Friday, August 2, 2019

No Adam Kraut On The NRA Board

When I reported that Tim Knight, Sean Maloney, and Esther Schneider resigned from the Board of Directors I mentioned that it would put Adam Kraut in line to fill their positions. I also reported a comment from Rob Pincus to the effect that Adam wouldn't take the seat under the current circumstances.

From an open letter posted by Adam it looks like the NRA did follow procedure and reached out to him about serving. He declined. I have posted his letter below.

Another issue that surfaced today is that the NRA will no longer have Directors and Officers liability insurance for the Board of Directors. I have heard it from four different sources. As I understand it, the new premium given all the turmoil and the multiple investigations was so high that the decision was to go without insurance. I am going to speculate that you may start to see more resignations from the board due to this. I know if I was the attorney for one of the well-heeled celebrities or well-to-do business people on the board that I'd advise to give it strong consideration as a matter of risk management.

The letter from Adam explaining his decision is below:

August 2, 2019

In 2016, I began a campaign to run for the NRA Board of Directors by petition of the members. The idea to run for the Board started with a conversation between myself and two Board Members at the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg that February. Those two Board Members were amongst those who recently resigned. After many phone calls, questions, and a lot of thought, I decided the pursue a seat, in the hopes that I would be able to lend some new ideas and a different take on issues of the Organization.

Much to my surprise, my well-documented (and freely available) ideas and proposals met severe institutional resistance. In spite of that, this past year, I hesitantly pursued a seat again, for a third time, at the encouragement of friends and many NRA members who believed that I could add value to the Organization. Once I received the results of the mail ballot, I opted to not pursue the 76th Seat at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, as I had done the two years prior. While I gave my best efforts over the past three years’ election cycles, I respect and have accepted the choice of the voting members.

After the learning that I was not elected to the Board during this year’s election and coming to understand that my role would have been reduced to simply ‘filling a chair’ even were I to have been elected, I began to focus my time and energy on other exciting opportunities to accomplish my genuine personal desire and goal to advance the Second Amendment, individual liberty generally, and continuing to help educate and inform gun owners about important issues and challenges.

Between the time I began to collect petition signatures in 2018 and the election results being returned this year, news about the NRA began to emerge from a variety of sources. Since these claims and allegations have been the focus of much discussion within the firearms and Second Amendment community for the past several months, I need not recount them here.

Based on my review and understanding of the by-laws, the recent resignations of the three directors would potentially allow me to serve until the adjournment of the next Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. Just prior to the release of this statement, I was contacted by the NRA and informed that there was a vacancy on the Board which I would be able to fill. Prior to receiving the phone call, I devoted time to consider the possibility of accepting the position, based on the news that three directors had resigned and my understanding of the by-laws.

After careful thought and consideration, and because of the magnitude of time, work, and attention these exciting and important new endeavors that I am currently involved in require, it would not be possible for me to provide the NRA Board of Directors, the Organization, and the Members with the significant time, work, and attention a board of directors role – especially in the current climate – would require. Further, I am not willing to put the NRA into a position where my new position and role in our community could even potentially create a conflict, or even a bad optical light that could be leveraged against it by the media and its enemies. Thus, I cannot in good conscience accept a position as an NRA director.

It has been my honor to have your support these past few years. It is humbling to know that so many share my passion for liberty and supported my proposals to improve our NRA. And I sincerely hope that the Board and the Executive staff of the NRA will do what is right and necessary to create a healthy, strong, and positive force for our rights.

I am excited to support the NRA’s good work, and that of many others, from my new position through coalition building, hard work, thoughtful strategy, and undertaking those efforts that will, I hope, result in a more free America and restored Republic. I am eager to continue promoting the advancement of liberty and hope that you’ll continue to join me in doing do.

Yours in Liberty,

/s/Adam Kraut


  1. I guess I don't understand how all the Directors resigning is any sort of step towards holding the leadership accountable. Seems to me that what is needed is more Directors willing to vote against them, rather than fewer. Or does the board not have the power to make any changes at the top? I keep reading and hearing that Wayne Lapierre needs to step down, but why can't he be fired?

    1. According to the Bylaws, the Executive Committee (20 BOD members at large plus the 3 officers) can only suspend WLP by a 3/4 vote. That is only effective until the next BOD meeting. For him to be fired, it takes a 3/4 vote of the BOD. Thus if even a majority of the board wants him gone, so long as WLP can round up 19 votes, he's safe. Given the way he has worked with the Nominating Committee to stack the board, he's got way more than those 19 votes.

      As to the 3 who resigned, they sought outside legal counsel which they paid big bucks for out of their own pocket. They were systematically prevented from doing their fiduciary duty as a board member. As such, they had the legal liability but no powers in which to fulfill their duty. They felt they could bring more attention to the issues by going public in a big way through their resignations.

    2. I think that there is only one logical way that this is going to end, that being that the leadership that has caused great harm to the NRA will in one way or another is going to leave. The only thing remaining to be seen is, are they willing to destroy what is an important organization to the 2nd amendment, for their own hubris, or will they swallow their pride and do what is best for an organization that has existed for so very long? If WLP and company chose to stay, then it is very likely that they will be presiding over the death of any influence that the NRA may have had in the fight against the gun grabbers.

  2. Thanks John. It hasn't been easy to find information about this issue. I have listened to a few episodes of Gun Talk but he mostly focused on what has gone wrong. I come here every couple days. I appreciate the clarification about the BoD and their powers. I am a life member of the NRA and won't be changing that but I am currently figuring out where else to send my donations. And how to signal that fact to the NRA leadership. Appreciate what you are doing.

    1. Thanks. Places that could use your donations are your state gun rights group, Firearms Policy Coalition where Adam is the new Director of Legal Strategy, and the Second Amendment Foundation. Avoid groups like NAGR and those state groups affiliated with them. I see them as vehicles to raise money and little else.