Tombstone, Arizona – Elections for the NRA Board of Directors will be conducted early next year, and four self-identified reform candidates will be on the ballot.
Judge Phil Journey, Rocky Marshall, Dennis Fusaro, and [myself] Jeff Knox have all secured enough petition signatures from NRA Voting Members to have our names on the ballot in the 2024 Director Election, along with the 25 incumbents and three additional candidates that were nominated by the NRA Nominating Committee.
That means NRA members will have a total of 32 candidates vying for 25 three-year seats on the NRA Board, with the remaining candidates eligible to run for the one-year, 76th Director seat, which will be voted on by members in attendance at the NRA’s Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Dallas in May.
Each year, NRA members are asked to vote on one-third of the three-year seats on the Association’s ridiculously oversized NRA Board of Directors. In total, 76 Directors serve on the Board, with 75 of those serving staggered, three-year terms, meaning 25 come up for election each year in the mail-balloting, along with any seats that might have been vacated during the previous year.
As the Nominating Committee slate indicates, the NRA tends to keep the same group of people on the Board for extended periods of time – as long as they don’t make waves.
One of the candidates this year has served on the Board since 1980 (that’s 43 years), and several others have been Directors for 20 years or more. While most folks would probably agree that some continuity and institutional memory is important, new blood with new ideas and perspectives, and without old allegiances and complications, are also important.
When my fellow member-nominated candidates and I refer to ourselves as “reform candidates,” what we mean is that we are deeply committed to reforming the NRA to give members more power and hold officers, directors, and staff more accountable. We believe that Wayne LaPierre and others at the top of the NRA food chain need to be removed and replaced and that the massive corporation the NRA has become needs to be managed and directed by a much smaller, more professional Board of Directors that is much more accountable to the membership. I’ll also note that we are not seeking any of those leadership positions for ourselves but want to ensure that the most qualified candidates available fill those critical positions.
The NRA is in serious trouble, and that’s why Phil, Rocky, Dennis, and I decided to run for the Board.
Now we’ll need your help to spread the word that there are four committed reformers on the ballot and that every vote is going to be critical to helping us get elected.
Sadly, most NRA members get all of their news about the NRA from the NRA. Since Wayne LaPierre and company control the NRA magazines, they control what NRA members see – and don’t see – regarding the various scandals plaguing the Association. While many NRA members know that there are problems, few realize how bad the problems are or who’s responsible for them. Unless you and other concerned and informed gun owners educate your NRA friends, there’s a good chance they’ll either vote for the status quo, or more likely, not vote at all.
There were about 2 million ballots sent out to Voting Members of NRA (Annual Members with at least 5 consecutive years of membership and Life Members) in 2023. Still, only about 75,600 ballots were actually returned. That’s only about 5% of eligible voters.
In addition, the ranked vote ballot means that ballots with votes for fewer candidates effectively count as votes against the leading candidates. This combination offers a wide open door for our four reform candidates, because there are likely to be some 1.9 million ballots left on shelves, in baskets, and in racks next to toilets next year. Getting just a tiny fraction of those ballots returned with votes for our candidates could shift the whole outcome of the election.
NRA Ballot Harvesting
“Ballot harvesting” usually refers to volunteers for a particular political party or candidate going to places like nursing homes, retirement communities, and apartment buildings to collect early ballots from people who are normally unlikely to vote. They get those people to either mark and sign their ballots for the volunteer’s chosen candidates or just sign the ballot and let the volunteer mark the votes. They then relieve the voter of all other hassles by making sure the ballots are delivered to the election authorities. The practice is outlawed in some states due to the potential for abuse, but there are no such restrictions on NRA voting.
Even if you’re not an NRA member, you can reach out to Voting Members of the NRA to encourage and assist them in filling out and returning their ballots.
If our supporters “bullet vote” for just the four candidates and/or convince one or two other NRA members who weren’t planning to cast a ballot to do likewise, our four reform candidates could not only win seats on the NRA Board, but we could be among the top vote-getters in the election, sending a loud message to NRA “leaders” and the courts.
Ballots will be in NRA magazines in early 2024. If you don’t get a ballot in your magazine, the NRA doesn’t think you’re a Voting Member. If you disagree, you can call the Secretary’s office to try and clear it up, but they’re usually right. As soon as ballots come out, I’d encourage supporters to start talking with NRA friends to encourage them to make one last effort to help save the NRA by marking their ballots for just the four of us – Phil Journey, Dennis Fusaro, Rocky Marshall, and Jeff Knox – sign the envelope and drop it in the mail. There’s no reason to delay or put it off. Volunteer to mail it for them if needs be, but let’s get those dormant ballots turned in.
On behalf of all of our reform candidates, I want to offer my personal thanks to all of the NRA members who helped to get us on the ballot by signing and circulating our petitions. This was not an easy task, and it was only possible thanks to the hundreds of NRA members who joined our cause and donated time, money, and effort to get us all successfully across the finish line.
Now, we have just a couple of months to spread the word that change is coming to the NRA, one way or another, and that we need some member-driven representatives in place to help guide that change and save our most valuable asset in the battle for our rights, the NRA.
About Jeff Knox:
Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father Neal Knox led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.
The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona, and Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org.