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Rifle Rupture: An Investigation Into The Undoing Of The NRA

Wayne LaPierre, who leads the National Rifle Association, is profiled in a new book from NPR's Washington investigative correspondent Tim Mak.
Wayne LaPierre, who leads the National Rifle Association, is profiled in a new book from NPR's Washington investigative correspondent Tim Mak.

The National Rifle Association has grown in its 150-year history into one of the most powerful organizations influencing politics in the United States. It’s ballooned to millions of members and runs on an operating budget of hundreds of millions of dollars.

But the NRA is in trouble. The organization filed for bankruptcy in January 2021 in an attempt to head off ongoing litigation threatening the group. The most serious is a case brought in August 2020 by the attorney general of New York, Letitia James, which is “seeking to dissolve the organization entirely.” The lawsuit accuses NRA leaders of corruption and diverting millions of dollars for their own pleasure.

NPR Washington correspondent Tim Mak has been tracking the NRA in his reporting for years. In his new book, “Misfire: Inside The Downfall of the NRA,” Mak investigates the group and its longtime CEO, Wayne LaPierre.

Gabino Iglesias reviewed “Misfire” for NPR:

There is no single event that brought the NRA to its knees, according to Mak. Instead, years of embezzlement, internal turmoil, clashing egos, weak leadership, and a culture of abuse that lead to a high turnover and many unhappy ex-staffers willing to air out the group’s dirty laundry coalesced into the perfect storm. Furthermore, a growing pro-gun control movement, endless school shootings throwing the NRA into a media maelstrom, and being exposed as a Russian asset (and the subsequent media frenzy over the NRA’s relationship with Russian foreign agent Maria Butina) all contributed to the organization’s rupture.

We investigate the NRA with reporter Tim Mak.

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