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Odd request, idea for the STF of NRA

Discussion in 'South Texas Friends of NRA' started by mosin, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. mosin

    mosin Active Member

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    Mar 21, 2013
    Laredo
    So the range here in Laredo is locked up as of last week. From what it sounds like piss poor management on the part of the laredo rifle and pistol club leadership. Currently the club has around 1500 members according to the statements at the meeting. This is the only game in town, all gun enthusiasts are out of luck. The nearest range is probably the bullet hole in San Antonio about 2.5 hours away. The range has been in its current location for over 25 years and is well established though could use some cleaning up.

    The crux of the situation is we need a 501(c) to come in and do the lease on the property. Would this be anything this organization would be interested in doing?

    Full lay out of the issue can be found here. Around the 2:13 mark you can see the option for another organization to come in.
    The full story kicks off at around the 1:40 mark.
    http://webbtv.webbcountytx.gov:8080/video/2013-9-23 Meeting Pt2.mp4

    This could be a good opportunity to add a very sizable contingent of people to the STF of NRA group, while doing a very big favor to many people here in Laredo and the surrounding area.

    I wasn't sure who was in charge or how this club runs exactly so feel free to PM me and I'll give you my contact information and any other details.
     


    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  2. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Staff Member Lifetime Member Admin

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    Nov 22, 2011
    Spring
    Let me start with the obvious. I AM NOT A LAWYER. None of what follows is legal advice and it should be totally ignored because I have no idea what I'm talking about. Also, I am NOT willing to answer PMs about this case or provide help directly to any of the people involved.

    Having said that -

    That video was maddening. So much ignorance. So much dodging. So much FAIL!

    1. Why on earth would you want some new exempt organization to come in and take over? That will severely muddy the waters when what needs to be done is fix the current organization. The guy from the range said that paperwork had been sent in 30 days ago to get their non-profit status back and that they expected some news in 30 or 60 more days. Really? Something this urgent and they "sent in paperwork"? Are you kidding me? This is exactly the sort of situation the Taxpayer Advocate (formerly Problem Resolution) program at the IRS was created to solve. A community organization that's doing good but innocently fails to file paperwork causing a major disruption in public services for a large number of people definitely fits the criteria for a case to be fast-tracked through the TA office. One of the caseworkers in that office could have restored their non-profit status in 24 hours. With the government shut down, of course, even if they realized they needed that kind of help they'll get lost in the crush of initial help requests that will flood those offices as soon as they re-open.

    2. Did you notice how the Commissioners and their counsel went back and forth between a lease and a license, depending on when it suited them? I know nothing about licenses in that county but if the club had a lease in the past (even the distant past) and was not noticed to vacate, they still have that lease. Removing a lessor isn't an instantaneous process by which the Court simply gives notice; there is a real process with real time frames that eventually leads to a court other than the Commissioners. Those attorneys were clearly not happy about having to handle this and if the solutions they come up with totally screw the club, that's obviously OK with them. Where the bloody hell was the attorney for the club?

    3. The attorneys were talking about the increased liability of the county now that the club has lost status. WTF? The non-profit status provided a shield for the members. When that status was lost, every single member of the club became responsible for the actions of the club. If someone has an accident at the club right now, they can sue every single member of the club, separately. If anything, the county is far *more* protected now because every asset of every individual club member is at risk to pay off claims. I got too frustrated to stick around and see if the Court finally suspended or revoked the "license" or decided to revoke the lease agreement. If so, that may provide some protection for the individual club members but, clearly, the club was operating in the deep red danger zone for at least a month. If I were a member, I would have immediately resigned from the club to protect myself. If I weren't notified of this screw-up, if an accident happened, and if a lawyer figured out that he could sue all 1500 members (and any lawyer with an IQ above room temperature would figure it out, eventually), I'd be tempted to strangle the officers.

    4. The club is going to have to deal with penalties of up to $10K per unfiled year assessed against the organization and up to $5K per year assessed against each of the responsible parties. (Responsible parties are certainly anyone who can sign checks on behalf of the club. Anyone who can direct that checks be signed is probably also responsible, so pretty much all the officers will probably be on the hook if the IRS decides to pursue them individually.) That helpful Taxpayer Advocate caseworker can speed up getting the case to Penalty Appeals...assuming anyone with the club is sharp enough to get one assigned. Generally, especially if this is a first revocation and for an entity this puny, it's possible to get failure to file penalties abated. However, that will require the club to throw itself on the mercy of Penalty Appeals, show good documentation about the charitable or public education work they've been doing to deserve their exempt status (Please, God, let these people have good records of things like 4-H shooting club support, Hunter Education classes, etc.), and sincerely promise to never screw up again. I hope the Penalty Appeals agent is in a good mood and likes to shoot. I think that office is now in Dallas so there's a possibility that a friendly attitude will greet the appeal; things would be more grim if it were still in Austin. OTOH, if the club has screwed up like this before and hasn't been doing any good works to justify their exempt status, those penalties will stick and, for a club that small, probably kill the club while severely crippling the finances of the officers. The Federal Tax Liens, by themselves, will land on those officers like a ton of bricks.

    I could go on but the whole situation is just too disgusting. :banghead:
     
  3. mosin

    mosin Active Member

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    Mar 21, 2013
    Laredo
    well to add to it, the "houses behind it" is a complete lie. There are nearby houses but they are actually beside the Sheriff's range not the gun club.

    Blue is the Sheriff, red is "us", and then the border patrol range.
    range.jpg

    There is nothing of interest for miles in the line of fire of any club ranges if someone somehow misses the 15-20' berms.
    range2.jpg

    So much fail on both sides, hence me jumping out here waving a big white flag


    See above

    Thank you for this. I will try to track down "leadership" and let them know about the TA office

    As far as the license vs. lease, I didn't really get a warm feeling that they even knew what they were saying. Maybe I'll go back and listen but it sounded like they were using them interchangeably with no real distinction between the two terms.

    Yes it is very obvious what the attorney wants, he continually hinted at bulldozing it for a housing development would be a good idea with talk of clean up costs etc.

    Attorney for the club, lol, these people "forgot" to file tax information for 3-4 years in a row.

    Well it is locked up and extremely hard to miss the signs so I'm not personally worried about the liability at this point. Interesting point though.

    I just purchased 880 rounds of 54r ammo and 600rds of 556 lake city. I found out it was closed when I drove over to zero the AR with the new batch of ammo last week. Pissed would be putting it lightly, also my dad is flying in from Georgia in two weeks and there is nothing to do here but shoot things.


    Doubtful, the first anyone found out was a notice on the gate. The club has contact info for all members and I've heard nothing be it charity work or a "oh shit they are closing us down meeting" phone call/ E-Mail. I've only been a member for a few months being new to town but since paying and being issued a key I've heard nil from them. That would be fine if it weren't for the fact they apparently hadn't been taking care of their own issues. There was a 2 or 3 hour heads up posted for a club meeting on their website. That site is never updated and their facebook page until now hadn't been touched in 4 years. They apparently had elections there but I can't imagine anyone showed up with such a lousy notice and it is probably more of the same group.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  4. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Staff Member Lifetime Member Admin

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    Nov 22, 2011
    Spring
    Also let them know this -

    If they had sought competent advice, they would have known that this was an emergency that should have gone to the TAO first. All CPAs are familiar with the TAO case criteria that's published on their web site. When you track down the leadership, make sure they know that they have made the job of the Taxpayer Advocate exponentially more difficult if they sent all their paperwork to the standard address for filing. That means that it may have already been processed and an unfavorable determination on their status already made. It's much more difficult to get a exemption revocation reversed when the responsible office has already re-affirmed it.

    It's also *horrifically* more difficult for the TAO to handle the situation since they now must retrieve the unprocessed paperwork from a mountain of paper or, more likely, work without the originals by looking at the club photocopies and whatever internal electronic summaries have been created. In the latter case, there's always the possibility that the person in possession of the originals will take reasonable negative actions against the club because, generally, the worker in possession of the original returns is presumed to control the case. Yes, the TAO breaks that workflow regularly but having to do so complicates and slows the problem resolution process.

    I find it tough to think of a way a club could more thoroughly screw itself over.

    Unless I think of something really significant, I won't be posting in this thread again. I don't need the blood pressure spikes. Thank God I'm not a member; I think I would have stroked out.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013

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