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News and notes on guns in America

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[AP Photo/Steve Ueckert]

Congressman Escalates Call for IRS Probe of NRA, Citing Trace Reporting

Democratic Representative Brad Schneider of Illinois reiterated his call for an Internal Revenue Service investigation into the National Rifle Association, citing the Trace’s April 2019 investigation with The New Yorker. In a new report released on February 6, he compiled numerous allegations of self-dealing and financial misconduct at the gun rights nonprofit and concluded that “American taxpayers are subsidizing the NRA’s scheme.”

A member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Schneider last year requested documents from the NRA and its vendors as he sought more information on possible violations of its tax-exempt status. But he says the organization stonewalled his queries and blocked its former public relations firm, Ackerman McQueen, from cooperating.

In a new allegation, the report states that the NRA “filed incorrect, and possibly fraudulent” lobbying disclosures. It points to discrepancies between what the organization filed on its Form 990 tax forms in 2011 (on which it marked zero expenditures on outside lobbying), and what it provided to the House and Senate that year (in which it disclosed lobbying efforts on behalf of the NRA.) That wasn’t the only year the gun group had “inconsistent and erroneous reporting,” the report adds.

“To protect the integrity of our tax code, it is vital that the IRS act to address the blatant and overwhelming abuse of tax-exempt status by the NRA,” the report reads. It concludes by asking the NRA to comply with Schneider’s request for documents.

Schneider’s investigation is one of 10 official inquiries into the NRA, several of which were launched in the aftermath of the April investigation.