The National Rifle Association has laid off dozens of employees, canceled its national convention, and suspended fundraising, membership, and shooting events that would normally be crucial to rallying its base in an election year.
The coronavirus pandemic has shaken the NRA dramatically – an acronym for this organization that defends the rights to purchase and possess weapons – during what should be a stimulating moment for the group, in the midst of a presidential election and while the owners of firearms were exalted for defending themselves against what they consider to be an attempt by the authorities to trample on their rights guaranteed in the Second Constitutional Amendment.
The NRA, which has some five million members, has recently fired or given unpaid leave to dozens of employees, has imposed a four-day work week for some of its workers and cut everyone’s wages, including its director. General Wayne LaPierre. The economic problems, coupled with the cancellation of fundraising events and the national convention, which would surely have had the visit of President Donald Trump, have complicated the organization’s ability to influence the results of the 2020 elections.RELATED
In a memorandum to his staff, LaPierre noted that the 20% pay cuts were applied to everyone, while some executives “voluntarily” cut their wages by an even higher percentage. He said staff cuts and other adjustments are intended to be temporary.
“The cancellation of the annual meeting had a significant economic impact, but more than that, the health crisis has forced us to postpone countless fundraising and membership events as well as competitions, training seminars and other income-generating events; these changes are the main reasons for our decision-making process, “explained Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the NRA. “Like any other business and nonprofit organization, we are forced to make difficult decisions in this new economic environment.”
With the world panicking about the coronavirus, Americans bought a record number of firearms in March, a figure based on background check data and representing the barometer of sales of these types of weapons in the United States.
In most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that disappear in two to three weeks. However, in some people, especially older adults and those with underlying health disorders, it can cause more serious illnesses, including pneumonia, or death.