Revoke the NRA's 501c4 Tax Exemption as a Social Welfare Org for Lobbying & Gun Marketing
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The U.S. is currently facing an epidemic of gun violence. We are living in a landscape where not even young children are safe from horrific acts of hate. While we recognize that gun violence is a complex issue with many variables, the NRA has created massive roadblocks to the Public and Government's attempts to balance our beliefs in the right to self-defense with common sense gun safety measures that promote responsible gun ownership and protect the most vulnerable in our society. The NRA wields unprecedented political and financial influence in order to ultimately promote the sale of guns, particularly military grade weapons that have the potential to end the lives of many people in a single violent incident. These excessive activities are not taxed and impede the Public from the benefit of fair democracy. The NRA should pay taxes on these excessive lobbying and for-profit activities in order to assist the Public in the burden of crime control they have played a large role in creating.
We call on Attorney General of Virginia, Mark R. Herring, the Internal Revenue Service and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Charity Regulation Division to review and audit the NRA's 501(c)4 Tax Exempt status as a Social Welfare organization. Furthermore, we call upon these entities to clearly define the extent of tax free political and legislation activities - we believe only cases that are directly and explicitly related to the 2nd Amendment should qualify. They lost their 501(c)3 status all the way back in 1938 for misrepresenting their purpose and creating an undue burden of #crimecontrol on the government and public. No one has seriously challenged their 501(c)4 status since it was awarded in 1944.
Currently the NRA participates in many lobbying activities, including massive donations and passive aggressive threats to lawmakers, that they claim are in defense of the 2nd amendment. They do not pay taxes on these expenditures. While the NRA should be able to participate in politics and legislation related to the 2nd amendment, those expenditures that should be tax exempt should be directly, explicitly related to the second amendment.
If we challenge their tax exemption on their non social services activities, at the current corporate tax rate, the NRA would have to pay around $63M on activities that include lobbying and supporting advertising for the gun manufacturer and supplier industry.
12.5% of its $334M 2014 budget is spent on actual educational services, just $54.5 million on firearms education, safety, and marksmanship training that would actually qualify for exemption.
The NRA spent over $50M in donations to political candidates in 2016. $12M to #Trump $7M lifetime to #JohnMcCain.
They spent another $85M on other legislation, lobbying and marketing activities. The latter is actually a portfolio of magazines that profit $25M from advertising sold by gun manufacturers. None of these activities qualify for a tax exemption.
5(+) of the NRAs sitting executive board are executives or board members of firearms and ammunition manufacturers or suppliers. This is a violation of the 501(c)4's description: "an organization must not be organized for profit and must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare" and the smoking gun to their true, obvious purpose - to extract profit from the death and destruction of human lives.
The NRA's tax exemption status should apply only to their educational services. Their involvement in excessive political activities prevents the public from the benefit of a fair democracy on legislation related to solving an epidemic of violent crime in the US that has become particularly prevalent in our schools. The NRA's lobbying and marketing activities should be taxed as any other entity in order to fund the undue burden of crime that has been placed on the public, specifically how the NRA's influence impacts the availability and distribution of military grade, semi automatic weapons.
DECISION MAKERS TO CONTACT:
Internal Revenue Service: Exempt Organization Division - fill out and send the PDF Complaint form:Form 13909, Tax-Exempt Organization Complaint
IRS EO Classification, Mail Code 4910DAL, 1100 Commerce Street Dallas, TX 75242-1198, faxed to 214-413-5415 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia (where the NRA is registered):
Michael Menefee, Program Manager, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Charity Regulation Division
804.786.3983 - Michael.Menefee@vdacs.virginia.gov
O’Neill, Alexandra F., and Daniel P. O’Neill. “The NRA, a Tax-Exempt Loaded with Private Interest.” The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, 12 Apr. 2016, http://www.csgv.org/nra-tax-exempt-loaded-private-interest/
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