Wayne Lapierre

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

Wayne LaPierre - Executive Vice President and CEO of the NRA
Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Rifle Association

Wayne LaPierre has worked as a government activist and lobbyist since receiving a M.A. from Boston College. He began working for the National Rifle Association in 1978 as a state liaison in the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). LaPierre would become Executive Director of the NRA-ILA in 1986 before taking over the top position at the NRA in 1991. As Executive Vice President, LaPierre is in charge of the NRA’s 76 member Board of Directors and directs the organization’s policy. LaPierre has been an outspoken hardliner on gun rights and is no stranger to extreme rhetoric. In 1995 he called federal law enforcement agents “jack-booted thugs” and accused Bill Clinton of having “blood on his hands” for his support of gun control measures. LaPierre has mobilized the National Rifle Association against Democratic nominees for President in 2004, 2008, and 2012 presidential elections.

Between 2008 and 2010, the NRA paid LaPierre compensation in an amount ranging from $948,858 and $1,263,101 per year.

$845,469
$125,615
Photo by Gage Skidmore

Controversial Actions and Statements

Controversial Actions and Statements:

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Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In an October 8, 2013 op-ed for the Daily Caller, LaPierre wrote, “The tyrants and dictators at the United Nations will stop at nothing to register, ban and, eventually, confiscate firearms owned by law-abiding Americans like you and me … By signing the U.N. gun-ban treaty our government will be placing a ticking time bomb at every American gun owners’ front door … Despite the half-truths and outright lies coming from the Obama administration, the U.N. and its gun-ban allies in the media, the [Arms Trade Treaty] ATT would potentially create an international gun registration system that could eventually pave the way for the full-blown confiscation of firearms owned by American gun owners … The U.N.’s driving mission is to accumulate power at the expense of the sovereignity[sic] of individual nations and fundamental individual rights, and its gun-ban treaty proves it. After all, no human right known to mankind is more essential to a free and just society than the individual right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their loved ones in the face of criminal violence. That’s why our Founding Fathers enshrined this freedom in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” LaPierre was referring to a U.N. Small Arms Treaty that would set only international standards for the import/export of conventional weapons—leaving it to individual countries to “regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through national constitutional protections on private ownership.”

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) | Freedom of Speech
2013/10/08

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

On March 15, 2013, during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), LaPierre stated, “The Second Amendment is not just words on parchment. It’s not some frivolous suggestion from our Founding Fathers to be interpreted by whim. It lies at the heart of what this country was founded upon. Our Founding Fathers knew that without Second Amendment freedom, all of our freedoms could be in jeopardy … If you aren’t free to protect yourself—when government puts its thumb on that freedom—then you aren’t free at all.

LaPierre also spoke about universal background checks on gun purchasers, a measure supported by President Barack Obama and the subject of proposed legislation, stating, “A background check. A check that will always be far from universal, will never make our schools or streets safer, and will only serve as universal registration of lawful gun owners—the real goal they’ve been pushing for decade …. Their check only includes good, law-abiding people like you and me. That’s what they’re after—the names of good, decent people who happen to own a firearm to go into a federal database for universal registration of every lawful gun owner in America … What’s the point of registering lawful gun owners anyway? So newspapers can print those names and addresses for criminals and gangs to access? So that list can be hacked by foreign entities like the Chinese, who recently hacked Pentagon computers? So that list can be handed over to the Mexican government that, oh by the way, has already requested it. In the end, there are only two reasons for government to create that federal registry of gun owners—to tax them and to take them.

In reality, existing federal lawprohibits the creation of a national gun registry and none of the proposed gun violence prevention legislation referred to by LaPierre sought to change that. LaPierre continued, stating, “No gun owner, no rational thinking American, believes that will have any effect on violent criminals and they’re right.” In fact, several polls conducted in January 2013 in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary indicated overwhelming public support for universal background checks. A public opinion poll published by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health found that http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/01/31/nra-leadership... of Americans and 74% of NRA members supported requiring a background check for all gun sales. A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 85% of Americans and gun owners favored making private gun sales subject to background checks. (Conspiracy Theory).

2013/05/28

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In a February 23, 2013 speech at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo in Salt Lake City, LaPierre spoke about universal background checks, stating, “It’s aimed at registering your guns. And when another tragic opportunity presents itself, that registry will be used to confiscate your guns … Picture this: your name, your address on a map giving directions to your home that could include a list of all the specific firearms you own. That’s a pretty handy list if you’re a seasoned criminal or a drug dealer or a gang member, isn’t it? How safe do you think that government list would be?" In fact, throughout U.S. history, federal and state laws have required registration of certain firearms, and such measures have never led to any confiscation of firearms from those in compliance with the law. Additionally, existing federal law prohibits the creation of a national gun registry and none of the proposed gun violence prevention legislation referred to by LaPierre sought to change that.

Conspiracy Theory |
2013/02/23

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

On January 22, 2013, in a speech at the Weatherby Foundation International Hunting and Conservation Awards in Reno, Nevada, LaPierre stated, “[President Barack] Obama wants to turn the idea of absolutism into a dirty word. Just another word for extremism. He wants you, all of you, and Americans throughout all of this country, to accept the idea of principles as he sees fit. It’s a way of redefining words so that common sense is turned upside down and that nobody knows the difference.” LaPierre was referring to President Obama’s second inaugural address, in which he stated, “We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.” LaPierre also addressed President Obama’s January 2013 proposals to reduce gun violence, stating, “He wants to put every private, personal firearms transaction right under the thumb of the federal government. He wants to keep all of those names in a massive federal registry. There’s only two reasons for a federal list on gun owners: to either tax ‘em or take ‘em. That’s the only reasons. And anyone who says that’s excessive, President Obama says that’s an absolutist.” In fact, the Obama administration had never proposed the creation of a universal list of gun owners. “Absolutes do exist,” added LaPierre. “Words do have specific meaning in language and in law. It’s the basis of all civilization. Without those absolutes, without those protections, democracy decays into nothing more than two wolves and one lamb voting on, well, who to eat for lunch.”

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) |
2013/01/22

wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In a December 23, 2012 interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” LaPierre spoke about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut in which 20 first-grade students and six adults were killed. Host David Gregory asked, “Not conceding that guns play a role [in these tragedies], that’s a meaningful contribution?” LaPierre replied, “Look, I know there’s a media machine in this country that wants to blame guns every time something happens. I know there’s an anti-Second Amendment industry in this town. I know there are political leaders that for 20 years always try to say it’s cause Americans own guns.” Gregory noted that some news outlets called LaPierre “crazy” after his response to Newtown. LaPierre replied, “If it’s crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy … That is the one thing, the one thing that we can do immediately that will immediately make our children safe … Israel had a whole lot of school shootings until they did one thing. They said, ‘We’re gonna stop it’ and they put armed security in every school and they have not had a problem since.” In fact, Yigal Palmor, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said the situation in Israel was “fundamentally different.” Palmor stated, “We didn’t have a series of school shootings, and they had nothing to do with the issue at hand in the United States. We had to deal with terrorism. What removed the danger was not the armed guards but an overall anti-terror policy and anti-terror operations which brought street terrorism down to nearly zero over a number of years.” Reuven Berko, a retired Israeli Army colonel and senior police officer explained that, in recent years, restrictions on gun ownership have been tightened, stating, “Israeli citizens are not allowed to carry guns unless they are serving in the army or working in security-related jobs that require them to use a weapon.”

When asked by Gregory about universal background checks for firearms purchasers, LaPierre replied, “We have backed the National Instant Check System. We have backed putting anyone adjudicated mentally incompetent into the system. Now, I know where you’re going with this. They’ve come up with this whole ‘Gun Show Loophole.’ There’s not a Gun Show Loophole … What the anti-Second Amendment movement wants to do is put every gun sale in the country under the thumb of the federal government.” Current federal law requires criminal background checks only for guns sold through licensed firearm dealers. Those sales account for just 60% of all gun sales in the United States. A loophole in the law allows individuals not “engaged in the business” of selling firearms to sell guns without a license—and without processing any paperwork. Gregory asked LaPierre if he would consider any kind of reform in this area, stating, “The standard is, if it's possible—your words—if it's possible that lives could be spared, shouldn't we try that? That's your standard, isn't it?” LaPierre replied, “I tell you, my standard is this. You can't legislate morality. Legislation works on the sane. Legislation works on the law abiding."

Conspiracy Theory |
2012/12/23

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In an October 17, 2012 interview with NRA News, LaPierre stated, "We’ll go to our graves mourning the freedoms we’ve lost in this country if we don’t step up between now and election time and make the difference in this election and make sure President [Barack] Obama’s defeated on election day."

Republican Party (GOP) |
2012/10/17

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

On October 5, 2012, LaPierre announced the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund’s endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Fishersville, Virginia. LaPierre stated, “The dream is to save America and our freedom … You’re sure not free if you can’t defend yourself and everyone knows that. And I also know something else about ya. You’re not gonna surrender submit, succumb, or be marginalized. You’re ready to make a difference for freedom in this country. And we have to do that, because we’re standin’ on the edge of a [President Barack] Obama cliff with our freedom. If President Obama gets reelected, he’s gonna have one to three Supreme Court appointments and I guarantee you this, if that happens, one to three more [Justice Sonia] Sotomayors and [Justice Elena] Kagans and we can kiss our constitutional right to own a firearm in the United States goodbye, along with a lot of the rest of our freedoms. And we can’t let that happen … Does anybody trust an Obama Administration in the second term to be anywhere near negotiating with a club of governments called the United Nations on our freedom? Their gun plan is: Turn over your firearms and your protection to the government. The government will protect ya… That U.N. plan is about global agencies monitoring, surveillance, supervision, lists, all institutionalized within the bureaucracy of the United Nations … I guarantee this, if your glass breaks at 2:00 a.m. at night somewhere from some criminal, you all know that those baby blue helmets of the U.N. aren’t gonna be there to protect ya and neither is President Obama or [U.S. Attorney General] Eric Holder. What will protect ya is our freedom that we have here in the United States under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. And there’s not a government or authority on the planet that can match that if you’re ever in that situation.” LaPierre was referring to a U.N. Small Arms Treaty that would set only international standards for the import/export of conventional weapons—leaving it to individual countries to “regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through national constitutional protections on private ownership.” Finally, LaPierre added, “We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg on what’s in store if President Obama is reelected … It’s the most dangerous election of our lifetime … All of our freedoms, all of our rights, all of our way of life, all of the Second Amendment is on the line.”

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) | Vigilantism
2012/10/05

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In the October 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, LaPierre wrote, “Of all the threats to American liberty posed by the [President Barack] Obama administration, the most dangerous is the corruption of the U.S. Department of Justice where high-level misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance have become the norm. The U.S. Department of Justice is supposed to be a neutral guardian of the rule of law and protector of our national order. It is supposed to uphold the United States Constitution. Instead, under President Barack Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, it has become the national enforcer of Chicago-style thuggery on the national scene … Under operation ‘Fast and Furious,’ Holder’s Justice Department has abetted federal felony gun-law violations and international gun running—resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Mexican nationals and the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona.” LaPierre was referring to the discontinued “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking investigation on the southwest border. A report released by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General on September 19, 2012 found that there is no evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder was aware of the tactics used in “Fast and Furious” until after it was concluded in 2011. LaPierre then turned to the topic of Voter ID legislation, stating, “But no clearer example exists of the deep corruption at Justice than its efforts to vacate state laws preventing election fraud … The Obama/Holder Justice Department is running a vote fraud protection racket by jamming the courts with lawsuits opposing state mandates that provide a simple solution to election cheating–Voter ID … Now connect the dots to another key assault on our freedom. Aligned with the Department of Homeland Security, Obama’s top federal law enforcement leaders are refusing to enforce immigration laws to stem the tide of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens, potential illegal voters.” Voter ID laws in Texas, North Carolina, and Florida have been challenged in court by the Department of Justice over allegations that they disenfranchise minorities. In July of 2012, the DOJ began investigating Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law to determine whether it discriminates against minorities. Furthermore, research has shown that in-person voter fraud of the kind LaPierre warns about is extremely rare in the United States.

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) | Immigration | Race | Voting Rights
2012/10

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In the August 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, LaPierre wrote, “For months I’ve warned you of the grave consequences our freedoms will face if [President Barack] Obama, his administration and its Capitol Hill enablers are reelected on Nov. 6 [2012] … Now Obama’s allies on Capitol Hill want to deny the right to political free speech to you, me and groups like the NRA completely and forever–even if they have to amend the U.S. Constitution.” LaPierre was referring to the “People’s Rights Amendment” introduced by Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) in response to the controversial Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In Citizens United, the Court ruled that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. Rep. McGovern’s amendment to the U.S. Constitution would clarify the meaning of ‘people,’ ‘person’ or ‘citizen,’ defining them not as “corporations, limited liability companies, or other corporate entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state,” but as individual human beings. The amendment would also subject corporate entities to “such regulation as the people, through their elected State and Federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.”

Republican Party (GOP) | Campaign Finance | Freedom of Speech
2012/08

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In an NRA fundraising letter dated July 23, 2012, LaPierre wrote the following about the 2012 presidential election: “The night of November 6, 2012, you and I will lose more on the election battlefield than our nation has lost in any battle, anytime, anywhere. Or, we will win our greatest victory as NRA members and freedom-loving Americans … The future of your Second Amendment rights will be at stake. And nothing less than the future of our country and our freedom will be at stake.” Lapierre stated that Obama’s re-election would result in the “confiscation of our firearms” and potentially a “ban on semi-automatic weapons.” The letter was sent to NRA supporters just three days after a mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. In that shooting, severely mentally ill gunman James Holmes killed 12 people and wounded 58 others in a span of two minutes. Holmes wore full body armor during the attack and was armed with three semiautomatic firearms. LaPierre made no mention whatsoever of the shooting in his letter.

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) |
2012/07/23

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In a July 5, 2012 interview with Megyn Kelly on Fox News, LaPierre spoke about a proposed U.N. Small Arms Treaty, stating, “The fact is the U.N. doesn’t protect people. It doesn’t save the innocent. You could stack to the ceiling the bodies of the innocent a thousand times over that the U.N has failed to protect. The dead people don’t get to vote on this U.N treaty. And Americans don’t want to be added to that pile of dead people that have been left defenseless by the U.N. policies … The U.N. gun control plan is the most extreme imaginable. It says people in the United States turn over your personal protection and your firearms to the government and the government will protect you.” In fact, the U.N. Small Arms Treaty would set only international standards for the import/export of conventional weapons—leaving it to individual countries to “regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through national constitutional protections on private ownership.” When pressed on this by Kelly, LaPierre responded by saying, “Right now it would affect every handgun, rifle, and shotgun American citizens own … It sets up global agencies, data centers, tracking, monitoring, surveillance, supervision, it institutionalizes the whole U.N. gun plan within the bureaucracy of the United Nations with a permanent funding mechanism. And included in this gun plan is implementation legislation that they are going to press for the United States to adopt.” Treaties must be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the U.S. Senate.

Conspiracy Theory |
2012/07/05

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In the July 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, LaPierre wrote, “We have been enormously successful in restoring Second Amendment freedom to honest Americans. But those hard-earned victories are vulnerable so long as Barack Obama is president. Despite his claims to the contrary, the threats we face today are as real and dangerous as any we’ve face before … Americans have had enough of this administration’s elitist contempt for our freedoms and our way of life … We can’t wait. If we sit back and count on a victory in 2016, we will face four long years under an emboldened anti-gun president. With no more elections to worry about, Obama will finally be free to launch an open assault on the Second Amendment. Now is the time to stop that from happening. It’s up to each of us to ask ourselves one simple question every day from now until November: am I doing everything I can to win this election?”

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) |
2012/07

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

On June 29, 2012, in a speech at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Colorado, LaPierre stated, “If you don’t remember anything else I say tonight, mark this down: this is the most dangerous election in our lifetimes ... It’s a fight for our country, it's a fight for our values, it's a fight for the freedoms we believe in, all of our Second Amendment liberty, all of the rights we’ve worked so hard to defend, all of what we know is good, and what we know is right about America. All of it could be lost if [President] Barack Obama is reelected ... The fight is on. Everything we believe in’s at stake and at risk ... Never has American freedom been more disregarded, denigrated, diminished, and often destroyed ... Almost every way you look at it, almost every aspect of American freedom is in some state of decline. Just think about it. Our right to speak out, our right to assemble, our right to practice our religion, our right to seek the kind of health care we want for our families, the economic freedom to earn and spend and save, to own our own homes, to buy the kind of food we want to feed our children, to raise and discipline our kids, even the simple right to fly the American flag. The increasing collapse of American freedom is becoming staggering. Because, by almost every measure, we are less free today than we were a short decade ago. President Obama? He won’t tell you that ... Never has honest leadership been so lacking as in the Barack Obama White House.” LaPierre also spoke about the discontinued “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking investigation on the southwest border and President Obama’s decision to invoke executive privilege over documents subpoenaed by Congress, stating, “I guarantee you that there’s somethin’ that stinks to high heaven in those papers in order for this administration to be willin’ to walk into this briar patch. Executive privilege really is the last gasp of a cover-up ... [Barack Obama] chose the Richard Nixon option to cover it up until after the coming election. No one died as a result of Watergate, yet several members of Nixon’s cabinet and staff went to prison ... Just like Nixon, this president has put his administration in the same state of vulnerability, at the edge of a federal penitentiary.” A report released by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General on September 19, 2012 found that there is no evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder was aware of the tactics used in “Fast and Furious” until after it was concluded in 2011.

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) | Religion
2012/06/29

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In a June 28, 2012 interview with NRA News, LaPierre spoke about the “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking investigation on the southwest border and a vote in the House of Representatives to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt for failure to comply with a congressional subpoena for documents related to the operation. NRA News co-host Ginny Simone asked LaPierre to respond to D.C. Delegate to the House of Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton’s assertion that the vote was partisan and motivated by NRA lobbying of legislators. LaPierre replied, “Well, that’s all a bunch of garbage to tell you the truth … I mean, all the enablers in the media that are trying to justify what went on here and refuse to ask any of the Watergate questions: who knew, when they knew, how high it goes … Watergate was a third-rate burglary. No one was killed.” A report released by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General on September 19, 2012 found that there is no evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder was aware of the tactics used in the investigation until after it was concluded in 2011.

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) |
2012/06/28

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In a June 12, 2012 interview with Fox News, LaPierre stated, “You know, I don’t know the facts in this whole Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case, and I’ve learned to hold my tongue until I do.” LaPierre was referencing the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by concealed carry permit holder George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012—an event which generated national controversy. LaPierre also spoke about Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which the NRA helped to author and promoted aggressively in the state legislature: “But what I do know the facts on, and that’s the Florida law. And there’s a shocking ignorance of the law, what it says in Florida. Or it’s being done for political purposes to seek political advantage. All that law says in Florida is, if you’re in your home, and your glass breaks in the middle of the night, there is a presumption that that person is there to cause you imminent fear of death or bodily harm. If you’re in your car and someone assaults you and tries to pull you out there’s a presumption that that person is there to cause you imminent fear of death or bodily harm. If you are on the street in Florida it is a completely different section of the law. It’s [Florida statute section] 776.012 as opposed to 776.013. And if you’re on the street in Florida, what the law says is if someone assaults you or you’re attacked, you can meet force with force. The law even says ‘not deadly’ in parentheses.” In fact, “Stand Your Ground” expressly allows an individual on the street to meet force with deadly force. The law states, “A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” LaPierre continued, “But, gosh there’s been so much distortion as to what this law says, with ‘shoot first’ and everything else completely misinforming the American public … I think a lot of it is by some these politicians who want to impose a duty to retreat on the American public, where if your glass breaks in the middle of the night and there’s some criminal coming into your house, they want to impose a duty to retreat on the crime victim with a long complicated checklist rather than do what’s natural at the most terrifying moment of that person’s life when they’re in a state of overwhelming reactive panic which is to protect your life and your family from those who would destroy it. And they want to impose that duty to retreat all over the country and it’s mainly politicians and newspapers…that really don’t want the American public protecting themselves… so they’re willing to distort this to assert their political agenda.” When asked if the request of Sybrina Fulton [Trayvon Martin’s mother] for state lawmakers to amend or review “Stand Your Ground” laws was reasonable, LaPierre responded, “You know it’s a tragedy, and our heart goes out to the family, but have you ever been threatened? I mean you talk to crime victims in the country, and I’m not talking about this case, but you talk to crime victims; it’s the most terrifying moment of their life. They really are in a state of overwhelming reactive panic, instinctively they’ll do anything at that point to save themselves. They’ve done nothing wrong, they’re going about their business and yet someone is trying to destroy their whole life. And the whole idea that you’re gonna twist this Florida case into some national movement to try to impose a duty to retreat on the American public at their most terrifying moment of their life rather than let them protect themself and save themself. And then open the crime victim up to civil lawsuits by a criminal that will bankrupt them is crazy. This duty to retreat may sound fine at an Ivy League cocktail party, it doesn’t work very well in the real world.”

Conspiracy Theory | Fox News | Vigilantism
2012/06/12

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In the June 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, LaPierre warned, “American freedom as we know it is in jeopardy.” He wrote, “There is no greater freedom than the ability to own a firearm to protect yourself, your family, your community and your country. That freedom is the heart and soul of our nation. And that soul is at stake in this election … If [President Barack] Obama wins this year, he will wage an all-out assault on America’s heart and soul. This isn’t just the most important election of our lifetimes–it’s the most important election for our children’s, grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s lifetimes.”

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) |
2012/06

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In the May 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, LaPierre wrote, “All our freedoms are on the line [in the 2012 presidential election].” He accused President Barack Obama of being connected to a political “web of Chicago thug[s],” and having spun a “web of lies…about [his] phony, claimed support of the Second Amendment.”

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) |
2012/05/10

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

On April 14, 2012, in his keynote speech at the NRA Convention in St. Louis, LaPierre stated, “we live in the most dangerous of times.” “We will never surrender our guns,” LaPierre declared. “The Second Amendment has never been more relevant as it is today. When all is said and done, we may have nothing left but our gun rights, but that’s the one right that gives us a fighting chance to reclaim freedoms lost.” LaPierre made almost no mention of the national controversy surrounding the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin by concealed handgun permit holder George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012. The NRA was one of the authors of the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida that significantly liberalized the use of lethal force in public. LaPierre spoke of the tragedy only to accuse the media of “sensational[izing]” it, claiming they “manufacture controversy for ratings.”

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) |
2012/05/08

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In his opening remarks at the 2012 NRA Convention in St. Louis on April 13, 2012, LaPierre warned, “If President Obama gets a second term, America as we know it will be on its way to being lost forever.”

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) |
2012/05/08

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In the March 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, LaPierre warned that if the NRA fails to end the “Barack Obama regime…the Right to Keep and Bear Arms could well perish in a Supreme Court heartbeat.” He added that an “Obama majority” on the Supreme Court would “rule that only the government has a right to guns, not individuals like you.” “We have time to stop the Obama juggernaut and to make history together,” LaPierre stated, “but we must start now—not only to save our guns but to save our heritage. The future of freedom in America depends on it.”

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) |
2012/05/08

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In the February 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, LaPierre declared that the 2012 presidential election “could prove [to be] the most disastrous in the history of the country,” because President Barack Obama is “leading our country straight to…tyranny.” “It’s all or nothing,” LaPierre warned. “Either we defeat Barack Obama and retain all the benefits of our pro-gun victories over the last 30 years…or we lose this election and we lose it all.”

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) |
2012/05/08

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

On February 10, 2012, during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), LaPierre warned listeners that “This is the most dangerous election in our lifetime … Our soul is at stake in this election. The campaign is a fight for our country, our values and the freedom we believe in.” LaPierre then detailed a “massive” conspiracy by the administration of President Barack Obama to “deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment.” LaPierre then boasted, “We’ll spend and do whatever it takes to tell the truth the media ignores.”

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) |
2012/05/08

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In the January 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, LaPierre declared, “The emerging autocracy of President Barack Obama presents the gravest danger to our individual liberty in our lifetimes … The Second Amendment and our national character as we know it are at stake in the coming elections.” He accused the Obama Administration of being “engaged in a conspiracy of public deception intended to…excise the Second Amendment” from the Constitution. “The nation cannot survive another four years of Obama’s arrogant one-man rule,” LaPierre wrote.

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) |
2012/05/08

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

During a January 2012 radio interview with Glenn Beck, LaPierre agreed with Beck’s assertion that when it comes to raising money in politics, “You have to go out and drum up the money, the unions just take it. They just have it. They just take it out of everybody's paycheck.” LaPierre went on to claim, “We raise it all through 5, 10, 15, 20 dollar contributions that Americans are willing to preserve freedom. And they're willing to support it. But, you know, that's what NRA is about. I mean, I always say we're about our membership and we're about giving voice to our membership.” In fact, the National Rifle Association does not raise all of its money from small donors. A report by the Violence Policy Center indicates that since 2005, the NRA has received between $19.8 million and $52.6 million in contributions from corporate interests. After Beck raised the specter of the reelection of Barack Obama leading to private gun confiscation in the United States, LaPierre responded, “We can’t let it get to this point. Every Second Amendment supporter needs to make sure that President Obama does not get a second term to destroy the Second Amendment.”

Conspiracy Theory | Labor
2012-01-01

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

During a November 11, 2010 appearance on NRA News, LaPierre disputed that large numbers of crime guns recovered in Mexico originate from the United States, stating, “The Obama people, like Hillary Clinton and President Obama and Eric Holder, because they want to pass more phony gun laws in the United States and reinstate that so-called assault weapons ban—which was a lie and a failure from the start—they are also mouthing those types of dishonest figures … The freedoms of the United States are sure not to blame for the problems in Mexico.” Between 2006 and 2011, 64,000 of the 94,000 guns received at crime scenes in Mexico were traced to the United States.

Conspiracy Theory |
2011-11-11

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

Under LaPierre’s leadership, the National Rifle Association has frequently promoted gun confiscation conspiracy theories surrounding the administration of President Barack Obama and/or a treaty being considered by the United Nations to curb illegal, international sales of small arms. In a November 3, 2011 op-ed for the Washington Times, LaPierre wrote, “The Obama administration … hatched a political conspiracy to deceive Americans and hide its true agenda to dismantle the Second Amendment and our freedom. By delaying its anti-gun legislative agenda, it’s tried to dupe gun owners into believing our fundamental freedom is safe. The political calculation of the White House is clear: Deceive the voters and get re-elected at all costs and then, with no more elections to worry about, get busy dismantling the Second Amendment and destroying American freedom forever … Mr. Obama…is responsible for his administration’s efforts to support a United Nations treaty that could severely restrict or effectively ban civilian ownership of firearms worldwide.” In fact, since assuming office, President Obama has not advocated for any gun control measures, instead signing legislation to allow firearms in national parks and on Amtrak trains. Furthermore, the UN has no power to alter American gun laws. Any UN treaty that called for changes in U.S. gun laws would have to be ratified by a 2/3 vote of the U.S. Senate.

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) |
2011-11-03

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

Under LaPierre’s leadership, the National Rifle Association has frequently promoted a gun confiscation conspiracy theory concerning the administration of President Barack Obama. On September 23, 2011, LaPierre addressed the Florida Conservative Political Action Conference and told those in attendance, “The fight for 2012 is a fight for our country, our values, and our freedom. And if NRA has anything to say about it, President Barack Obama won’t get a second term … Our freedom is at risk in this election like never before … The president will offer the Second Amendment lip service and hit the campaign trail saying he’s actually been good for the Second Amendment, but it’s a big, fat, stinkin’ lie, just like all the other lies that have come out of this corrupt administration. It’s all part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment in our country … Before the president was even sworn into office, they met and they hatched a conspiracy of public deception to try to guarantee his re-election in 2012 … We see the president’s strategy crystal clear: Get re-elected and with no more elections to worry about, get busy dismantling and destroy our firearms freedom. Erase the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights and exorcise it from the U.S. Constitution. That’s their agenda … President Obama and his cohorts, yeah they’re going to deny their conspiracy to fool gun owners. Some of the Liberal media, they’re probably already blogging about it. But we don’t care, because as far as we’re concerned, the lying, conniving Obama crowd can kiss our Constitution.” In fact, since assuming office, President Obama has not advocated for any gun control measures, instead signing legislation to allow firearms in national parks and on Amtrak trains.

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) |
2011-09-23

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

Conspiracy Theory | Education | Political Violence
2009-01-01

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

At the 2007 National Rifle Association annual meeting, LaPierre told the audience, “So no matter what the animal rights terrorists throw at us, no matter what crime wave illegal immigrant gangs cause, no matter what deals are cut in the back rooms of the United Nations, no matter who is slamming gavels at the Supreme Court, no matter who is sitting in the White House, and no matter who wins what election or chairs what committee, if they are enemies of what’s in that exhibit hall over there, if they threaten what that great hall preserves [guns], if they dare assault the one freedom that secures all freedoms, this National Rifle Association, millions and millions of members strong, you will rise and stand and we, together, will fight them all.”

Conspiracy Theory | Animal Rights | Immigration | Political Violence
2007-01-01

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In 2005, LaPierre called for the boycott of ConocoPhillips after the company filed a lawsuit to defend its ban on the possession of firearms at an Oklahoma refinery. He then made the following statement: “ConocoPhillips went to federal court to attack your freedom. Now freedom is going to fire back … Idabel, Oklahoma, is a new Concord Bridge. Our forefathers didn’t run from the Redcoats in 1775 and we’re not going to run from the corporations in 2005.”

Labor | Political Violence | Property Rights
2005-01-01

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In a 1995 National Rifle Association fundraising letter, LaPierre called federal law enforcement agents “jack-booted thugs” and suggested that “in Clinton's administration, if you have a badge, you have the government's go-ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law-abiding citizens” and that “not to long ago, it was unthinkable for federal agents wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms to attack law-abiding citizens.” President George H.W. Bush resigned his NRA membership in protest of the letter.

Conspiracy Theory | Political Violence
1995-01-01
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