Three board members of the National Rifle Association resigned Thursday amid continued legal battles and infighting that has shaken the gun-rights group.
Board members Esther Schneider, Sean Maloney and Timothy Knight all resigned after asking for basic transparency into shady spending by chief executive Wayne LaPierre and other financial mismanagement in the group.
“Instead, we have been stonewalled, accused of disloyalty, stripped of committee assignments and denied effective counsel necessary to properly discharge our responsibilities as Board members,” the three wrote in a statement.
Part of the group’s financial irresponsibility lies with LaPierre, who billed the group’s ad agency, Ackerman McQueen, for more than half a million dollars over the years, leaked letters show. His purchases included a $39,000 shopping spree at a Beverly Hills store.
McQueen and the NRA are now at each other’s throats in dueling lawsuits. The propaganda arm of the gun group, NRATV, was shut down in June after McQueen pulled the plug on it. And the group’s second in command, Chris Cox, also resigned in June in the wake of a lawsuit alleging he helped plot a coup attempt against LaPierre.
“While our belief in the NRA’s mission remains as strong today as ever, our confidence in the NRA’s leadership has been shattered,” the resigning board members said in their statement.
As The Washington Post points out, some members have formed the group Save the Second, which seeks to shrink the 76-member board of the NRA and impose term limits for members.
But incremental change within the group is likely to do little to stop the massive financial bleed the group is seeing. And it’s likely to get worse: Last month, the group was served subpoenas by Washington, D.C.’s attorney general to hand over financial records. The New York attorney general’s office previously asked for financial records in April. Depending on what those records reveal to officials, the NRA could lose its tax-exempt status.