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Clashes, corruption and the slow collapse of America’s top gun rights group

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A report from the RAND Corporation confirms there is very little scientific evidence for or against many gun policies. RAND hopes to lend researchers a hand with its new state-by-state database of gun laws.
A report from the RAND Corporation confirms there is very little scientific evidence for or against many gun policies. RAND hopes to lend researchers a hand with its new state-by-state database of gun laws.

The National Rifle Association, once a feared and respected gun-rights group and political powerhouse, now faces an existential crisis as the New York attorney general has sued to dissolve the organization at the center of America’s gun lobby.

The NRA has been at the heart of right-wing politics for decades, but now faces accusations of financial misconduct and corrupt spending that diverted money from its charitable mission.

Internal divisions and dissatisfaction have prompted insiders to speak out, joining the ranks of those calling for leadership reforms and increased accountability inside the organization.

In his new book, investigative journalist Tim Mak reveals a history of corruption, chaos and a culture of abuse under the leadership of CEO Wayne LaPiere and other top executives, and the combination of events that eventually brought the NRA to its knees.

What do years of internal turmoil and mounting outside pressures mean for the future of the National Rifle Association?

If New York's challenge is successful, what impact would NRA dissolution have on the larger fights over gun control and gun rights in America?

Guest: Tim Mak, NPR investigative reporter and author of "Misfire: Inside the Downfall of the NRA"

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Thursday, November 4.