NRA board re-elects Wayne LaPierre as criticism of mass shooting mounts

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has reappointed Wayne LaPierre to head the gun rights organization as it becomes defensive against renewed calls for gun restrictions following the recent US mass shooting.

The NRA said Monday its board overwhelmingly re-elected LaPierre as CEO and executive vice president. The organization gathered for its annual convention in Houston last week, days after Uvalde, Texas, experienced one of the country’s worst mass shootings.

The re-election of LaPierre, who has held the post since 1991, shows that the NRA maintains its strict opposition to gun control despite a surge in shootings and allegations that the CEO used the organization for personal gain.

“The NRA stands strong, safe and secure,” Charles Cotton said in a statement following his re-election as group chief executive. “We have never been better positioned to protect the Second Amendment or raise our collective voice in support of important issues like school safety.”

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre at the convention
Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the NRA and Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association (NRA), prepares to speak at the George R. Brown Convention Center during the National Rifle Association (NRA) Annual Convention on May 27, 2022 in Houston, Texas. to speak. The event comes days after the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 students and 2 adults dead, with the gunman fatally shot by law enforcement officers.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

A gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde last week. The shooting is the worst since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012 and has reignited debates about school safety and the NRA’s role in blocking gun control.

During the NRA convention, speakers including former President Donald Trump called for increased mental health services and more school security to prevent future shootings.

LaPierre reiterated the organization’s approach in a statement after his re-election, saying, “Making schools safe is a national emergency.”

After the shooting, the NRA continued to lobby Republicans while Democrats made emotional appeals for increased gun control.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer last week blamed the NRA’s and Republicans’ “reverence” for the organization for gun control measures not making it through the chamber.

“The problem in the Senate is simple: Too many members across the aisle are disconnected from the suffering of the American people,” the New York Democrat said during a speech. “Too many members on this site care more about the NRA than families grieving victims of gun violence.”

According to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research organization, the US has witnessed more than 3,500 mass shootings since Sandy Hook. Since the start of Memorial Day weekend on Saturday, there have been 14 mass shootings across the US, including Tennessee, California, Florida and Colorado, according to the nonprofit.

While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled last week that Republicans were willing to strike a middle ground with Democrats, GOP members in the chamber blocked what Schumer called a domestic terrorism measure that Schumer called a legislative tool that “Let us take action against guns”.

In 2020, New York attorney Letitia James took legal action against the NRA, alleging that LaPierre misappropriated the organization’s funds. James declared victory after a judge blocked the NRA’s attempt to file for bankruptcy and reorganize in Texas.

Lt. Col. Allen West, a former Republican representative, challenged LaPierre for the role. West previously told Bloomberg he wanted to oust LaPierre over what he called “corruption, nepotism and nepotism at the NRA,” saying it had eroded trust in the organization. However, West only got one vote.

news week has reached out to the NRA for comment. NRA board re-elects Wayne LaPierre as criticism of mass shooting mounts

Rick Schindler

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