returned to the NRA coffers.

What’s fun about that number is that it’s divided roughly 60/40. Wayne was found to have misappropriated 5.4 million, but to have already returned 1.5 million to the NRA, leaving him with 4.4 mil to repay. Woody was only told to repay $2 million, despite the fact that NY AG Letitia James was able to prove that he arranged for his girlfriend to receive 1.36 million via a no-show, no-work contract with the NRA. It seems unlikely to this writer that the graft ended with that contract.

Furthermore, that $6.4 million number is off. WAY off. Off by a factor of 10. The NRA wasted $64 million over three years alone. By contrast, the organization spent roughly $30 million helping to elect Donald Trump in 2016.

So what happens now?

As far as Wayne and Woody go, it’s hard to say whether there will be any additional, criminal prosecution coming to them in the future. This was a civil trial, and the standards of proof are lower for civil trials than for criminal ones.

That said, Woody Phillips invoked the Fifth Amendment so often that the trial transcript of his testimony is almost unreadable. Invoking the Fifth is a protected American right and it doesn’t mean the person committed a crime … but, boy there does appear to be quite a mountain of evidence of criminal activity, doesn’t it? But that’s just two men. What happens to the 152-year-old organization, to America’s oldest and largest civil-rights watchdog?

Well, the NRA as an organization was also on the list of named defendants. Wayne LaPierre, its longtime CEO, stepped down on the eve of the trial (literally!) in what appears to be an attempt to distance the NRA from him. (This writer observes that the tactic might have been effective had it happened, oh, three years ago, when the organization declared bankruptcy.) The tactic–if that’s what it was–failed. The NRA was also found liable for what its leadership and its Board of Directors had done.

Now, there will be a bench trial. The good folks at NRA In Danger believe that it’s almost certain the the judge will order a court-appointed monitor for the NRA. Whether that will happen, whether the monitor will be an honorable, fair-minded person who will try to give the organization a better standing or not …? Well, that also remains to be seen. What you need to know is that the bench trial is unlikely to conclude before July. The 2024 elections will conclude in November. No sugar-coating it: This is terrible news for the Second Amendment community.

And if you have any questions about whether or not a court-appointed monitor might be better than what the NRA is doing right now, another quote from that linked NRA In Danger article above:

NRA “leadership” has issued a press release claiming victory! “Decision Validates NRA’s Position Regarding Wrongdoing by Certain Vendors and Insiders.” Certain vendors = people we bankrolled for 20 years, and have no intention of getting the money back. “Insiders” = LaPierre, who we defended for four years, and purged everyone (a president, a first VP, head of ILA, a dozen or so directors) who dared ask for him to be investigated.

Keep an eye on this space. We’re keeping an eye on theirs.




  1. Frank Bonthron

    April 1, 2024 at 5:12 pm

    Bring Olie North back as well as the board members that resigned, perhaps they could straighten up the mess, one thing is for sure they quit and they are honest.

  2. John V Mowrer

    April 1, 2024 at 3:01 pm

    I am an NRA Life Member and have been for a long time. It’s also been a long time since I have given a dime to NRA. The corruption has been obvious and I refuse to participate. My hope is this organization can be cleaned-up and the bad apples PROSICUTED for the crimes they have obviously committed. We shall see. Trust is a VERY hard thing to win back.

  3. Rusty Baillie

    February 27, 2024 at 3:49 pm

    Bad kids…….and a foul blow……
    But…….we still need a strong organization defending the 2nd Amendment. Perhaps now more than ever.

    I sincerely hope that the ILA – NRA can persuade us that they have cleaned house and can now be trusted as an organization.

  4. Joel Shapiro

    February 26, 2024 at 7:31 pm

    Notic the nra is a “non-profit “ for tax purposes. The organization does not have to produce a profit. Profits are now diverted to salaries and benefits for organization management. Much easier to hide abuse. Why are people in these so-called charitable or non profits allowed to pay themselves multimillion wages plus benefits? Why was La Pierre and others involved allowed to remain on board and paid, plus attorneys fees when their actions were against the nra organization?! Who knew about it and allowed it to continue for years. Where was the oversight?The nra should be suing those officers and board members who participated and allowed to steal from the organization for so long. NRA should have initiated the action and saved the reputation of the organization and not waited for the NY Attorney General to file charges, embarrassing the NRA and damaging 2A support. Follow the money. You will find where morality exists or not.

  5. Curt E Dorman

    February 26, 2024 at 5:55 pm

    I’m no fan of Ms James but I’m less of a fan of dishonesty/thievery. Glad the bastards got busted.

  6. Steve Ward

    February 26, 2024 at 5:00 pm

    I gave up on NRA years ago for the simple reason that they reneged on the sign up gifts. It became obvious to me that they were a black hole gobbling up money with no sense of shame. It’s sad to read just how corrupt Wayne and crew have been.

    • Greg McMinn

      February 27, 2024 at 9:41 am

      They did me the same way. Every time my membership was up for renewal, they promised all kinds of items and delivered nothing. I gave up on them years ago also. Sad how some members of the NRA act just like greedy politicians.

  7. Jeff

    February 26, 2024 at 4:05 pm

    I called the NRA to cancel my lifetime membership. They said I could not, without it in writing via letter. I immediatley canceled my bank card,and had them issue me a new one. I have contacted the NRA many times about W.L.Pierre. I finally had enough. Support GOA.

    • Darrell Skousen

      February 26, 2024 at 5:02 pm

      What a devistating dissapoinment these people are, is there anything in America that is not marred by greed and dishonesty a hideous indightment of people we should be able to Trust. It is unbelevable to me how far down the toilet our society has fallen is such a short time, who in Hell can an individual Trust in this country.
      It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that we are as a people are going to be in for a rough ride in the future, those who are not prepared will most likely die horrible deaths without a devine miracle.

    • Al Canino

      February 26, 2024 at 9:34 pm

      I don’t think om reading this right, you say “I immediatley canceled my bank card,and had them issue me a new one”.
      So you canceled and then you had them reissue a new one???

      • Rodger

        February 27, 2024 at 6:08 pm

        A new card will always have a new card number, therfore anyone with the old number cannot continue to charge!‼️


        March 2, 2024 at 3:26 pm

        I think he means that he bought a lifetime membership. But was paying it off over time.
        I did the $25/ month plan when I bought mine.

  8. Evelyn Sanders

    February 26, 2024 at 3:39 pm

    Can’t TRUST anyone, anymore, can we!!!???

    • David E Willson

      February 27, 2024 at 3:21 pm

      Because it’s not just the NRA, which I still fully support, but it would also include other charitable and religious organization, many of which must pay salaries from the only source they have.

      As far as the organization, board members have been trying for years to get Wayne in line. That the management has been “bad” does not mean the organization or membership is bad. Throughout the anti-gun/gun control attacks, the NRA has been a staunch supporter of our 2A Rights. They have worked with individual state organizations which, in California, has led to some wins in the courts. I am a life member of the NRA, GOA, CRPA, etc. I will support any organization which will support my rights.

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