Open Letter From a Concerned Fellow NRA Ring of Freedom Member

Second Amendment

Open Letter From a Concerned Fellow NRA Ring of Freedom Member

USA – -( My name is Marita Dell’Aquila. I am a Patriot life member of the NRA, a Founding Member of the Hunter’s Leadership Forum, a member of the Women’s Leadership Forum, and a member of the Ring of Freedom Heston Society. I write this as a concerned member who is seeking your help to enact leadership change at the NRA.

No doubt you have read the recent reports of the organization’s unnecessary spending and misuse of donor funds. My husband and I, as well as a multitude of other donors, members and “trusted Board Members“, feel betrayed by the very people who were given the fiduciary responsibility to spend our contributions wisely to defend our Second Amendment rights.

Private jets to the Bahama’s and over $240,000 of Italian suits purchased at a Beverly Hills boutique is not what any of us imagined was transpiring behind the scenes at the NRA!

Additionally, it is alleged that one or more top executives at the NRA are “double dipping.” That is, they are receiving payment in the form of kickbacks or some other compensation in return for sending business to Ackerman-McQueen, the Mercury Group, etc. [and now the Brewer Lawfirm at a $1,000,000+ a month]. This behavior is outrageous, unethical, and could very well be illegal!

My husband and I are spearheading a grassroots effort to force a much-needed change of leadership. Wayne LaPierre must realize that the good of the organization and the ultimate survival of the NRA transcend the personal ambitions of any one person, including his own. We have contacted numerous donors – such as you[both big and small] – who have named the NRA in their estate planning; made significant cash contributions; are corporate sponsors; and/or advertise in NRA publications. Money is the motivating factor and we strongly believe that waiving the “carrot” that we all hold will be instrumental in our efforts to demand the change that we seek. Some have already changed their estate planning documents, some have withheld cash donations, and some have bailed out altogether until the NRA cleans up their act!

The plan is to write a pointed letter to every board member, outlining these changes, and listing the donors who demand the changes, and indicating the donor contribution amount that will be withdrawn if the following demands are ignored:

  • Wayne LaPierre, Executive Directors, Managing Directors, Officers resign & Josh Powell is fired;
  • Chris Cox is immediately re-instated and elevated to CEO and Executive Vice President;
  • The board of directors is reduced in size from 76 to 30 members;
  • Carolyn Meadows (President), Charles Cotton (First Vice President) and Willes Lee (2nd Vice President) resign from these positions;
  • Lt. Col. Allen West is appointed President;
  • All Presidents (past and future) of the NRA are restricted from remaining on the board of directors;
  • The September board meeting currently planned in Anchorage, Alaska, which includes a cruise, is immediately canceled and the location moved to NRA headquarters or a city in the central United States.

We believe the only way to stop this madness is to threaten to withdraw our planned giving and cash donations unless and until there is leadership change at the top. I am writing to ask if you agree. And, if you do, may I ask for your support in this effort? May I add your name to the list of donors who are willing to continue to donate to the NRA but ONLY if the changes outlined above are implemented?

Please visit the website that we created:

It summarizes the above and includes a petition that we will send to the Board of Directors.

This is all so sad for all of us. But, thankfully there are other organizations who will fight for our 2nd amendment rights and use our money judiciously should our plea for a change and re-righting of the ship falls of deaf ears.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you. My hope is that we can turn this around and save the NRA from its own demise.


Marita Dell’Aquila

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  1. I allowed my NRA membership to expire long ago because I noticed unwarranted out of control spending on personal items and personal pleasures.
    that one of the major problems when one person is allowed to remain in a control position for decades and accumulates mass power. IMO for this, the NRA has lost much of its former influence in areas that are of major importance if we hope to retains our constitutional rights.

    1. Darrell : I have been a N R A member since 1956, except for 5 years when I was in the service. Not saying there has not been some problems along the way, as with any group.
      To break this down I turned 16 in 1958, I paid my first dues from mowing yards, and yes I still
      am a member as so is my wife & children.
      I would really hate to see where we would be, if not for the N R A, I feel the N R A is the ONLY
      reason we still have the 2nd AMENDMENT over the years nobody has had the clout to stand up to the anti-gunners. Now is not the time to drop the N R A, as we are in the fight of
      our life for our rights. I live in Illinois now and can see the left pushing there anti-gun crap everyday and the N R A has been in the fight for us. I see no other group with the power to fight these RATS, I also am a member of Guns saves lives & Illinois Rifle Ass, neither of witch is big enough to fight ALL the stuff thrown at us.

      1. Gary, you are so right. Now is not the time to fight the NRA. We need the NRA and the NRA needs our full support.

      2. Dr Mr Moore, I applaud your dedication to your commitment to the NRA. I also am a Veteran and a Patriot Life Member who lives in Illinois. I believe at this time it is critical that we all stop supplying funds to an organization that has fell to internal corruption and yes they have lost their way and become more of a watch dog organization to its members instead of an organization that initiates legal action such as the Second Amendment Foundation. None of us wants to destroy our organization because we need it more than ever. We want exactly what the authors of this letter want: Remove those that think they are unaccountable to its members (the CEO) and many of the yes men and women that form the board. I personally disagree with the Authors that Chris Cox be installed as Vice President/CEO. Chris is a nice man but stained with the same accusations of who he served under. We also need an organization that is transparent about what is going on from within and with where its donors funds are being used. In spite of the Cleveland Ohio resolution long ago the members do still hold power..its in their wallets and purses. Oh and I wanted to thank you Sir for your service to this Country. God bless you and your family. Don

      3. Gary, if you think we still have the second amendment thanks to the NRA, frankly, you are deluding yourself. The NRA has morphed into nothing but a fear mongering, money grubbing business. I am a former member, and they’ll never see another penny from me.

  2. As with polititions after a short period of time in office, original intentions seem to give way to the dollar. I am retaining my membership, but no further donations will be sent as this situation unfolds. In God We Trust.

  3. I was a yearly member at one time, & cancelled my membership for reasons listed above. I will join again when things are straightened up as per the letter above !!!!!!!!!!

  4. I’m not renewing my membership until there is a leadership change and spending is brought back to what we as members intend our money for; to protect our rights and the 2nd Amendment.

  5. As a life member I would ask any of you who have allowed you NRA membership go to at least sign the petition if you can remember your membership number , the NRA is on the front lines fighting for our 2A rights lets not abandon ship and let the rats take over STAND AND FIGHT!

  6. I agree with the sentiments completely, the oligarchy that has been created with Lapierre at it’s head has been out of control for quite awhile now, and has eroded our 2nd amendment with ‘deals’ of questionable results! As a Patriot life member I support a drastic change in the leadership of the NRA.

  7. I have long thought that Mr. La Pierre had stayed too long. He must go and until he does, I will no longer donate but remain as a member.

  8. I am a Patron Life member, and will continue to contribute as long as I have the funds, but, I agree with the petition and the improper spending needs to stop immediately.

    1. I’m suspending my membership until Mr, La Pierre resigns and we have Lt. Col. Oliver North
      reinstated as president of the NRA along with Cris Cox as Exc. vice pres. Now is the time for action.

  9. When any organization gets large enough there is always excess and conflicting opinions among its members. I would hope an independent audit would go far in reigning in excess spending. Bailing out on the organization is not the answer. Members should instead get involved. It is my belief the National Rifle Association is largely responsible for the 2nd Amendment rights we retain today. Infighting makes us vulnerable to those opposing the 2nd Amendment. State and Local firearms organizations also need our support. It’s times like these that expose the vulnerability of the NRA. The cause is worthy, do not abandon our best hope (The National Rifle Association) The NRA must get back to the business at hand.

  10. We may not like the way that some of our NRA donations are spent but canceling your membership or withholding donations is not the answer. Are you willing to give up your 2nd rights just to punish someone? I am not!!! The NRA is the only organization that has the strength to fight! If you are not willing to support the NRA, WE ALL LOSE!

  11. It’s the little foxes that spoil the grapes! I am disappointed at our top VP’s and CEO’s in their deceptions, spending our monies for expensive suits travel etc. Please it’s time for change and quickly!

  12. With the NRA’s constant requests for donations I had no doubt that the “leadership” was overspending. I have no idea who the people are that you suggest. Therefore, I wouldn’t know if they are any better than the people already in leadership. My current membership is my last.

  13. As always we must ALL be ever vigilant, of our self’s, and even more of our leaders. Complacency will always invite corruption. Time has come upon us all to stand for (“Truth,Justice, and the American way”) as the original superman started. You get my point, any group we support MUST be held to a higher standard than the culture we live in, otherwise we are just supporting the current slow spiral into historical oblivion !

  14. I am a NRA member for many years and agree with this assessment and plan to rectify the situation that has been going on for years. I condemn those that are using their positions for personal gain and not supporting efforts to ensure our 2nd Amendment Right.

  15. If the NRA would -fully- refund my life membership fee,I’d quit today.La Pierre and his cronies should be fired sans any compensation.I thought”the Cincinnati Revolt”had cleaned house.It hasn’t. The NRA has done nothing to help upstate New Yorkers and I’m still minus my NICS for over 5 years !The NRA has done nothing to get the FBI NICS Appeal Team in Clarksburg WV off their thumbs.
    I hope Gun Owners of America is more successful than the NRA[or S.C.O.P.E.]

  16. I am a life member. I have noticed that the requests for extra donations have increased immensely in the last several years and each meeting getting much more elaborate. I feel that the directors have become too many, and that most of the officers have been in office way too long. I think, as with The President, that one person having power too long tends to corrode their desire to do the right things and actually push them toward financial rewards. It has been time for a change for a long time. Mr. LaPierre has done some wonderful things for us, but his effectiveness is gone. time for a change.

  17. I have been a member as many years as I could afford it over the last 50 years and also a donor when I can. I do not follow all the organizations activities and the staffs workings.

    I have written notes to them at times to be sure my hard to come by money is used wisely. So0mething I am aware has not always been the case. My most favored member of staff was Charles Hesston who seemed to breath life into the NRA. I have also watched La Pierre mis opportunities during TV coverage and display no chrisma . NRA needs changes. I am not the person who can put all the right people in the right slots, But I know my money is not being used wisely.

  18. This is a prime example of why it is just plain wrong to keep electing the same person to any office again and again. Soon they believe that they are indispensable and they have the powers of a king. Their minds have been overwhelmed by their egos and they need to be put out to pasture. The BS line about someone with experience is needed is just another load of manure.

  19. Many support the NRA citing it as the reason the 2nd amendment still exists. In many parts of the country, it doesn’t exist. I live in California and I don’t have the right to bear arms and I barely have the right to keep them. I have to have “permission” to purchase ammunition. This will be coming to your neighborhood soon, because the NRA leadership is more concerned about staying in power than preserving our rights. Not another dime should be given unless and until it is changed.

  20. Since I am not privy to questionable details and cannot verify any allegations, I think the best way to come to a conclusion is to have an independent audit. I am concerned about the fact that Mr. Lacklustre has remained executive vice-president for so long. I am all for cleaning up and saving the NRA.

  21. As a “Life -Benefactor” member, let me say that If these charges are true I would think some kind of prosecution would be in order.

    Private jets?
    Quarter of a million dollar wardrobe?

    Disgusting and disgraceful. I am demanding, at minimum, the recommendations of this notice.

  22. I am retired Law Enforcement and Military. I was a firearms instructor, armorer and competitive shooter under both hats, a Distinguished Pistol shot, have points toward Distinguished Rifleman, and the Chief’s Fifty in Combat Sniper. I’m a Life Member of the NRA and the TSRA. I’m on a fixed income and cannot donate much, but I have always given something since the days when Whittington was being built. The last money-begging mail-out I got was returned with a note stating that the NRA will resume getting cash from me when they have gotten their (our) house back in order. I have to economize in every area of life and it galls me to live a beans-and-tortillas existence while my paid representatives in the NRA are jet-setting, champagne-and-caviar slurping, silk suit high-rollers that constantly send me beggar mail full of dire evil-democrat warnings. No more money for NRA from this fed-up veteran.

  23. I am a Patron Life member. I believe that we need a change of leadership at the top of this organization. I personally will not upgrade my membership or donate any more money till this occurs. There is too much unnecessary spending at the top and they are not upholding the values of the 2nd amendment.

  24. I am former military from the sixties, and past NRA member. I, just last year, returned to the fold, but had no idea of what was going on. I don’t have a lot of money, but will be willing to contribute after the problems have be rectified. The second amendment isn’t the only thing the radical left is attacking.

  25. I am a life member. I am old enough to know absolute power corrupts absolutely. Just look at the Clintons. However, united we stand divided we fall. How do we know this information is true and not an elaborate ruse to destroy the NRA. I would need to see the balance sheets showing the abuse of funds before drawing any conclusions, not just hearsay. When I joined the NRA in the 1960’s is was considered a noble organization, standing with many presidents both Democrat and Republican. Today, the misinformation barrage from the left is slowly changing the minds of many Americans about the NRA and its members. In the minds of America’s youth we are the Devil incarnate. To counter this brainwashing of our youth we probably need new younger leaders with fresh ideas. It is a cultural war and we will lose if we don’t learn to adapt, and soon.

  26. Wayne LaPierre and the ENTIRE Board of Directors need to be removed. To allow Chris Cox to return in ANY position within the NRA, would be a mistake. One of the reasons the NRA is in such terrible shape today, is because the eligible people did not bother to inform themselves, and make a intelligent vote. There were almost 2 million ballots mailed to eligible voters for the last election, and less than 15 K ballots returned. Too lazy to vote; you have no right to complain. I am a Benefactor of the NRA, and have for many years.

  27. I hate to disappoint all the nice critics posting comments here, but I’m going to. Thus far I have seen nothing of legitimate value proving or dis-proving any allegations. And allegations are simply all I’ve seen.

    What I see here are a bunch of “Chicken Littles” running about squawking “The sky is falling, the sky is falling”. I think that I’ll continue to believe in my NRA. You rabble rousers should get your heads out.

    Personally, I have little faith in North or Cox.

  28. I have been a life and later an endowment. I became a life Member at age 17 and I am 56 years old. I became an endowment member in 2008. I do not always agree with the board. The NRA disappointed me very much with their poor support in Maryland against the Firearm Safety Act that was forced in Maryland in 2013. I no longer support the Maryland Republican Congressional Committee since 2014. I was disappointed that there was very little if any coverage of the fact that even though it was the largest political demonstrated against any legislative action since the state house was build in 1898. I have begun to suspect The NRA has given up defending the 2nd in the state of Maryland. As far as spending money for clothing that is possible. But if you can show proof of such abuses show it. The article does not show proof. Finally I do not that the NRA cannot afford to give into internal fighting at this time.

  29. I first joined the NRA in the early sixties when you needed a recommendation from a military or police officer to sign up. I got my boss a USMC Res Captain to sign for me I was proud of my NRA membership over the years. The Cincinnati Revolt was a wake up for many to think that we were being attacked from within by people trying to destroy our organization and our values. What is going on now is even more dangerous as we are at war with the liberals who are all out to destroy the NRA and the 2nd amendment and our beloved country. No one tells them that the big bad NRA is so much more than “The Gun Lobby”. They don’t remember all the Presidents who were NRA members and all the police and civilian safety instructors that we provided and trained. What about Eddie Eagle and the junior and senior matches. We are the NRA and we must stand tall and take OUR NRA back Keep our dues and contributions flowing and make the necessary leadership changes to save our NRA and preserve our country and way of life for future generations of freedom loving Americans. God Bless the USA and the NRA

  30. I have been a NRA member since around 1980. I am retired military and have always supported the NRA. First off every gun owner needs to admit that our gun rights would have been gone a long time ago without the NRA. The NRA must not go away. If they do our gun rights are doomed. That is why I don’t won’t to abandon them. Too be fair, I think Wayne and the top vice presidents should get a hearing from a third party arbitrator and a jury of their piers (regular NRA members). If this waste of our donations is true they should be out immediately and charges possible filed (in federal court). Any of the previous mentioned people (who discovered this mess) would make a good president. The NRA needs a new leader (whether the allegations are true or not) and I don’t think any new President should serve more than 8 years. I no longer give to Wounded Warrior Project or Dudley’s National Gun Rights Association (his Colorado home basement). Why? Because they betrayed my trust for their leaders lavish life styles. I don’t like thieves and liars.

  31. It is definitely time for an independent audit! Additionally, it appears we have too many staff members with their fingers in the pot! Wayne Lapier should step down in the interest of the organization!

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