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What is NRA Doing About It?

The story over on consumerist is up over 13,000 views, meaning 13,000 souls are now being told a story about NRA having unethical fund raising practices.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s over 25,000 by tomorrow.  That’s the circulation of major gun rag.  On top of that, I have a reader who mentions that this might be a violation of the United States Postal Code:

Furthermore, it is illegal for a company that sends you unordered merchandise to follow the mailing with a bill or dunning communication.

So it seems that this little scheme might be a violation of federal law.  The question is, what is NRA going to do to rectify the situation?  If any of you out there who have received one of these “dunning communications” and haven’t let NRA know your displeasure, you  might want to call.  You can find contact information in the back of your membership card.

17 Responses to “What is NRA Doing About It?”

  1. Ninth Stage says:

    As a decade plus NRA life member with a yearly member wife all I can add is, where is my damn free DVD, I haven’t seen the first one. I have seen countless appeals for cash from the NRA proper and the NRA/ILA but somehow the DVD is missing. Before I get too worked up about this DVD thing I’d like to see the problem in person. But I’m not an excitable boy.

    BTW, anything unsolicited in the mail is free to the recipient. I don’t know if it is legal to ask for payment for the free item but it would certainly be illegal for nonpayment to be reported to a credit reporting company. I bet you 100 bucks that no nonpayer has ever been reported much less been threatened with reporting for nonpayment.

    All this is from someone who thinks the NRA is loaded with pro-gun-control pussies and thinks that Wayne LaPierre is a mental midget (ever read his books? My god what a pathetic and thoughtless mess).

  2. Sebastian says:

    I have the DVD, right here on my coffee table, but I haven’t seen any of these further fake bills yet. At least as far as I know. Like I said, I send my mail into a box for sorting, so they could be in there. All my bills get paid through automatic billpay, so anything that comes in the mail is typically junk.

  3. Sebastian says:

    All this is from someone who thinks the NRA is loaded with pro-gun-control pussies and thinks that Wayne LaPierre is a mental midget (ever read his books? My god what a pathetic and thoughtless mess).

    I’ve never met anyone at NRA who is pro gun control. In fact, I’ve met more than a few who are more hard core than I am.

    Wayne is a public face to NRA. He has to not only be a public face for NRA members, but to the public at large. If you’ve ever seen how a crowd reacts to him at Annual Meeting, you’d be hard pressed to say he’s not effective at maintaining the balance. His role is contradictory, and his books likely written by others for consumption by the faithful. He is not everything many people, including me, wish he was, but to much the NRA membership, he is the rock star of the movement.

    LaPierre is no longer a debate within NRA. That issue is settled. It is over. It’s yesterday’s conflict. A lot of people who were in the thick of that fight don’t want to get over it, but I don’t think any serious discussion about the future of NRA should consider LaPierre. He is water under the bridge.

    That’s not to say NRA doesn’t have a lot of problems. But most of the critics I deal with have no idea. They are still fighting yesterdays battles.

  4. Kathy says:

    How many of the views are coming from people that you and others have told about the site? I mean, I went over and looked at it (which I actually didn’t do until this post since it piqued my interest when you mentioned the number and what not)

    I’m also a life member for at least 5 years now (I was EZPay before that). I don’t recall seeing and NRA DVDs showing up. I’d like to think that I’d notice, but I might not have.

    I had this happen in another organization that I belong to in the sense that unsolicited pins were sent with the follow up letters. The membership was ROYALLY PISSED. Needless to say, that fundraiser did not happen again.

  5. chris says:

    i got one a while back… and yes i have gotten several mailings about it since… but EVERY one of them clearly says that you are not obligated to pay for the DVD…

    they ask you to send a donation, and i believe that they also offer to send you another DVD if you do… but the sentences saying that you are under no obligation to pay are not hidden or in small print…

    this is a bunch of people whining about something that isnt a big deal…

  6. Sebastian says:

    Kathy:

    13,000 viewers is way way beyond my ability to drive. I get, on a really good day, 3,000 visitors, and most of them won’t click through on the article linked. If I’m 500 of that, I’d suspect that’s pretty good.

    If NRA doesn’t repeat this kind of fundraiser, I’d be happy. But I’d like to her from them that they acknowledge it’s not a good way to raise money, and to hear them say they won’t do another one of these.

    I mean, this isn’t something I’m going to tear my life membership up over, or tell other people to stop being members, but it does make me question how much I can advocate that people go the extra mile when some parts of NRA are acquiescing to extortion tactics.

  7. Sebastian says:

    chris:

    It that’s the case, that’s fine. They need to make that clear to their critics. I still think it’s over the line, but they have to acknowledge this. Especially when it makes a site like Consumerist.

  8. because I have publicly viewable political donations (which is to say I made any at all) I get a s**tload of junk mail, as I’m sure you do. A common ploy is to include a temporary membership card plus an invoice for ongoing membership. The practice is deceptive and despicable but not outright fraud. A questionable mailing from 10 years ago is what keeps me from being an NRA member (but I still carry my well worn “temporary” card!).

  9. Just when I think the NRA is getting their act together and really helping out its members, this crap happens. They better fix this, and fast, or it WILL blow up on their faces. This is the kind of gaffe that can turn the tide of public opinion on the larger issues the NRA is up against.

  10. Weer'd Beard says:

    I got the DVD, and I got the “bills” for it. I shredded them and kept the DVD. After a few attempts they stoped.

    The DVD sucks.

  11. Richard H says:

    I got the DVD a few months ago and immediately lit up the NRA – got copious apologies and supposedly got my name put on a “don’t do this again” list. The NRA type I was talking to stated that this was the result of an outside fund raiser operating without NRA oversight.

  12. Thirdpower says:

    My wife got a DVD copy. Got a few ‘bills’ that I just tossed. Never did watch the video.

  13. Ken says:

    Got a DVD and a couple of (ignored) “invoices” a year or two back. Not my first rodeo, so I didn’t pay it any mind.

  14. I take it that the DVD’s being referred to are either the “American Hunter Video Series” the “American Rifleman Personal Firearm Defense Series” or one of the other various series they have sent out over the years. Mine started as a VHS video collection then switched to DVDs. I have had three different sets at one time or another. When they started, they included a post paid form to return them free of charge. That has since ceased and if you return them you either pay the postage or do like I do and carefully open the packaging (which has also evolved over the three years or so I have accepted the DVD series) and reglue it and send it back “Return to Sender” if they send one that I don’t want to keep.

    Buckmasters uses the same company to do their video series – to the point that I have received duplicate videos in the “Directors Cut” versions (thus learning how to send the back).

    North American Hunting club sends out .999 troy once silver coin collections. All of these are not initiated by the recipient.

    Knowing they make some money off of these things I never really got upset about receiving them. If I wanted them, I kept it and paid for them. If I didn’t, I sent them back.

    After reading the threads and associated comments, I agree with those who believe the tactic to be less than on the up and up. I personally am not that exercised over it but having received a call from an NRA member (being the listed EVC for the area) who was incensed that he had received one without ordering and thinking he had to pay to send it back (this was when they still supplied the post paid return sticker), I know it can leave a bad taste in the mouth.

    Sadly, I don’t expect there to be much change in their operations on this. I’ve learned they do what they want and figure the number of people they tick off is far out weighed by the ones they don’t. It is a shame though, with all indications (including my recruiter statements) that membership is up 30% after Obama was elected, not a good way to get in the good graces of the new folks.

  15. mariner says:

    The NRA type I was talking to stated that this was the result of an outside fund raiser operating without NRA oversight.


    That’s the kind of mealy-mouth garbage I’d expect from a politician.

    The NRA should own their mistake and make sure it never happens again.

  16. Regarding “operating without NRA oversight” if you notice, the introduction letters that accompany the DVD’s have Wayne LaPierre’s name. I know from my dealings with wanting Wayne’s name on letters soliciting membership for VSSA, nothing get’s his name on it without NRA oversight.

    • Bitter says:

      Yeah, this does have some level of NRA oversight, though it may be fair to ask if the responsible party has kept an eye on it.

      To look at another example, they hire out to do their phone calls. Unfortunately, one of their vendors isn’t honoring requests to be removed from the call list. We get called daily and multiple times a day at that. I’ve pointed out that they need to pull us off because a) if we want to give, we already do without wasting money on a call, and b) Sebastian’s already working on a pledge right now. However, that’s not in the best interest of the vendor to hear that. They don’t care if they burn bridges to NRA members who aren’t donating via their phone lists. Obviously, there’s some level of oversight because they were hired in the first place. But, that doesn’t mean the person in charge of such operations is exercising as much follow-through on the contract.

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