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NRA tax filing raise fresh questions about payments to powerhouse lobbyist Marion Hammer

New NRA tax documents obtained by the Washington Post raise fresh questions about pay received by Marion Hammer, the architect of Florida’s “stand your ground” laws and a feared Tallahassee lobbyist,

The documents show that the NRA classified hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to its executives in 2018 as “excess benefits” which is what the Internal Revenue Service calls money that individuals take from nonprofits to enrich themselves, the Post reported.


While Hammer’s pay, which rose from $150,000 in 2017 to $220,000 in 2018 while she was on the organizations board, was not classified as “excess benefits,” it was classified as a “business transaction involving interested persons.”

The classification appears to lend credence to allegations made in an Aug. 6 lawsuit filed by the attorney general of the state of New York accuses Hammer and other high-ranking NRA executives of milking the organization for millions. The lawsuit says Hammer and four other board members cut possibly unethical compensation deals with embattled NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre.


“No comment,” Hammer said, when reached via phone by the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Wednesday night.

Hammer, famous for carrying a revolver in her purse, is a former president and current board member of the NRA.

In many instances, the deals involving Hammer were not reviewed by other leaders in the NRA, and are alleged to have been in violation of New York State law.

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The lawsuit also alleges that Hammer made a total of $400,000 a year while at the NRA. She made the rest of the money in grants paid out to the Unified Sportsmen of Florida, a Florida gun rights’ group that Hammer runs.

The Florida Senate closed an ethics inquiry into Hammer’s NRA payments in August 2019. The Senate instructed her to change her disclosures to reflect the payments made to her by the NRA, but the inquiry did not find that she did anything wrong.

The NRA itself is undergoing a period of upheaval. The lawsuit filed by the Attorney General of the State of New York seeks to dissolve the group, and a rift has opened between former executives, like Oliver North, who appear to be co-operating with the probe, and those still loyal to LaPierre.

“The NRA filing underscores the Association’s commitment to good governance and transparency,” said William A. Brewer III, counsel to the NRA, of the organizations 2018 tax returns. “It includes disclosures with respect to 2019 – all items that were addressed long before the NYAG ever filed her case. The NRA moved decisively and thoroughly in its self-evaluation, and voluntarily pursued any required actions long before it became a party to a politically-motivated lawsuit.”

Hammer was one of the leading antagonists against the package of gun reforms passed by the Florida Legislature after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. She was also one of the leading architects of Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which allows gun owners to claim self defense when shooting someone under certain circumstances.

A previous version of this story incorrectly categorized the payments the NRA made to Marion Hammer.