NRA reportedly lays off dozens of employees amid coronavirus

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The National Rifle Association (NRA) has reportedly laid off dozens of staffers due to financial pressures caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the gun rights group to cancel its lucrative annual convention.

The convention frequently brings in millions of dollars for the organization, one of many recent financial hits that led the NRA to lay off more than 60 employees in recent weeks, Politico reported Tuesday, citing three people with knowledge of the matter.

“On March 22, it was announced and widely reported that the NRA would be implementing a number of permanent and temporary staff reductions along with other cost-cutting measures, just like many other corporations and nonprofits as a result of the extraordinary impacts from the Covid-19 crisis,” Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA’s head of public affairs, told Politico.

The pandemic has also forced the NRA to postpone numerous fundraisers, Arulanandam told the publication, although he added “Our leadership is deeply committed to the long-term viability of the NRA — and the protection of the freedoms for which our members stand, as well as the safety and well-being of our employees, members and community.”

CEO Wayne LaPierre reportedly told the organization’s board of directors in March that layoffs were ahead, and LaPierre, who made more than $2 million in 2018, will also accept an unspecified pay cut.

The NRA was also under a degree of financial strain even before the pandemic, including ongoing legal battles with both New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Ackerman-McQueen, its former advertising firm.

The group has cheered on numerous governors who have designated gun stores as essential businesses that must remain open amid lockdowns, as well as the Department of Homeland Security for making similar recommendations. Meanwhile, it has blasted New York’s move to temporarily shutter gun stores, calling it “a pointless and arbitrary attack on the constitutional rights of New York citizens and residents.”

The Hill has reached out to the NRA for comment.

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