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February 18, 2021

Executive Compensation at the NRA (2019)

by Anne Paddock

The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) is a non-profit 501 (c) (4) organization or what many people refer to as an membership advocacy organization that fights tirelessly for our second amendment rights and pays their executives very well while also paying for first class or charter travel, travel for companions, health or social club dues or initiation fees, gross up payments and tax indemnification, and provides housing allowances or housing for personal use.

The most recent IRS Form 990 (2019) reports the organization employed 770 individuals who were compensated $57 million, which equates to an average compensation of $74,000. 149 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation while the 15 most highly compensated key executives received more than $12 million dollars in 2019:

  • $1,884,709:  Wayne LaPierre, CEO and EVP
  • $1,572,752:  Chris W Cox, Executive Director, NRA ILA
  • $  986,015:  Oliver L North, President
  • $  935,081:  Joshua L Powell, Chief of Staff and Executive Director
  • $  875,738:  Craig B Spray, Treasurer (beginning 9/13/18)
  • $  870,013:  Tyler Schropp, Managing Director, Advancement
  • $  701,941:  Todd Grable, Executive Director, Membership
  • $  696,414:  Doug Hamlin, Executive Director, Publications
  • $  664,371:  Wilson H Phillips, Treasurer (ending 9/13/18)
  • $  659,656:  David Lehman, Deputy Executive Director, NRA ILA
  • $  490,469:  John C Frazer, Secretary and General Counsel
  • $  476,356:  Joseph C Debergalis, Jr, Executive Director, General Ops 
  • $  462,268:  Jason Quimet, Executive Director, ILA
  • $  442,437:  Thomas Tedrick, Managing Director, Finance
  • $  372,202:  John G Perren, Sr Advisor to the EVP

Many of the above employees are the very same employees who are being investigated for misuse of funds.

15 of the 15 (100%) of the most highly compensated employees are male.

Wayne LaPierre received the highest compensation at $1.9 million.

Chris W Cox received total compensation of $1.6 million compared to $1.4 million in 2018 and $1.2 million in 2017.

Oliver North’s compensation of nearly $1 million was paid by Ackerman McQueen, an advertising agency based in Oklahoma City but with offices nationwide. Why this was done is not explained. However, independent contractors outside of a non-profit do not typically pay large compensation packages to employees of a non-profit. It is important to note that the NRA paid $32 million to Ackerman McQueen in 2018  and $7 million in 2019 for public relations and advertising.

Wilson H Phillips received nearly $950,000 in 2018 compared to $710,000 in 2017.

Joshua Powerll received $920,000 in compensation in 2018 compared to $780,000 in 2017.

Tyler Schropp received $664,371 in 2019 compared to $807,000 in 2018 and $690,000 in 2017.

Robert K Weaver, who left the NRA in 2016, was paid $240,000 in 2019 for zero hours worked.

Marion P Hammer received $220,350 as a director who spent 5 hours a week working on board duties.

The NRA paid for first class or charter travel, travel for companions, housing allowances or residences for personal use, gross up payments or tax indemnifications, and health or social club dues or initiation fees. To read more detail about these expenses, see Schedule J, Part III, Supplemental information on the Form 990 (2019) submitted to the IRS.

The NRA paid more than $100,000 in compensation to 123 independent contractors in 2018. The 5 most highly compensated were reported to be:

  • $24,689,326:  Brewer Attorneys and Counselors, of Dallas, TX for legal services
  • $21,723,870:  Infocision Management Corp, of Akron, OH for membership processing and control
  • $11,560,154:  Membership Marketing Partners, of Fairfax, VA for fundraising, printing, and mailing
  • $ 8,957,907:  Valtim, Inc., of Forest, VA for fulfillment center
  • $ 7,317,206:  Ackerman, McQueen, of Oklahoma, OK for public relations and advertising

It is important to note that the NRA has been involved in litigation and investigation, particularly with the State of New York and the IRS for a variety of issues including misuse of funds. For details on the details of alleged misuse of funds, see Schedule L, Part V (pages 83-88) of the Form 990 (link on next line).

To read the IRS Form 990 (2019), click here.

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