MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi claims he is a member of the NRA, despite never having signed up for a membership, but the NRA disputes that claim and says that’s simply not true.
Velshi has boldly accused the NRA on air of conspiring to count him as a member in order to boost membership numbers.
“The NRA claims to be a membership organization—I guess like a club—but they won’t release their data, leading some to be skeptical about its real purpose and funding,” Velshi said on air. “I’m a gun owner. Every year I receive a membership card from the NRA with a membership number. I’ve never asked for one. I’ve never paid for one, but I strongly suspect that I am counted in the secret records of the NRA as a member.”
In a statement to the Washington Free Beacon, the NRA refuted Velshi’s claim by saying he has never been a member.
“Mr. Velshi is not and has not been a member of the National Rifle Association,” explains Jason Brown, NRA media relations manager.
Velshi did not present evidence of the membership card on air, but continued to attack the NRA and says the organization is only concerned with protecting profits.
“The NRA is the gun industry’s lobby,” Velshi said. “It doesn’t represent gun owners. It represents gun makers and exists to protect their profits—the same as the pharma lobby or the bank lobby or the corn lobby. Strangely, we all use drugs and banks and most of us eat corn, but we don’t have cards that indicate our membership and support of those industries and their lobbies.”
Velshi may have mixed up a legitimate membership for marketing materials, says the NRA, but they reinforce that he is not and never has been a member of the organization.