NRA Near Bankruptcy, Court Told: Will PETA Help Bail It Out?

PETA Dangles $100,000 Donation if Gun Lobby Takes Two Simple Steps: Deny Trophy Hunters' Memberships, Stop Promoting Assault Weapons for Hunting

For Immediate Release:
August 7, 2018

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Albany, N.Y. – The National Rifle Association (NRA) is suing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo over purported financial troubles, causing PETA to send a letter today to NRA CEO and longtime animal rights adversary Wayne LaPierre, offering to donate $100,000 to his imperiled organization—if it agrees to take two simple steps that don’t affect its core purpose: Deny memberships to trophy hunters (such as the dental tourist who caused Cecil the lion prolonged suffering before finally killing him), and stop promoting assault weapons, which are used to harm and kill both wildlife and domestic humans.

“To help your floundering organization come closer to most Americans’ values, we will shoot you some hard cash if you reject as members those who engage in the cruel practice of hunting wild animals and stop promoting weapons they use to blow them and their fellow humans away,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Killing animals where they live and raise their families to get a head to hang on the wall is cowardly, and future generations will look back at your promotion of this insupportable thrill-seeking with disgust.”

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way.” For more information, please visit

PETA’s letter to NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre follows.

August 7, 2018

Wayne LaPierre

Executive Vice President and CEO

National Rifle Association

Dear Mr. LaPierre,

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, some actually NRA members, in response to reports that your organization is up against the wall, in deep financial trouble. I’d like to shoot an idea by you. To help your floundering organization get out from under the gun and come closer to today’s ideals, we would be willing to help you if you reject as members those who engage in the cruel practice of hunting wild animals—such as Cecil the lion—for pure entertainment. To put this in your crosshairs, PETA aims to give the NRA $100,000 if you make this your immediate target.

As you know, nonsubsistence hunters kill millions of animals every year and have contributed to the extinction of species all over the world, including the Tasmanian tiger, the Zanzibar leopard, and the dodo. It’s also extremely common for animals to be injured by hunters, escaping only to die slowly and painfully from blood loss or starvation. Cecil, for example, was shot with a steel arrow by an American tourist and NRA member, then left to suffer for about 12 hours before he was finally shot yet again by this wretched man.

Killing animals where they live and raise their families for a cheap thrill or a trophy is cowardly, and future generations will look back with disgust on this blood pretend-sport. You can really hit the mark by adopting a new initiative that recognizes what’s out of control here. The head count is in—only 5 percent of the U.S. population now hunts, and the sale of hunting licenses and the number of people hunting today have decreased. That means that there are now more vegans in the U.S. than there are people who hunt, given that at least 6 percent of Americans now eat exclusively plant-based food. Most people enjoy seeing animals without feeling the perverse need to shoot a steel arrow or bullet into them, wounding them grievously or ending their lives. There is no excuse to orphan a baby deer, leave a bear wounded to die slowly over several days, or take the lives of birds by blasting them out of the sky.

To receive our donation, we’d also require that the NRA stop its promotion and end its support of assault weapons, which are used against exotic animals and domestic humans. I hope you’ll bite the bullet and pull the trigger on our offer. Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind