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Media Matters: A History of the NRA’s Embrace of QAnon

September 18, 2020

According to a new report by Media Matters, the NRA just endorsed “two high-profile congressional candidates who support QAnon” –– but, as Media Matters notes, that’s not “not the pro-gun group’s first experience with this dangerous conspiracy theory.” Five NRA board members have also “promoted QAnon or QAnon-related accounts on social media” and the NRA’s political action committee has “endorsed four state legislative candidates who have expressed support for the conspiracy theory.” 

The Media Matters report details the following ties between NRA and QAnon –– the unhinged, dangerous conspiracy theory, which is explained in full here

NRA backs QAnon-supporting candidates: 

  • Support for Lauren Boebert: For years, the NRA has supported Boebert –– a QAnon supporter who is now running for Congress in Colorado. The NRA has run “a segment on her gun-themed restaurant,” promoted a video of her confronting Beto O’Rourke at a town hall, and interviewed her for its “member spotlight” series. 
  • Endorsed state legislature candidates: The NRA has endorsed Rob Chase, a candidate for the Washington House of Representatives; Susan Lynn, an incumbent in the Tennessee House of Representatives; Anthony Sabatini, an incumbent member of the Florida House of Representatives; and Suzanne Sharer, a candidate for the Arizona State Senate. All have shared QAnon content. 

NRA board members embrace QAnon: 

  • Ted Nugent: Nugent, a longtime NRA board member, has twice shared a QAnon YouTube video on his Facebook page. 
  • Jay Printz: Printz, an NRA board member since 1998, shared a video from one of “the biggest QAnon accounts across multiple platforms” on his facebook account. 
  • Leroy Sisco: Sisco, who has been on the board for over a decade, has “shared four YouTube videos to his Facebook account from QAnon-affiliated channels.”
  • Robert Mansell: Mansell “shared on his personal Facebook account the Orwellian Chronicle video with the description ‘It’s time to wake up. Q.’”
  • Willes Lee: Lee, the NRA’s Second Vice President, has retweeted the “Eyes on Q” account and wrote on Facebook that “Q” was “relatively behind the scene until Dem leaders & #enemyofthepeople media pushed back HARD against stories of all these liberal pedophiles & the national anti trafficking efforts.”

This embrace of QAnon (a full explainer of which can be found here) is just the latest in a long history of the NRA and its board members supporting conspiracy theories and hate speech. Other examples include NRA board members spreading conspiracy theories and racism surrounding COVID-19; the NRA’s former media outlet, NRATV, which was rife with hateful language and fringe ideology; the NRA’s recent partnership with Glenn Beck’s racist, coronavirus-dismissing TV network; and much more. 

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