NRA reportedly made large payments to celebrities before receiving board approval

The National Rifle Association is accused of engaging in high-value business transactions with big-name celebrities Tom Selleck and Ted Nugent before receiving the required approval from the nonprofit’s board, according to a report.

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The Wall Street Journal examined internal NRA documents, including minutes from its board meetings, and found that Selleck, who stars as a police commissioner on the CBS drama “Blue Bloods,” was paid $476,000 by the NRA in 2018 in exchange for 17 “collectible firearms.”

Tom Selleck (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)

The guns were “acquired for resale or other use in NRA fundraising efforts,” the board’s minutes show, according to the outlet.

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Selleck sat on the board, in an unpaid role, from 2005 to shortly after the gun transaction was made, and withdrew from the responsibility because of professional commitments, his attorney told the Journal.

“It was Mr. Selleck’s understanding that, upon acquisition of the firearms, the NRA would auction them off as a fundraiser for the organization,” the attorney said. “Mr. Selleck does not believe he made any profit from the sale of the collectibles … If he did, it was negligible.”

The attorney said the transaction was “properly documented, and as far as Mr. Selleck was aware, approved by the board.”

Andrew Arulanandam, managing director of NRA Public Affairs said in a statement that the Journal’s report “creates the false impression that this is new information.”

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“All of this information, including the board minutes referenced in the article, has been a matter of public record,” Arulanandam added. “Furthermore, it was disclosed and widely reported that the NRA sometimes engages in transactions with board members when those arrangements work to the benefit of our mission and members. We make no apologies for that.”

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The transaction was not approved until April 2019, around the same time the board’s audit committee signed off on two payments collectively worth $120,000 to rock musician Nugent, according to the report.

Ted Nugent (JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

The board allegedly approved an $80,000 payment in 2018 and a $40,000 check in 2017, which went toward advertisements that ran on the Nugent-produced cable TV show “Spirit of the Wild.”

Nugent, who is an active NRA board member, also received a $62,150 payment from the NRA for autographing guitars at association events, where the nonprofit paid the rock and roller $50 for each guitar that he signed.

Nugent’s representative did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.

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The NRA confirmed to the Journal that some transactions between the group and Nugent were inadvertently unreported in tax filings.

Arulanandam noted to the outlet that Nugent had properly reported the business dealings, and he was in no way at fault for the error. He added that the transactions were reported in the 2018 tax filing.

FOX Business' Evie Fordham contributed to this report.