More than 800 people worked at the NRA in 2018, according to its latest tax filing, although that number includes part-time workers who would not be affected by the reductions. Schedules for hourly workers will be reduced from five to four days a week, the memo said.
Some top NRA officials, including chief executive Wayne LaPierre, are taking salary reductions greater than 20 percent, according to a person familiar with the cuts who was not authorized to speak publicly about them.
In 2018, compensation for top officials, including LaPierre, surged by 41 percent and legal fees more than tripled, according to the organization’s tax filing, even as the nation’s largest gun rights organization sharply reduced spending on programs central to its mission. LaPierre received a total of about $2.2 million from the NRA and related entities in 2018, including a base salary of $1.27 million, tax documents show.
LaPierre withstood calls for his resignation last year amid allegations of lavish spending on travel, clothing and legal fees. NRA officials have staunchly defended their stewardship as the Democratic attorneys general of Washington and New York investigate the tax-exempt group’s spending.
“We must address immediate financial challenges and, as importantly, plan for long-term impacts to ensure the viability of our organization during this crucial year,” LaPierre said in the memo describing the pay cuts and proposed layoffs. “Unfortunately, these changes will necessitate the elimination of certain positions on either a temporary or, in some cases, permanent basis.”
The memo said that due to public health guidance and state or local restrictions, all Friends of NRA banquets across the country were canceled as were gun shows, recruitment stations and other income-generating activities.
“We believe these actions will favorably position the Association leading up to the November election,” an NRA spokesman said.
The NRA’s political arm spent a record-setting $30 million in 2016 to help elect President Trump.
The organization ended 2018 with a $2.7 million shortfall in 2018, compared with a $17.8 million shortfall the previous year and a hole of $45.8 million in 2016, according to NRA tax filings.