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December 5, 2022


Executive Compensation at the NRA (2021)

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.

The most recent IRS Form 990 (2021) reports the organization employed 521 individuals (compared to 640 in 2020 and 770  in 2019) who were compensated $42 million, which equates to an average compensation of nearly $81,000. 92 employees (compared to 107 employees in 2020 and 149 employees in 2019) received more than $100,000 in compensation while the 15 most highly compensated key executives received nearly $13 million in 2021:

  • $6,183,381:  Chris Cox, Executive Director, ILA (until 6/2019)
  • $1,143,868:  Wayne LaPierre, CEO and EVP
  • $   665,017:  Craig B Spray, Treasurer (beginning 9/13/18)
  • $   688,270:  Tyler Schropp, Managing Director, Advancement
  • $   542,517:  Todd Grable, Executive Director, Membership
  • $   505,161:  Doug Hamlin, Executive Director, Publications
  • $   490,981:  Jason Quimet, Executive Director, ILA
  • $   458,507:  Randy Kozuch, Director, Political Affairs for ADV
  • $   449,958:  Joseph C Debergalis, Jr, Executive Director, General Ops 
  • $   383,774:  Thomas Tedrick, Managing Director, Finance
  • $   381,865:  Sonya B Rowling, Treasurer and CFO
  • $   381,146:  Wade Callender, Deputy Executive Director, ILA
  • $   348,924:  John C Frazer, Secretary and General Counsel
  • $   317,804:  Andrew Arulanandam, Managing Director, Public Affairs
  • $   270,000:  Marion P Hammer, Board Director

Key differences between 2019 and 2021 is the absence of three executives:

Chris Cox, who received $1.6 million in compensation in 2019 was accused by NRA officials of an extortion scheme to oust Wayne LaPierre and resigned in June, 2019.  Subsequently, litigation ensued and was settled with the following statement reported on the 2021 Form 990:  “…as part of a litigation settlement, plus payments for his attorneys’ fees made directly to his attorneys and reported on Form 1099-NEC in the amount of $3,745,430.”

Oliver North, who received nearly $1 million in compensation in 2019 is also not listed as a compensated employee although Mr. North is still listed as a board member in 2020 and 2021.

Joshua Powell, former chief of Staff and Executive Director of the NRA in 2019 who received nearly $1 million in compensation in 2019, was fired in early 2020.

13 of the 15 (87%) most highly compensated employees are male. The two females include Sonya Rowling, the Treasurer and CFO who received $381146 in compensation in 2021 and Marion Hammer, a Board Director who works 5 hours a week and receives $270,000 annually or about $1,000 an hour.  The 10 most highly compensated employees are male.

Wayne LaPierre, the CEO received $1,143,868 in 2021 (his lowest compensation in 7 years which may or may not be due to the IRS and other investigations) but has received more than $15 million in compensation over the past 7 years:

  • 2021:  $1,143,868
  • 2020:  $1,665,267
  • 2019:  $1,884,709
  • 2018:  $2,224,427
  • 2017:  $1,433,977
  • 2016:  $1,422,339
  • 2015:  $5,110,985

The NRA paid for first class or charter travel. Specifically, charter travel was used “when travel logistics or security concerns precluded other available option.”  For details on this expense, and reportable other expenses including life insurance plans and taxable personal expenses, see the Form 990, Schedule J, Part III, Supplemental Information.

The NRA paid more than $100,000 in compensation to 103 independent contractors in 2021. The 5 most highly compensated were reported to be:

  • $20,255,717:  Brewer Attorneys and Counselors, of Dallas, TX for legal services
  • $13,265,606:  Infocision Management Corp, of Akron, OH for telemarketing
  • $11,551,143:  Membership Marketing Partners, of Fairfax, VA for fundraising, printing, and mailing
  • $ 5,960,129:  Quad Graphics, of Sussex, WI for magazine production
  • $ 5,054,784:  Valtim, Inc, of Forest, VA for printing and mailing services

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 (2019) and Schedule O of the Form 990 (2021).

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

To read the IRS Form 990 (2020), click here.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2021), click here.

1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Gerald F Smith
    Dec 5 2022

    Well I might be a member but after seeing the list of compensations I will no longer be a donor

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