Why The NRA Could Be In Big Trouble For Breaking Federal Law

The National Rifle Association may be in violation of federal law, according to documents the NRA itself filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

While the NRA often refers to itself as a membership organization with millions of members that contribute to its operations, they said something completely different on their tax forms.

The NRA, which was founded in New York in 1871 and claims to have millions of members, even told the IRS it didn’t receive membership dues, thus enabling it to avoid disclosing more about its activities. Last year, it spent $345 million.

At the same time as this deceptive practice reportedly occurred the NRA also conveniently disappeared the existence of its political slush fund, the Political Victory Fund, the PAC the organization uses to target any and all politicians attempting to reduce gun violence, including President Obama.

The forms the NRA signed omitting the existence of its PAC and membership status state that they must be truthfully signed under “penalties of perjury.” The NRA also ignored the box requiring that it disclose whether it engaged in lobbying – despite the NRA often flooding congressional offices with lobbyists seeking to flood neighborhoods with guns and ammunition.

“How that form wasn’t intended to mislead the IRS, I don’t know. I don’t know how you come to any other conclusion,” said lawyer Marcus Owens, a former IRS official and leading expert on non-profit tax law.

Unbelievably, the NRA told the IRS it hadn’t spent any money on lobbying between 2008 and 2014. But the Manchin-Toomey gun bill, which the NRA opposed, came up in the U.S. Senate in 2013 in the months after the Sandy Hook gun massacre.

Then when news organizations began pointing out these possibly illegal discrepancies, the NRA suddenly began adding information about its donation and lobbying efforts on its 2014 returns.

According to the New York Post, NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office hasn’t commented on whether the NRA is being investigated for its incomplete filings with the federal government. Schneiderman received widespread coverage for going after fantasy football providers Draft Kings and Fanduel, if he began criminally looking into the NRA it would create huge shockwaves across the world of politics.

Featured image via Flickr