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Rocky Marshall on NRA Finances

He estimates that the corruption has cost NRA nearly a billion (yes, with a b) dollars in lost revenue and legal costs to date, and gives the basis for that calculation. He feels that 2023 will show a net loss of $25-60 million, and that the organization has probably reached a point where it is too late to save it, financially speaking. That will be LaPierre’s, and the board’s, legacy to the members and to the Second Amendment.

National Rifle Association’s Cost of Corruption, by Former NRA Director Rocky Marshall

Published February 8, 2023

The National Rifle Association held a Board of Directors (BOD) meeting on January 6, 2023 and presented financial reports which included a projection of $205M in revenue for 2022 and a proposed budget of $230M for 2023.  The forecast of $230M in revenue for 2023 was presented without a business plan or justification and is wholly unrealistic with the downward trends in membership and other revenue streams.  The NRA’s projections are unbelievable and would not be accepted in the real world as a viable plan.    

The NRA BOD may be shocked to learn that other organizations employ industry related metrics to correlate and validate financial forecasts.  In other words, instead of guessing, most companies rely upon trends in the industry directly related to the organization’s core business.

A Realistic Projection: The obvious relationship most closely associated with NRA revenues are U.S. Gun sales¹. In reviewing US gun sales data, NRA Revenues will increase or decrease as gun sales vary from year to year. From 2004 through 2019, the NRA received on average $25 for every gun sold in the United States.  However, after the breaking news of corruption in 2019, the NRA revenue dropped 48% to $13/gun sold.

The ratio of NRA Revenue/US Gun Sales is a useful metric because revenue for the NRA can be easily calculated for 2023 with a high degree of certainty.  Based on the current declining trend of US gun sales, it is projected that total US gun sales will be similar to historical (pre-covid) norms of roughly 13 million guns sold². With this in mind, a quantifiable estimate of projected revenues for the NRA in 2023 is $169 million (13 million guns sold at $13/gun). 

The NRA is projecting $230 million in revenue, which would equate to $18 for every gun sold in the US.  This is the same group that also planned $241.2M for last year and missed this estimate by $36M. The NRA estimates are not based on any practical industry metrics or upon a viable business plan to increase revenue; but, instead are misleading the BOD once again into a false premise.  

The best-case scenario for the NRA is if total gun sales remain constant at 15 million guns sold, which would yield revenues equal to last year of $205 million. The bottom line is that total expenses remain extremely high, (particularly the legal fees paid to the Brewer law firm) and are projected to be $230 million which equates to a net loss of $25 to 60 million.  The Board of Directors were informed at the January meeting that the NRA would break even in 2023, but the truth is that there is no plan or contingency to support their projections, which are untenable.  

Cost of Corruption:  The revenue/gun ratio can also be used to calculate lost revenue directly related to maintaining Wayne LaPierre as CEO.  After the embezzlement scandal broke in 2019, the NRA revenue was adversely affected and the gun ratio dropped precipitously to $13/gun compared to the $25/gun before the scandal.  The difference is a loss of $12/gun. 

NRA 990 IRS Reports 2020202120222023(E)TOTAL(E)
Total Revenue282,030,375227,419,952205,314,000169,000,000883,764,327
US Gun Sales (in units)20,672,84918,860,45015,768,08513,000,00068,301,384
Revenue$/Guns Sold Ratio1412131313
Revenue$ Loss per Gun Sold1113121212
Loss of Revenue -227,401,339-245,185,850-189,217,020-156,000,000-817,804,209

The revenue lost due to Wayne LaPierre’s continued employment is roughly $667 Million (from 2020-2022) plus an estimated $100 million in legal expenses (to defend Wayne LaPierre), for a grand total of $767 million revenue loss. Including estimates for 2023, the total loss due to the corruption is approaching $1 Billion. I wonder how many programs, gun sports, grants, lawsuits defending second amendment rights or political initiatives could have been funded by the NRA with $1 Billion? Unfortunately, we will never know. 

The Board of Directors have chosen (or through impotent negligence) a path that is destroying the core of the NRA.  An NRA Board meeting is scheduled for April in conjunction with the NRA Annual Meeting – this meeting is likely the last chance for the Board to radically course correct. I strongly believe that it is much too late, and it is really over! The bankruptcy court filing will be the next major headline coming from the NRA. 



5 thoughts on “Rocky Marshall on NRA Finances

  1. Mr. Marshall,
    I have to thank you personally for all the work you have done, in gathering these figures, along with all the other work you have done in an attempt to salvage what is left of a once vibrant and proud organization. That it is likely to be a case of trying to bail out the Titanic with a teaspoon is becoming more and more apparent the more information that comes out from the legal case against the leadership of the NRA.
    I blame myself for not joining the NRA sooner than I did. I joined only after the election of former president Obama. Before that, I had been one of the fat, dumb, and happy types, not really understanding just how easily it was for our rights to be taken away from us. It was in the same timeframe that my state of Michigan became a shall issue state, and I got my CCW permit.
    Now I face the very real, and likely prospect that the completely Democrat controlled government here in Michigan will pass several bills into law that will put a very real damper on my 2nd amendment protected freedoms, which had the NRA been flush with the money wasted by the leadership, could have been avoided by running candidates against some of those who now sit in elected positions, that should never have been seated but who did not have enough opposition from Republican candidates due to lack of funding.
    A misguided recall attempt against Gretchen Whitmer failed, but she was able to raise money to fight it, and so she got to keep the money from that in her war chest, giving her a huge bonus when it came to the election. Again, the NRA could have been active here, with money to help, if they only had the money, instead of Brewer and associates having it.
    I will stop complaining, I am sure that you have heard the same story a hundred times, and could give a hundred more of your own. I again want to thank you for all you have done, and continue to do to keep us informed, and I won’t stop praying that things will turn out the way we hope. In the mean time, I wish you safe travels, and good health.

    Liked by 2 people

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