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For First Time in Decades, Embattled NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre a No-Show at Marquee CPAC Event

February 25, 2021

LaPierre’s Absence Comes After Scandal-Plagued NRA Declared Bankruptcy and LaPierre “Under Scrutiny For His Leadership

Everytown Running Digital Ads in Orlando During CPAC That Highlight How LaPierre, NRA Spent Millions on Designer Suits, Exotic Trips, Private Jets, Golden Parachutes, and High-Priced Lawyers — While Shortchanging Dues-Paying Members

NRA’s Prolific Political Losing Streak: Lost U.S. House in 2018, Virginia in 2019, the White House in 2020 and the U.S. Senate in 2021

NEW YORK – According to Bloomberg News, embattled NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre is skipping this year’s annual Conservative Political Action Committee Conference (CPAC), the first time in at least 24 years that LaPierre has not spoken at the marquee GOP event.

“All you need to know about the state of the NRA is that their executives are scared to show their faces at CPAC,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “LaPierre’s absence speaks louder than his previous 24 years of CPAC speeches ever did, proving yet again that the NRA is now as politically bankrupt as it is financially and morally.”

“For years, the NRA was the most powerful lobbying group in politics — now no one cares whether they show up at the GOP’s premiere events,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Either the NRA can’t afford another private jet for LaPierre to travel to CPAC, or they’re scared of the reception he’d get from the Congress members and NRA members he’s conned.”

CPAC 2021 marks the first time since at least 1997 that the NRA hasn’t cosponsored the marquee GOP event. It comes weeks after NRA-allies lost the presidency and U.S. Senate, shortly before the NRA declared chapter 11 bankruptcy. 

In just the past few weeks, NRA bankruptcy proceedings have revealed new profligate spending at the NRA, adversarial parties have sought to dismiss the bankruptcy using the NRA’s own out of court statements against them, and an NRA board member has stepped forward to call for the appointment of an independent examiner to investigate fraud and misconduct at the NRA.

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund is running digital ads in Orlando during CPAC as part of a six-figure TV and digital ad campaign, which highlights how the NRA has spent its members’ dues. The ads are targeted toward NRA members and gun owners and urge them to “ditch” the NRA.

In short, NRA members have been fleeced. Less than ten percent of what the NRA spends goes toward safety, education and training, while the NRA has spent hundreds of thousands on designer suits for LaPierre; millions on private jet travel and trips to exotic locales like Hungary, Greece, and the Bahamas; millions on golden parachutes; and tens of millions on high-priced lawyers.

The NRA’s lavish spending, and the legal consequences that have followed, have led conservative media and purported NRA allies to deride the organization. And, they’ve led to an NRA board member and donor revolt. One major donor claims to have persuaded a like-minded group of supporters to withhold $163 million in pledged donations to the organization. The donor, David Dell’Aquila, is also leading a class action lawsuit against the NRA and has a seat on the Creditor’s Committee in the bankruptcy proceedings.

Everytown has chronicled court filings and news articles about the various NRA scandals at  

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