January 09, 2024
On Friday January 5, 2024, we learned that longtime NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre would be ending his tenure at the end of the month. LaPierre has been a National Rifle Association employee for nearly 50 years and led the organization since 1991. Though “health reasons” were cited as the reason for his departure, the announcement came just days before a civil corruption trial brought by the Attorney General of New York would convene. LaPierre remains one of the named defendants in that case. Once considered one of the most powerful individuals in American politics, LaPierre’s influence has spiraled over allegations of mismanagement and financial wrongdoing.
His departure is certainly justified since revenue has plunged by 40 percent since 2018, when credible corruption allegations began to emerge. During that same period, NRA has spent tens of millions of dollars of its members’ money on legal fees. Efforts to oust LaPierre failed in both 1997 and 2019. The second coup attempt resulted in the departure of NRA President Oliver North and NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox, both of whom were well-regarded and considered vital assets to the organization’s future success.
According to numerous current and former NRA employees, morale at the organization is at an all-time low. “Toward the end of his tenure, it was clear for all to see that Wayne's sole concern was his own well-being, to hell with the organization and the noble cause it serves,” a longtime NRA executive told G&A. “If this were not the case, he would have quietly left with the NRA as strong and capable as ever in 2019 when a legitimate challenge to his leadership was mounted. In the days since, the NRA has been all but reduced to rubble.”
To many gun owners, LaPierre’s departure was a necessary first step in rebuilding NRA. Make no mistake, though, a new CEO won’t fix all of NRA’s problems. The members of the organization’s Board of Directors that supported and protected LaPierre amidst a storm of controversy will remain in place, all but ensuring the status quo.
Andrew Arulanandam, a longtime NRA executive, will serve as interim CEO after LaPierre’s departure. Will the board seek out an outside leader who has the leadership skills and integrity to right the ship? Only will time will tell. LaPierre’s departure is a step in the right direction toward rebuilding America’s most-powerful Second Amendment advocacy organization, but it is not the end of the road by any means.
Enjoy articles like this?
Subscribe to the magazine.
Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine