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NRA Leaders' Links To Criminal Activity

The following is a list of controversial statements and actions of NRA leaders regarding their ties to Criminal Activity. NRA leaders are listed alphabetically by last name.

Bob Barr (Board Member)

In a June 20, 2023 op-ed for the Marietta Daily Journal, Barr wrote, “I am a real fan of handguns manufactured by Glock. And, for many years I have known Paul Jannuzzo.” Paul Jannuzzo, former CEO of Glock, Inc., a firearms manufacturer, fled the country first to Mexico, and then Amsterdam amid allegations of embezzlement. He was arrested in Amsterdam and extradited to the United States. In March 2012, Jannuzzo was convicted for racketeering and theft. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and thirteen on probation. Barr also stated that he wrote a letter of support for Jannuzzo prior to his sentencing.

Bob Brown (Board Member)

During a 10-year span covering the early 1980s to the early 1990s, “more than a half-dozen” contract murders were linked to Soldier of Fortune:

Harlon Carter (Former NRA Executive Vice President)

On March 3, 1931, in Laredo, Texas, Carter, who was 17, shot and killed 15-year-old Ramón Casiano. After returning home from school that day, Carter was told by his mother that there were three Hispanic youths loitering near their family’s property. Carter left his house, shotgun in tow, to confront the alleged loiterers. After finding Casiano and his two companions, Carter pointed his shotgun at them and ordered them to come with him. Casiano refused and pulled out a knife and asked Carter if he would like to fight. Carter then pointed the shotgun at Casiano’s chest. Casiano pushed the gun aside and asked Carter not to shoot while taking a step back. He was then shot and killed. Carter claimed self-defense, but the presiding judge instructed the jury, “There is no evidence that defendant had any lawful authority to require deceased to go to his house for questioning, and if defendant was trying to make deceased go there for that purpose at the time of the killing, he was acting without authority of law, and the law of self-defense does not apply.” Carter was convicted of murder without malice aforethought (a crime similar to second-degree murder) and sentenced to three years in prison. Subsequently, Carter successfully appealed his conviction with the appeals court, holding that the trial court failed “to submit to the jury appropriate instructions upon the law of self-defense.” When the shooting incident was reported in media in 1981, Carter initially denied that he had killed Casiano before falsely claiming that the shooting took place on his property.

Chris Cox (Executive Director)

In a July 2, 2023 op-ed for The Washington Times, Cox wrote, “Today begins the most important 26-day period for our Second Amendment freedoms in recent history. That’s because today, representatives from many of the world’s socialist, tyrannical and dictatorial regimes will gather at United Nations headquarters in New York for a month-long meeting, in which they’ll put the finishing touches on an international Arms Trade Treaty that could seriously restrict your freedom to own, purchase and carry a firearm.” Cox was referring to a U.N. Small Arms Treaty which would set only international standards for the import/export of conventional weapons—leaving it to individual countries to “regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through national constitutional protections on private ownership.” Cox added, “You might think that something so obviously menacing to one of our enumerated fundamental rights would receive a strong rebuke from our top government leaders. But you’d be wrong. This is President Barack Obama’s vision for America, and we’re expected to just go along with it. In fact, a group of anti-gun members of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), went so far as to circulate a letter last week to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, in which they ‘strongly urge the United States to take a leadership role in pushing for a strong, verifiable Arms Trade Treaty’ … Since when did it become fashionable for sitting members of Congress to lobby international thugs, tyrants and dictators against our own U.S. Constitution?

Larry Craig (Board Member)

On August 3, 2012, the Associated Press reported that Craig, who is being sued by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) for allegedly misusing more than $200,000 in campaign funds for his legal defense following his 2007 arrest in a bathroom sex sting, seeks to fend off the charges by arguing that the incident was part of his official Senate business. Craig asserts that he was travelling between Idaho and the nation's capital for work and cites a Senate rule which include all charges for meals, lodging, hotel fans, cleaning, pressing of clothing—and bathrooms—as reimbursable per diem expenses. "Not only was the trip itself constitutionally required, but Senate rules sanction reimbursement for any cost relating to a senator's use of a bathroom while on official travel," wrote Craig’s lawyer in documents filed on August 2, 2012.

On June 11, 2012, Craig was sued by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) for allegedly misusing more than $200,000 in campaign funds for his legal defense following his 2007 arrest in a bathroom sex sting. Craig had been accused of soliciting sex in a bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The FEC claims that Craig for U.S. Senate, the U.S. senator’s campaign account, paid at least $139,952 to the law firm Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan in Washington, D.C., and $77,032 to Kelly & Jacobson in Minnesota for legal services related to his guilty plea. The FEC stated in their complaint that Craig should be required to repay the misused funds and a fine of up to $6,500.

In June 2007, Craig, a married man, was arrested in a Minneapolis airport bathroom and charged with lewd conduct after an undercover male police officer accused him of making sexual advances. Craig later pled guilty to disorderly conduct. The Idaho Statesman published a comprehensive investigative report alleging that Craig engaged in sex acts with men for decades. A number of men gave accounts of sexual encounters with Craig.

Richard DAlauro

In March 2013, D’Alauro was charged with misdemeanor assault and endangering the welfare of a child stemming from a 2010 domestic altercation with his wife. He was also faced a noncriminal charge of harassment to which he pled guilty and admitted to the judge that he intended to “harass, annoy or alarm” his wife “by subjecting her to physical contact,” according to a transcript of the proceeding. Additionally, he was the subject of a protective order which prohibited him from purchasing or possessing weapons. Police confiscated 39 pistols, shotguns and rifles that D’Alauro kept in the couple’s Long Island home. D’Alauro’s former wife, Maribeth, stated that she suffered “years of domestic violence” but was “too afraid to ever call the police on him.”

Cam Edwards (NRA News Radio Host)

On the March 15, 2023 broadcast of “Cam & Company,” Edwards spoke about the arrest of New York linen mogul George Bardwil on illegal gun possession charges after Bardwil brandished a firearm not registered in his name in his home during an attempted robbery. “You are still looking at three years in prison for acting in self-defense in your own home,” Edwards stated, adding that the situation was "pretty awful.” “I thought we lived in the United States of America,” said Edwards. “[New York City] Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg still has the, well I'll use the word tenacity, this is a family friendly show, still has the tenacity and the gall to say he is not anti-gun. If that is the case, why don't you call up your buddy the DA, chew him out, and get those charges dropped against George Bardwil?” In 2008, Bardwil pled guilty to assaulting a housemaid. In May 2012, Bardwil was arrested and subsequently charged with second degree assault, a class D felony in New York, after his ex-wife accused him of repeatedly slamming her head into the ground causing her to be hospitalized.

On the May 22, 2023 broadcast of “Cam & Company,” Edwards spoke with National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) adjunct fellow Horace Cooper. NCPRR was founded one day after the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) disbanded its Public Safety and Elections Task Force, which was responsible for model voter ID and “Stand Your Ground” legislation. NCPPR promotes the implementation of voter ID laws at the state level in order to “enhance integrity in voting.” On the show, Cooper claimed that voter fraud is “a real problem” and that “felons, illegal immigrants, or just people who are paid to show up...go from one voting site to the next and cast votes in the names of other people.” Edwards agreed with Cooper and displayed a graphic which claimed that newly enacted voter ID legislation in Virginia “will ensure that voters presenting themselves at the polls are who they say they are, and greatly reduce voter fraud.” Cooper expressed NCPPR’s preference for voter ID laws similar to those in Texas and South Carolina, stating that these laws contain “grade A voter ID requirements.” Those laws have been challenged in court by the Department of Justice over allegations that they disenfranchise minorities. Furthermore, research has shown that in-person voter fraud of the kind Cooper warns about is extremely rare in the United States. Finally, in 2010, Cooper, a former Department of Labor official, pled guilty to falsifying a document after he failed to report gifts worth thousands of dollars which he received from convicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Manny Fernandez (Board Member)

In 1983, Fernandez was convicted of criminal possession of a machine gun.

Ted Nugent (Board Member)

On April 14 2012, Ted Nugent signed a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, admitting that he had illegally shot, killed and transported a black bear in southeast Alaska in May 2009 and transported it in violation of the federal Lacey Act. Nugent agreed to a $10,000 fine and a two-year probation. He also agreed to pay Alaska $600 . After signing the agreement, Nugent advised fellow hunters, “ even when you are aghast at a maniac, inexplicable, illogical law, please abide by those laws at all costs .” According to Nugent, his prosecution for killing the black bear was the result of a “ witch hunt” inspired by his political activism. “ We are the people turning up the heat, and that’s why I’m being singled out by certain fish and game agencies and certain U.S. attorneys ,” he stated.

In August 2010, Nugent pled no contest to 11 misdemeanor charges and was fined $1,750 for illegally baiting and killing an undersized deer. California game wardens reported the incident after observing Nugent using illegal hunting techniques on his television program “Spirit of the Wild.”

Johnny Nugent (Board Member)

In 2002, Nugent was arrested for driving under the influence. He registered a blood alcohol content of .13, which is well over Indiana’s .08 limit. Police stopped Nugent after receiving a report that he was driving erratically. Nugent apologized for his conduct, but also said that he “felt fine” and that he “didn't really drink any more wine at dinner than regularly.”

Todd Vandermyde

In December 2013, Vandermyde was ticketed by a state conservation officer for having a loaded crossbow with him while he was riding on an all-terrain vehicle during a deer-hunting excursion and he was required to pay a $120 fine. Illinois Wildlife Code requires hunters who use crossbows have to have them in cases whenever they’re driving vehicles, even an ATV. One of the conservation officers who encountered Vandermyde described Vanderymde as exhibiting a “very aggravated and disrespectful tone” toward the officer who questioned him about his crossbow and wrote him the ticket. A month later, Vandermyde worked with House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) to change the law that he broke.

Vandermyde faced criticism from state Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) a gun violence prevention advocate and a lead architect of the state’s same-sex marriage law, who stated, “Look, I like Todd [Vandermyde]. I do, in spite of myself. But if I got a ticket and changed the law because I got a ticket, people would be screaming bloody murder. I don’t think it’s any different when someone with the level of influence and access that he has does it, too.” Vandermyde responded, stating, “[Rep.] Kelly [Cassidy] — or any other legislator — takes on personal issues. I’m sure her vote for gay marriage had nothing to do with fact she’s a lesbian. They all work on pet issues, right.”

Rep. Don Young (Board Member)

On March 19, 2013, the House Ethics Committee announced it had launched a formal investigation to determine whether Young improperly received gifts, used official and campaign resources for personal use, and/or made false statement to federal officials. This is not the first instance in which Young has been under investigation for this kind of behavior. In 2010, the Justice Department declined to prosecute Young on allegations that he improperly accepted gifts and political contributions from oil services industry executives. At the time, Young was also under investigation, though never charged, for helping steer $10 million to a road project in Florida favored by a campaign supporter.

On April 13, 2009, Young signed an insurrectionist “Letter of Declaration” at an “Open Carry” event in Fairbanks, Alaska. The Declaration, drafted by Francis “Shaeffer” Cox of the Second Amendment Task Force/Alaska Peacemakers Militia, stated, “Let it be known that we, the people of Alaska, stand in recognition of the true principle that whenever a government abandons the purpose for which we have created it and even becomes hostile towards that which it was once a defender of, it is no longer a fit steward of the political power that is inherent in the people and lent to this government with strict conditions. These conditions are clearly defined in the United States Constitution and understood by the common man. Furthermore, to the extent that our government violates these conditions, they nullify their own authority, at which point it is our right and duty, not as subjects but as sovereign Americans, to entrust this power to new stewards who will not depart from the laws we have given them. This being the case, let it be known that should our government seek to further tax, restrict or register firearms or otherwise impose on the right that shall not be infringed, thus impairing our ability to exercise the God-given right to self-defense which precedes all human legislation and is superior to it, that the duty of us good and faithful people will not be to obey them but to alter or abolish them and institute new government laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to us shall seem most likely to effect our safety and happiness.” Cox and four other members of the group were arrested on March 10, 2023 on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping. The group had stockpiled firearms and munitions and was planning to kill Alaska state troopers and a federal judge.

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