By Brad Tuttle
Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association for nearly 30 years, has often found himself at the center of controversy.
But over the last week, in the wake of a deadly Florida high school shooting that left 17 dead, LaPierre and the NRA have been under especially strong scrutiny. A growing number of companies have cut ties to the gun rights organization, ending their discounts programs for NRA members. Others who haven’t done so, like FedEx, are facing boycott calls.
At a conservative conference last week, LaPierre blamed the media and Washington insiders for exploiting “tragedy for political gain.”
“Their goal is to eliminate the Second Amendment and our firearms freedoms so they can eliminate all individual freedoms,” LaPierre said. “The elites don’t care one whit about school children. If they truly cared, they would protect them.”
The lion’s share of NRA revenues comes from the gun industry and large corporations, which provide the group with grants, donations, and sometimes even a percentage of their firearm sales.
But considering how wealthy he has become during his years at the helm of the NRA, LaPierre himself is arguably one of America’s “elites.” How much money does Wayne LaPierre make? What is Wayne LaPierre’s net worth? Here’s what we know about his money.
What Is Wayne LaPierre’s Net Worth?
According to an estimate from the website Celebrity Net Worth, Wayne LaPierre’s net worth is $10 million. The estimate is based on LaPierre’s earnings from the NRA, which average $1 million per year and have gone as high as $5 million, as well as royalties from book sales and engagements as a paid speaker.
How Much Money Does Wayne LaPierre Make?
Between 1985 and 1991, four different chiefs ran the NRA. But since Wayne LaPierre was named CEO in 1991, he has steadily led the organization to growing membership and revenue—and his pay has increased accordingly.
According to a 1995 Los Angeles Times story, the NRA was paying LaPierre $190,000 per year in the mid-1990s. More recently, the NRA has paid LaPierre an annual salary of r5/5/13)oughly $1 million. But in some years, LaPierre has earned far more. In 2015, for example, LaPierre took home $5.1 million, the Washington Post reported. According to tax records, he collected $1,090,515 in base compensation that year, plus a $150,000 bonus, plus a special employee retirement plan payment of nearly $4 million. …
An Open Letter To Wayne LaPierre From A Gun Seller & NRA Life Time Member
By Mike Weisser
Sorry I couldn’t make it to the annual meeting. I’m a Life Member and I try to get there every year. But this year is different. If I showed up you’d tried to get me to help you fight a “culture war.” But if there is a war going on, you represent the wrong side.
I just watched your speech. I think it’s time you dropped this nonsense about protecting our “rights.” Be honest and tell it like it is. The reason you’re opposed to background checks has absolutely nothing to do with the Second Amendment. It’s about making it as easy as possible for everyone to own a gun. More guns means more profits for the gun companies, and that’s who you really represent.
In 2011, Ruger’s stock was trading at $21 a share, now it’s at $51. Smith & Wesson’s stock was three bucks a share, today it’s almost nine. I remember after the 2010 elections when it looked like the Obama administration was going to be toast, gun dealers like myself couldn’t give away the inventory. Now we can’t keep anything on the shelves. You keep referring to the president as an enemy of the gun industry. The truth is that Barack Obama is the best salesman the industry ever had.
For all your talk about defending liberty Wayne, I’ll give you something more important to defend: the young children whose lives always seem to take a back seat to how many guns you can get Americans to buy.
And the reason he’s such a good salesman, Wayne, is because you and your allies have spent the last 20 years making every gun owner believe that the only reason we have any gun laws at all is because the Washington “elites” want to take away all our guns. So when a tragedy like Sandy Hook occurs and well-meaning people react to such senseless violence by looking for ways to make it harder for guns to get into the wrong hands, you and the other “protectors” of the Second Amendment get right to work convincing responsible gun owners that such laws are aimed at them. You are protecting illegal and “irresponsible” gun owners, and lumping them in with the majority of legal gun owners who are careful with their weapons. That’s because an irresponsible gun owners’ money is just as good for gun companies as a responsible gun owner, and you want to protect your market share, even at the expense of innocent lives.
It’s easy to cloak yourself in a holier-than-thou mantle of God-given rights to avoid looking at the facts. And the facts are that private-citizen vigilantism doesn’t protect anyone from gun violence; it actually results in more violence and deaths. It’s easy to disparage the 90 percent of Americans who are in favor of expanding background checks by telling your audience that some unnamed Congressman from some unnamed state hasn’t gotten any calls. But maybe the time has finally come when most Americans are more worried about ending the 100,000+ firearm deaths and injuries than whether you and your NRA cult of followers can Stand and Fight.
For all your talk about defending liberty Wayne, I’ll give you something more important to defend: the young children whose lives always seem to take a back seat to how many guns you can get Americans to buy. I’m talking about children at Sandy Hook, a 4-year-old in New York, a 2-year-old in Kentucky. There’s something immoral about denying any connection between the deaths of children and the explosion in gun sales that you claim show how much we love our freedom. I’d rather have those kids alive, even if it costs me more than a few bucks in gun sales. I joined Evolve so I could be part of an organization that wants gun owners and non-gun owners to lead with solutions that can talk about saving human lives and preserving our Second Amendment rights. That’s patriotic and that is a future worth fighting for.
(Mike Weisser has been in the gun business for 35 years as a retailer, wholesaler, importer and firearms trainer. NRA Life member. Ph.D. in economic history.)
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )