WASHINGTON –– Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund (“Everytown”) released the following statements calling for an IRS investigation into the NRA today after Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) released a report detailing the NRA’s “record of abuse,” “self-dealing,” and “outrageous spending.”
“NRA leaders love to talk about how they’re ‘protecting freedom’ — but this report makes it clear the freedom they care about most is the ability to profit from self-dealing and corruption,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. “Representative Schneider is doing important work in shining a spotlight on NRA leaders’ unchecked greed.”
“From lavish spending on clothing to travel on expensive private jets, this report details rampant self-dealing and corruption among NRA insiders and vendors,” said Nick Suplina, Everytown’s managing director for law and policy. “It’s time for the IRS to investigate the NRA and take a hard look at the organization’s tax-exempt status.”
Everytown previously filed a complaint about the NRA’s tax-exempt status with the IRS and called for federal and state investigations into the NRA’s operation as a charity. Everytown then doubled down on the call for an IRS investigation in response to a letter from U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), which formally called on the IRS to investigate whether the NRA violated tax laws and should lose its tax-exempt status as a result.
First reported by Newsweek, Rep. Schneider’s report follows months of investigative reporting about the NRA’s alleged self-dealing and questionable financial practices. Among other issues detailed in Rep. Scheinder’s report: NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre faces scrutiny for allegedly billing the NRA’s then-ad agency, Ackerman McQueen, more than $240,000 in travel to Italy, Hungary, the Bahamas and other destinations; allegedly using an Ackerman McQueen credit card to spend nearly $275,000 on luxury clothing, including $40,000 in one day; and reportedly seeking Ackerman McQueen’s help in a failed scheme in which the NRA promised $6.5 million for a luxury mansion for LaPierre after the Parkland shooting. Additionally, 18 unpaid members of the NRA’s board have reportedly collected millions of dollars in aggregate from the organization between 2016 and 2018 alone––despite reports that the NRA ran a deficit for each of those years.
Such practices have led to legal trouble for the NRA and its affiliated entities: New York Attorney General Letitia James is conducting an investigation into whether the NRA violated New York’s charities, law, that some experts have even opined could lead to a criminal investigation and referral of Wayne LaPierre, DC Attorney General Karl Racine is investigating the NRA for suspected violations of nonprofit law, and the organization is locked in various lawsuits with Ackerman McQueen. The NRA also faces charges in New York State by the Department of Financial Services over its “Carry Guard” insurance product and a U.S. Senate investigation of allegations of self-dealing.