NRA Cutting Staff and Salaries Amid Pandemic

May 3, 2020 Updated: May 4, 2020

The National Rifle Association (NRA), which has about 5 million members, in recent weeks laid off or furloughed dozens of employees, imposed a four-day workweek for some employees and cut salaries across the board, including for CEO Wayne LaPierre.

In a memo to staff, LaPierre said 20 percent salary cuts were across the board while some senior staffers “voluntarily” reduced their wages even more. He said the staffing reductions and other changes were intended to be temporary.

The booth of the National Rifle Association of America
The booth of the National Rifle Association of America is seen at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 26, 2020. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“The cancellation of the annual meeting had a significant financial impact but, beyond that, the health crisis has caused us to postpone countless fundraising and membership events along with competitions, training seminars and other revenue streams—those disruptions are the primary drivers of our decision-making process,” said Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the NRA. “Like every other business and nonprofit, we are forced to make tough choices in this new economic environment.”

“Defending freedom has never been easy. Over the years, we’ve weathered more tough times than most,” LaPierre said in an email to NRA employees, obtained by The Associated Press. “But we will rise from this stronger and well positioned to lead the fight to protect our Second Amendment, the First Amendment, and all our constitutional freedoms during the crucial upcoming elections and for years to come.”

Rifle display
Lever action rifles are displayed during the National Rifle Association (NRA) 2019 Annual Meetings at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Ind., on April 27, 2019. (Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images)

The Associated Press contributed to this report