BOSTON — The National Rifle Assn. says it is the target of an Internal Revenue Service audit to review its tax-exempt status, according to a newspaper report.
Former NRA board members accuse current officials of misusing and mismanaging the nonprofit gun lobby's $150-million budget.
The group also has come under fire for a recent fund-raising letter that referred to federal agents as "jackbooted government thugs."
The IRS investigation is expected to last two to three years, said Neal Knox, an NRA vice president and leader of the faction that took control of the board in 1991.
The NRA is registered as a nonprofit group. Its annual reports say it ran up a $2.8-million deficit last year and a $21.6-million shortfall in 1993.
Knox told the Boston Globe that he and other board members believe the audit is motivated by politics, despite IRS assurances that the group was chosen by chance.
Clinton Administration officials denied that the IRS had targeted the gun lobby because of its political activity.