Are Wayne LaPierre’s days as the head of the nation’s preeminent gun-rights organization numbered?
Could be, if we are to believe a report from Business Insider (BI) that claims Donald Trump Jr. is angling to take over as the National Rifle Association’s Executive Vice President, a position LaPierre has held for almost three decades.
BI states that “Advisors to the Trumps” told the publication that “the move would be used as a way to keep Mr Trump Jr. in politics after his father leaves office.”
However, another GOP source speaking to BI dismissed the notion altogether.
“Don is just not getting involved in that pissing match,” the source said.
Just a rumor on a slow news day to get clicks? Perhaps.
GunsAmerica has started doing our own sleuthing. We were told by one industry insider that the BI report was news to him, but he did not outright dismiss the possibility.
From the sounds of it, those on the other side of the gun divide are taking the report seriously.
“It’s hard to believe the NRA may soon be led by someone even more incompetent and corrupt than Wayne LaPierre, but evidently that’s a very real possibility,” said John Feinblatt, president of Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety in a press released obtained by GA.
“In a way, it would be a perfect fit — both NRA leadership and Don Jr. are totally indifferent to the loss of American lives,” he continued.
Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, the other gun-control organization primarily funded by failed 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, was equally critical.
“Donald Trump Jr. has spent the last four years aiding and abetting an administration rife with self-dealing, leaving mass death and destruction in its wake,” said Watts. “Let’s just say that he would feel right at home at the NRA.”
One can argue that if there was any time in recent memory when NRA members would welcome new leadership now would be it.
Just last week the organization admitted in a 2019 tax filing that executives, including LaPierre, had used donor dollars for personal benefit.
However, the audit was careful to note that LaPierre has since “corrected” his misappropriation of funds, cutting a personal check to NRA to the tune of almost $300,000 for charged travel expenses from 2015-2019.
The filing does not let the other executives off the hook and implicates them for financial abuse, including former board president Oliver North and former chief lobbyist Chris Cox.
Additional struggles include a massive layoff of over 200 employees in May of 2020, ballooning legal fees in excess of $54 million over the past few years to fight off various lawsuits, including one with its former ad agency Ackerman McQueen, and a 34 percent decline in membership dues in 2019.
Maybe putting Don Jr. at the helm would be a boon for the NRA. Or, maybe it’s all just hearsay and Wayne isn’t going anywhere.