NRA is trying to sell memberships on the backs of service members who can’t be home for the holidays

The National Rifle Association is encouraging people to buy its membership by playing on the fact that service members will be away from their families during the holidays.

In the two-minute spot released on December 12, NRA President Oliver North points out, “As we gather with loved ones this holiday season, tens of thousands of American soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen, and Marines won't be home this year.” North then encourages supporters to buy NRA memberships because, as he claims, “the very freedoms” service members are "protecting are under siege from powerful, wealthy oligarchs who are financing a disarm-America movement.”

The ad comes amid reports that the NRA is facing increasing financial troubles. Recent tax filings indicate that the NRA lost $55 million in revenue between 2016 and 2017, which was partly driven by membership revenue falling 22 percent from $163 million to $128 million. The gun group has implemented cost-saving measures including eliminating perks like free coffee for employees and downsizing its online media operation NRATV.

The NRA has previously used the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and the anniversary of the Challenger space shuttle disaster to raise funds.