Yahoo News just blew the lid off of a scandal that may just spell serious trouble for the NRA. It seems they’ve been illegally funneling money from contributors to their political action committee, The NRA Political Victory Fund.
The problem with that is that the NRA accepts contributions from people for a number of reasons, including gun safety training and education, that has nothing to do with politics. By shifting this money to their PAC, which uses it to donate to Republican campaigns across the country, they’re choosing candidates for people by way of donations, which is not only unethical but illegal.
From Yahoo’s Alan Burlow:
The issue is not just that my donations ended up in a political fund account, but the way the NRA solicited them — and presumably those of thousands of others. In fact, each of these transactions almost certainly violated multiple provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) and a legion of state and federal antifraud statutes designed to protect the public from phony charities and false or misleading solicitations.
After the NRA entered politics heavily in the 1970’s, their tactics have become exponentially slimier. In the interest of increasing the bottom lines of gun manufacturers, who are some of their biggest donors, the NRA has become an advocate for the use of firearms by anyone, including criminals, by opposing laws designed to protect the public from felons and the mentally ill from purchasing them.
This particular scam, though, may be more than the high-powered lawyers of the NRA can handle, as federal law clearly states that solicitations for political purposes must be clear and transparent.
Burlow explains further:
If a private citizen says he’s raising money for a cancer charity and deposits the money into his personal bank account, he can be prosecuted for committing a fraud. Similarly, under federal election law, corporations like the NRA that set up what are known as “connected PACs” must inform potential donors if a PAC is the intended beneficiary of a solicitation. The NRA can’t claim to be raising money for the corporation — to finance such things as its lobbying or research initiatives — and then deposit that money into the account of its PAC. But that’s precisely what the NRA did when it solicited my contributions.
It’s about time someone called shenanigans on the NRA for its outright deceptive practices.