Republicans worry that the NRA and two other groups that have long formed the core of their electoral infrastructure will be effectively on the sidelines.
The organization's troubles are hard to overstate. The most serious threat is an investigation by New York state attorney general's office into its tax-exempt status. In April, NRA President Oliver North was ousted in an ugly public spectacle in which he declared the group was in a "clear crisis." News organizations have also reported that NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre used $275,000 of the group's money to buy luxury clothes at Zegna in Beverly Hills, Calif., and that the organization logged tens of thousands of dollars in other expenses that benefited its officials.