Documents reveal that National Rifle Association chief executive Wayne LaPierre received a 57 percent pay raise in 2018, according to a published report.
The Washington Post, which said it was provided with tax filings by the NRA, said LaPierre’s overall compensation totaled $2.15 million. The report said LaPierre received a salary of $1.3 million and a $455,000 bonus as well as other forms of compensation.
“Wayne LaPierre’s compensation reflects his enormous contributions to our members and the freedoms for which they fight,” NRA President Carolyn Meadows said in a statement. “His contributions to the NRA have been transformative.”
NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said in a statement that LaPierre’s compensation was based on a “detailed analysis conducted by an independent compensation committee. Mr. LaPierre’s compensation includes benefits made payable under his retirement plan,” according to The Associated Press.
Some critics said it was too much.
“This is further evidence that, at this point, LaPierre is more of a burden than an asset to American gun owners,” NRA member Rob Pincus said, according to the AP. Pincus is a board member of Save the Second, a group opposed to LaPierre’s leadership.
Other longtime foes jumped at the chance to attack the NRA.
Memo to NRA members: For Wayne LaPierre it’s all about him. Internal corruption & conflict, crumbling power, plummeting credibility—& he enriches himself. Time to change supposed leaders—& policies—so they really reflect you & the national interest.https://t.co/kW8VUG11UX
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) November 16, 2019
The tax documents showed that former NRA President Oliver North received $1.38 million from Ackerman McQueen, the NRA’s former public relations agency, according to the tax filings. Ackerman McQueen received $38.3 million overall in 2018, The Post reported.
The law firm of William Brewer III received $13.8 million in 2018, according to the documents. The Post said it was told by the NRA that “Brewer’s firm represents the organization on a variety of matters and that the relationship has been carefully reviewed.”
The documents cited by The Post showed that actor Tom Selleck, a former NRA board member, received $476,000 from the NRA for “collectible firearms.”
Overall, the NRA posted a $2.7 million deficit in 2018. The organization was $17.8 million in the red in 2017 and had a $45.8 million deficit in 2016.
“The NRA’s financials are strong and trending in the right direction,” Arulanandam said.
The gun-rights organization has been divided by internal tensions that earlier this year saw several board members resign in protest over its management.
The NRA is also under investigation by New York State Attorney General Letitia James and her office’s Department of Financial Services over how it spends its money.
Political spending by the NRA amounted to $31.51 million in 2018, down from 2014’s level of $47.1 million.
“The spending of the NRA’s political arm fluctuates based on the needs of each political cycle,” Arulanandam said. “We remain a driving influence in key races where our Second Amendment freedoms are under attack, and we remain poised to further activate our funding and grassroots advocacy in support of the 2020 election.”
President Donald Trump criticized James’ investigation in an April tweet, saying New York officials were “illegally using the State’s legal apparatus to take down and destroy this very important organization, & others.”
The NRA is under siege by Cuomo and the New York State A.G., who are illegally using the State’s legal apparatus to take down and destroy this very important organization, & others. It must get its act together quickly, stop the internal fighting, & get back to GREATNESS – FAST!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 29, 2019
“It must get its act together quickly, stop the internal fighting, & get back to GREATNESS – FAST!” he said.
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