DALLAS, TX – National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre announced in Dallas on Monday that the NRA’s board of directors elected the iconic Lt. Col. Oliver North as the new president of the NRA, making him partners with LaPierre and Chris Cox to lead the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the United States.
The NRA is currently holding a meeting of its board of directors on the heels of the NRA’s annual meeting, which was held in Dallas over the weekend, and hosted President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. The NRA’s officers and board then met in one of their regularly scheduled meetings.
“This is the most exciting news for NRA members since Charlton Heston became president of our association,” said LaPierre. “Oliver North is a legendary warrior for American freedom, a gifted communicator and skilled leader.”
“In these times, I can think of one better suited to serve as our president,” adds LaPierre. His comparison of North’s election to Heston’s is significant. Heston was elected NRA president in 1998, and served an unprecedented five years in that position.
The 76-member NRA board is led by the NRA president, assisted by a first vice president and second vice president, each of whom typically serve two years in that position. The board votes each year for the executive vice president (EVP, who is the chief executive officer of the NRA), the treasurer (who is the chief financial officer), and the corporate secretary.
LaPierre has been the EVP (CEO) since 1991, and was reelected to that position Monday. As CEO, Wayne appoints the final two officers: the executive director of the NRA-Institute for Legislative Action (ILA, the political arm of NRA) and the executive director of general operations, who handles most nonpolitical programs.
LaPierre and Cox – the telegenic and savvy executive director of NRA-ILA – have been by far the two most visible leaders of the organization. With North now taking the center seat on the board as NRA president, the NRA has a third national media star to take its message to the masses and mobilize voters for 2018.
“I am honored to have been selected by the NRA board to soon serve as this great organization’s president,” said North. “I appreciate the board initiating a process that affords me a few weeks to set my affairs in order, and I am eager to hit the ground running as the new NRA president.”
The long-time media figure is retiring from Fox News immediately, and will officially take the reins at the NRA once he has disengaged from other business commitments.
The board’s decision to elect North came on the heels of current NRA President Pete Brownell’s informing the board that he wished to devote his full-time energy to his family business, and thus that he would not seek another term. Brownell went on to give his full endorsement to North as his successor.
“Wayne and I feel that in these extraordinary times, a leader with his history as a communicator and resolute defender of the Second Amendment is precisely what the NRA needs,” Brownell said of North. “After consulting with NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox, First Vice President Childress and Second Vice President Meadows, I can report there is extraordinary support for Lt. Col. North.”
“Pete has served the NRA with great courage and distinction,” said LaPierre in praise of Brownell. “I am grateful that he joined me in enthusiastically recommending Oliver North to the board of directors.”
“Ollie and I have been friends for years, and I could not be more pleased than to see this freedom-loving leader become the new NRA president,” said another prominent NRA board member, former U.S. Ambassador Ken Blackwell, speaking exclusively to Breitbart News. “Oliver North is an America First leader who combines love of God, love of family, and love of country with his commitment to protect the Constitution of the United States, including the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”
Until North takes office, Richard Childress would normally be next in the line of succession to the NRA presidency, but currently has several commitments that prevent him from taking on that role. Consequently, Second Vice President Carolyn Meadows, the former RNC national committeewoman from Georgia and a well-respected southern conservative, will serve as the NRA’s interim president.
Founded in 1871 and boasting more than 5 million current dues-paying members, the NRA is the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the United States. It is also regarded by many as the most powerful political organization in the nation. An all-time record of 87,154 NRA members and guests attended this year’s annual meeting in Texas.
Ken Klukowski is senior legal editor for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.