Brady Calling Gun Control Forces to Focus on National Shooting Sports Foundation After NRA Verdict

Gun Rights

A national gun control organization is taking responsibility for the NRA’s legal problems, setting its sights on a firearms industry trade organization, and calling on people to join its fight.

In a March 14 email, Brady—formerly The Brady Campaign—is soliciting signatures on a petition for Congress to pass more gun control laws to end the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).
Neither Brady nor the NRA responded to emails requesting comments on this story.

Mark Oliva, Managing Director of Public Affairs for the NSSF, said he is not surprised by the email. He said Brady is only one of several groups assaulting Americans’ Second Amendment rights.

“I think, if anything, [the email] is a testament to the effectiveness of NSSF and our ability to advocate for our industry,” Mr. Oliva told The Epoch Times.

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Mr. Oliva expects anti-gun groups to continue, and even intensify their attacks. The Brady email indicates he is correct.

“The National Shooting Sports Foundation … is the firearm industry’s biggest trade group … and, as the NRA crumbles in disgrace, they are poised to take on [the NRA’s] deadly ‘guns everywhere’ agenda,” the Brady email reads.

The NRA has had many public issues in the past several years. Allegations of corruption, infighting, and misuse of funds soured many former members of the organization that billed itself as “America’s oldest civil rights organization.”

As membership declined, the group’s political enemies found chinks in the NRA’s political armor.

Last February, a New York jury found Wayne LaPierre, former CEO and face of the NRA for decades, liable in a civil case. He must pay $4.3 million in damages for the mismanagement and misuse of charitable funds.

The verdict resulted from a civil lawsuit brought by the New York Attorney General’s Office, accusing Mr. LaPierre and the NRA of questionable financial and administration practices during his tenure from 2014 to 2022. Mr. LaPierre, who had resigned weeks before the verdict, and the NRA said the lawsuit was a political witch hunt meant to kill the NRA.

“A parade of NRA witnesses and independent experts established that the NRA was the victim of actions that were pursued in secrecy and not in the interests of the association—by former vendors and fiduciaries,” NRA counsel William A. Brewer III said.

The Brady email hailed the verdict as a result of its work and called on Brady supporters to turn their attention to the NSSF.

“Luckily, we at Brady know how to fight the NSSF because we’ve been fighting the NRA for years, and we’re seeing the disgraceful end of their organization play out because of our dedicated work. We may know their tricks, but we’re going to need all the support we can get if we’re going to overcome another extremist gun lobby group, and that’s why I’m reaching out today,” reads the email written under the name Kris Brown, President of Brady.

The email doesn’t specify how Brady assisted New York Attorney General Letitia James. But, it does provide a list of its complaints against the NSSF.

NTD Photo
New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a press conference following a verdict against former President Donald Trump in a civil fraud trial in New York City on Feb. 16, 2024. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

According to the email, the NSSF spends millions of dollars lobbying on behalf of the gun industry. The email says the NSSF opposes universal background checks, state laws to allow lawsuits against gunmakers whose products are used in the commission of a crime, and has branded President Joe Biden as “waging war on the Second Amendment.”

Mr. Oliva said the email contains tiny bits of truth while leaving out significant facts.

When it comes to background checks, he said groups like Brady are late to the party.

“I think it’s important for everyone to understand that the firearms industry was actually the progenitor. We came up with the point-of-sale background check system,” Mr. Oliva said.

According to Mr. Oliva, this resulted in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

He added that NSSF came up with the Fix-NICS plan after it was clear that not all states were sending relevant records to the FBI for NICS. This resulted in federal legislation to make the background check system truly keep guns out of the wrong hands, he said.

“Brady had nothing to do with that,” Mr. Oliva said.

Making a Right a Reality

As for the other points, Mr. Oliva said it boils down to the NSSF working on behalf of an industry that makes the Second Amendment more than a political ideology. He said he stands behind his work and the claims that the Biden Administration is working to stifle a Constitutional Right.

He pointed to the recently established White House Office for the Prevention of Gun Violence, staffed by long-time gun-control advocates, as proof of his claims.

He said the exercise of the Second Amendment begins at the gun store counter. He vowed to continue his work.

“You would not have the ability to keep and bear arms if you didn’t have the ability to approach the gun counter and buy one legally,” he said. “I’m not going to apologize, and NSSF will not apologize for our effectiveness.”

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