Did the NRA’s Dana Loesch Just Admit to Tax Fraud?
While trolling Everytown for Gun Safety’s Shannon Watts on Twitter, Dana Loesch may have shot herself in the foot by inadvertently admitted tax fraud. And it was glorious.
As the spokeswoman for the NRA and armed white nationalism tweeted:
At first glance, this tweet may look like just another one of Loesch’s petty and worthless cries for social media attention. But it may be, in face, it may be the closest thing we have to a public admission that the NRA is engaged in criminal tax fraud to date. And that, my friends, is anti-gun massacre\pro-gun control gold.
Allow me to explain.
The NRA files itself as a tax exempt 501c(3). That means despite boasting a revenue of over $335,000,000 annually, they don’t pay taxes. Not a penny. How does that work? It’s relatively simple. You ignore the federal tax code and you file your taxes using an 990 form like the one seen here.
Notice that the NRA checked the 501c(3) box. That’s important.
Why? What is a 501c(3) you ask? Excellent questions.
According to the IRS:
“To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.”
Let’s break that down really quick — starting with “none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual.” What does that mean? Another excellent question.
The IRS tells us that “organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, such as the creator or the creator’s family, shareholders of the organization, other designated individuals, or persons controlled directly or indirectly by such private interests.”
In other words, a 501(c)3 can’t serve to make profits…for anyone…ever…. not a dime.
Now let’s check in to see if the NRA has met that standard, starting with NRA president Wayne LaPierre.
According to Time Magazine, since LaPierre grabbed the reigns of the Apocalyptic war-horse known as the NRA — his salary has increased exponentially. Time explains, “According to a 1995 Los Angeles Times story, the NRA was paying LaPierre $190,000 per year in the mid-1990s. More recently, the NRA has paid LaPierre an annual salary of roughly $1 million. But in some years, LaPierre has earned far more. In 2015, for example, LaPierre took home $5.1 million….”
So, that’s a no. Let’s see how NRA Spokes-Model Dana Loesch is doing.
It is reported that the spokesperson for gun violence herself cashes in pretty heftily from her job as a z-level actress with no informational integrity “has a net worth of $2 million. Dana Loesch was born in September 1978. She is a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association and a talk radio host and author. For her work at the NRA, Dana Loesch earns an annual salary of $400 thousand dollars.”
Hmmm. Not so good.
She also spends a good deal of time promoting her husband Chris Loesch’s personal career and his low budget propaganda productions as seen here:
It appears as though for the couple, since they could not achieve fame though Hollywood, they are attempting to attain infamy by Al Caponing their way into the history books with guns and tax evasion.
Dana Loesch has no problem admitting it, though:
The benefits to personal and private entities don’t stop there. The NRA and NRATV serve to pad the pockets of networks of private organizations and individuals such as ammunition manufacturers, firearm producers and gun accessory businesses.
Noting that women outspend men on firearm accessories, the NRA has set up its own entity called NRA women that is specially designed to mobilize women to hand their money over to specific private entities and convince them to take action for and against legislation and candidates. Both of these activities are, of course, violations of the NRA’s status as a 501(c)3 tax exempt nonprofit. Clearly.
Nonetheless, the NRA’s core strategy is break the law first, make someone enforce it second. Which is highly effective when you have the party in control of all three branches of government in your pocket.
So, while it is not unusual for a non-profit organization to sell their own swag to generate income — it is very unusual for a multimillion dollar organization to design an online Amazon.com for armed fashionistas, advertise in efforts to direct funds to benefit “persons controlled directly or indirectly by such private interests,” and create a television network that serves to direct income into the pockets of other private firearm accessory retailors and gun manufacturers.
That is very weird. It is also very illegal.
According of the regulations outlined by the IRS for operating a legally compliant 501(c)3, a tax-exempt nonprofit cannot function to benefit off private entities such as, say, Smith & Wesson and Federal Premium Ammunition by creating a TV show that serves as an advertising channel for makers and marketers of firearms, ammunition, and accessories.
Even if you try to describe your infomercial as a “training video.”
NRATV and NRATV for women are no more an educational tool for safe firearms use and storage than Hustler is an educational tool for reproductive rights and safe sex.
But, the NRA has to pretend that they are educating instead of marketing if they want to avoid paying the tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of dollars the NRA owes in back taxes. As weak of a defense as it is, it’s all they have. The NRA is clearly functioning to benefit many private individuals and organizations. They just don’t want to pay their taxes while they are doing it.
It is a violation of their 501c(3) tax status to inure ANY of its earnings to benefit a private shareholder or individual. And clearly, there is no shortage of violation to point to. Or to report — using this link here:
Serving as a profit generating marketing tool for the gun industry isn’t the NRA’s only fraudulent pastime. They also violate federal tax code by violating the restriction that says a 501(c)3 “may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.”
For example, the NRA’s own Grant Stinchfield spends quite a bit of time trying to influence legislation. He doesn’t spend much time at all trying to understand it, but that’s clearly not his job. As you can see here:
Dana Loesch also likes to spend a lot of time trying to influence legislation she knows little to nothing about as seen here:
And without a shadow of a doubt here:
And Grant and Dana definitely team up to try to influence policy and engage in tax fraud here:
And again, if you’d like to report them for refusing to pay tens of not hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes while placing our children in front of the barrels of their guns — using this link *here*
Even though it’s just annoyingly obvious what kind of game the NRA is playing here, there are still a number of true believers and Russian bots that will try to convince gaslight you into inaction. We’ve all grown very accustomed to this strategy since November of 2016.
First, they are going to tell you that previous efforts have been made to prove that they are acting outside of the restrictions of a 501(c)3, committing tax fraud, and need to pay their back taxes or face criminal and civil penalties — and yet, here they stand.
That is true.
But taking down one of the pillars of far-right treason and war takes a little effort. There have been many reform efforts aimed at the NRA in the past. And now, they have more momentum than ever in the aftermath of the convergence of #BlackLivesMatter and #MarchForOurLives. These efforts also occurred before the launch of NRA-TV and the revamped NRA structure under the Trump Administration.
In other words, no one has checked the NRA since they’ve gone balls to the wall YOLO under the Trump Administration. If ever there was a time to relaunch the effort for an audit form the IRS — now is it.
The second thing they are going to tell you is that the NRA has a 501(c)4, so that allows them to do all the political campaigning they want. That is also a complete lie.
According to IRS policy:
“To be tax-exempt as a social welfare organization described in Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(4), an organization must not be organized for profit and must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare. The earnings of a section 501(c)(4) organization may not inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.”
We’ve already covered that the NRA is clearly lining the pockets of it’s gun toting buddies and their corporations. Feel free to report them using this link *here*
But the NRA is filed as a 501(c)3, not a 501(c)4. The lobbying arm that is supposedly the organizational entity that qualifies the NRA to go around influencing policy, funding candidates, and running campaign tactics for the Republican party is the NRA-ILA. The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action is the lobbing entity that was started after the highly publicized takeover of the NRA.
Much like the Tea Party (for whom Dana Loesch co-founded a local chapter in St. Louis) staged a takeover of the Republican Party, the far right led a takeover of the NRA in what would go on to be known as the Revolt at Cincinnati. You can read about that *here*.
Prior to the revolt, the NRA largely served as a sporting and hobby organization. When they did dabble in politics, it was to enforce gun control laws — not fight them. That did not bode well for some of the leading white supremacists, Harlon Carter for example, were furious at the NRA’s efforts to promote gun control. So, they staged a hostile takeover complete with walkie talkies and ridiculous orange hunting gear, took over the NRA, and immediately established a lobbying arm to involve itself in federal policy.
It’s first host Republican was Ronald Reagan. (You can read about that *here*) Today, the NRA has the majority of Congress in its pocket.
So, while the NRA-ILA supposedly registers itself as a 501c(4), there are 2 key points worth noting.
First, registering as a 5–1(c)4 does not give an organization the freedom to do whatever it wants and still evade paying its taxes. There are restrictions in exchange for that benefit. For example, the IRS clearly states:
“This requirement only applies to organizations intending to operate under Section 501(c)(4)…To be operated exclusively to promote social welfare, an organization must operate primarily to further the common good and general welfare of the people of the community (such as by bringing about civic betterment and social improvements). For example, an organization that restricts the use of its facilities to employees of selected corporations and their guests is primarily benefiting a private group rather than the community and, therefore, does not qualify as a section 501(c)(4) organization….”
As described above, the NRA is in no way a politically neutral entity. It childishly tries to pretend that it is defending the Second Amendment for all citizens, when clearly there is no space in it’s facility for gun control , Democrats, youth organizations, unarmed teachers, and anyone that doesn’t own a gun, want a gun, or wants to protect themselves from the epidemic of gun violence without flooding the streets and schools with more firearms.
In fact, if you try to engage with the NRA, Grant Stitchfield may smash you with a sledgehammer.
Oddly enough, 501(c)4’s are also not authorized to influence elections on behalf of Russia. Go figure. Nonetheless, as reported by McClatchy in January:
The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, two sources familiar with the matter have told McClatchy.
FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said.
It is illegal to use foreign money to influence federal elections.
We are still awaiting the details of the relationship between the NRA and Russia to emerge for criminal charges to be assigned, but in the meantime, suffice it to say, it is a violation of their 501(c)4 tax status to manipulate a federal election. Especially on behalf of Russia.
I’m not sure how that benefits the public welfare, but we can just let the IRS figure it out. And I suggest we help them along by reporting them using this form *here*
The NRA has been lying and cheating its way through American politics for far too long. They have littered this path with the bodies of our own children, radicalized generations of white nationalist gun cultists in the name of the Constitution and have likely used their unchecked political influence to commit treason with Vladimir Putin and Russia.
The NRA is banking on the idea that their Republican puppets in Congress will protect them and that the people of the United States are too stupid to tell the difference between a nonprofit and a political and corporate propaganda machine.
Fueled by gunpowder, ego, and a false sense of security — the NRA may have, well, shot itself in the foot. It may have been able to side step the IRS while it was still in the shadows of the before-times (pre-Trump), but now that it has come out into the light and jammed it’s bullshit television station down our throats, there can be no illusion that the NRA is not a 501(c)3 or a 501(c)4 in any way, shape, or form.
Most likely, the organization needs to be shut down. And figureheads such as Wayne LaPierre, Dana Loesche and Grant Stinchfield need to be locked away for a while. But until then, a lot of damage can be dealt to the organization by reporting them to the IRS. (Using this link *here* by the way).
In addition to forcing the NRA to pay tens if not hundreds of millions in taxes and back taxes, forcing the NRA to function as a 501(c)3 will force the white nationalist terror organization to have to halt all political activities outside of the NRA-ILA. And it will force the NRA to make a large portion of it’s financial activities public.
As the good old IRS tells us:
“An organization that has lost its section 501(c)(3) status due to substantial attempts to influence legislation may not thereafter qualify as a section 501(c)(4) organization. In addition, a section 501(c)(4) organization that engages in lobbying may be required to either provide notice to its members regarding the percentage of dues paid that are applicable to lobbying activities or pay a proxy tax .
The NRA has been hard at work openly and aggressively attacking the people of the United States and putting our lives and our children’s’ lives in the direct path of gunfire. In doing so, they have provided a long trail of evidence of tax fraud that can be submitted to the IRS. We can stop both their tax fraud and their assault on the people of the United States by pressuring the IRS to investigate the NRA and repeal their 501(c)3 status…and potentially the freedom of (alleged) criminals like Dana Loesch, Grant Stitchfield, and Wayne LaPierre.
I never thought I’d say this, but Dana was right about something, but she’s right. No one should say that due process is unintelligent.
Perhaps with that in mind, she and the NRA will comply fully with an audit and investigation by the IRS.
To learn more about Dr. GS Potter and the Strategic Institute for Intersectional Policy (SIIP), visit: http://strategycampsite.org/v2/