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New Book on NRA Reveals Details of Incompetence, Allegations of Misuse of Funds, Extremist Double-Down of Organization

November 30, 2021

The Book, From Journalist Tim Mak, Details the NRA’s Embrace of Culture Wars, Allegations of the Rampant Waste of Organization Resources

A new book, MISFIRE: Inside the Downfall of the NRA by NPR’s Tim Mak, reveals new details of the extent of the NRA’s internal turmoil and crisis, how the NRA has doubled down on their extremist policies, and the incompetence of CEO Wayne LaPierre. Here are some key things made public for the first time in the book: 

  • CEO Wayne LaPierre was “easily bullied.” An excerpt of the book published in Rolling Stone describes LaPierre as “easily bullied and doesn’t have the ability to make firm commitments, or to keep his promises once he makes them.” Even more concerning for NRA members is Mak’s reporting that “NRA insiders used to joke that even if you came into Wayne’s office with a red nose and big rubber shoes, you could get him to approve an expenditure if you pressured him enough.” 
  • New details on the NRA”s rightward turn after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. As detailed in another excerpt, in the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, the NRA “shifted further to the right, embracing pro-gun Republicans entirely and abandoning even the pretense of outreach to Democrats.” In doing so, Mak writes, the NRA has also “alienated gun owners who care only about the right to safely and responsibly bear arms,” all to increase fundraising from the base. 
  • Prior to being elected NRA president, Charles Cotton played a central role in ousting then-president Oliver North from the organization. North had reportedly been pushing for an internal review of excessive billing by lawyer Bill Brewer, while LaPierre and Cotton, who was at that time the chairman of the NRA’s audit committee, were opposed to such a review. As the book notes: “If North stayed on as president, North could reshuffle the audit committee and push forward with an audit of the Brewer bills. Charles Cotton, the chairman of the audit committee, had come to Wayne urging him to marginalize North. ‘If Ollie gets reelected, I’m a dead man,’ Cotton told Wayne.” Previous reporting has shown Cotton’s failed oversight of wasteful spending at the NRA.

The book’s release comes as an audio tape published by Mak has revealed the callous, self-interested response of NRA executives to the Columbine High School school shooting, and Rolling Stone recently reported that a current NRA board member has ties to the Oath Keepers, a far-right extremist group. Everytown has chronicled the revelations from the NRA’s various legal woes at For further information about the state of play for the NRA, please email [email protected].

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