Oliver North Out As NRA President After Leadership Dispute

Oliver North: “There is a clear crisis and it needs to be dealt with.” READ MORE

oliver north

SOURCE: AP, Lisa Marie Pane

Oliver North announced last Saturday that he would not serve a second term as National Rifle Association president, making it clear he had been forced out by the gun lobby’s leadership after his own failed attempt to remove the NRA’s longtime CEO in a burgeoning divide over the group’s finances and media operations.

“Please know I hoped to be with you today as NRA president endorsed for reelection. I’m now informed that will not happen,” North said in a statement that was read by Richard Childress, the NRA’s first vice president, to members at the group’s annual convention.

North, whose one-year term ends Monday, did not show up for the meeting, and his spot on the stage was left empty, his nameplate still in its place. His statement was largely met with silence. Wayne LaPierre, whom North had tried to push out, later received two standing ovations.

It was a stunning conclusion to a battle between two conservative and Second Amendment titans — North, the retired Marine lieutenant colonel with a ramrod demeanor who was at the center of the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s, and LaPierre, who has been battle-tested in the decades since he took up the mantle of gun rights. He has fought back challenges that have arisen over the decades, seemingly emerging unscathed each time. In this latest effort, he pushed back against North, telling members of the NRA’s board of directors that North had threatened to release “damaging” information about him to them and saying it amounted to an “extortion” attempt.

Hundreds of the NRA’s estimated 5 million members packed into the convention center in Indianapolis where the group’s annual meetings were being held. Near the end of the two-hour meeting, some members challenged efforts to adjourn and pushed to question the board about controversies involving its financial management, the relationship with its longtime public relations firm and details of what North sought to raise about alleged misspending, sexual harassment and other mismanagement.

But those cries were drowned out as some board members urged such conversations not to be held at such a large public forum, even if the media were eventually discharged from the room.

“We don’t want to give the other side any more information than they already have,” said Tom King, a board member from New York for more than a decade.

Offered Marion Hammer, a former NRA president and longtime lobbyist from Florida: “The life’s blood of this organization is on the line. We are under fire from without. We do not need to be under attack from within.”

The internal dispute first spilled out in public after the NRA in recent weeks filed a lawsuit against Ackerman McQueen, the Oklahoma-based public relations firm that has earned tens of millions of dollars in the decades since it began shaping the gun lobby’s fierce talking points. The NRA’s lawsuit accuses Ackerman McQueen of refusing to hand over financial records to account for its billings.

North has a $1 million contract with Ackerman McQueen, raising alarm bells among some in the NRA about conflicts of interest. He has a show called “American Heroes” on NRATV, the online TV station created and operated by Ackerman McQueen. NRATV and Ackerman McQueen’s billings are at the center of the turmoil, with some members and board members questioning whether they were getting any value for the money devoted to that part of the operation. In 2017 alone, the NRA paid the firm $40 million.

NRATV’s programming is provocative, often taking on topics far afield from gun rights, leading some members to wonder if it was damaging its efforts to further gun rights and bring in new members.

The NRA also has faced some financial and regulator struggles in recent years, and there remain concerns that New York authorities in particular — the state where the NRA created its charter — are looking to strip it of its nonprofit status.

An outside lawyer for the NRA, William A. Brewer, said Saturday that New York’s attorney general has opened an investigation into the organization.

In his statement, North said a committee should be set up to review the NRA’s finances and operations.

“There is a clear crisis and it needs to be dealt with” if the NRA is to survive, he said.

Childress, who read North’s statement, said he only found out the night before that he would be asked to read it. A message left with the Freedom Alliance, a nonprofit group founded by North in the 1990s, seeking to contact North, was not immediately returned.

In his speech later Saturday, LaPierre stuck to standard NRA talking points, going after the mainstream media and lawmakers who seek to restrict gun rights. He told the crowd that efforts to strip away gun rights will fail.

“We won’t accept it. We will resist it. We won’t give an inch,” he said.

North, 75, was a military aide to the National Security Council during the Reagan administration in the 1980s when he entered the spotlight for his role in arranging the secret sale of weapons to Iran and the diversion of the proceeds to the anti-communist Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

He was convicted in 1989 of obstructing Congress during its investigation, destroying government documents and accepting an illegal gratuity. Those convictions were overturned in 1991. Embraced by many on the right, he went on to run for office, write several books and serve as a commentator on Fox News.

Watch the video HERE

Associated Press writer Denise Lavoie contributed to this report from Richmond, Va.

28 thoughts on “Oliver North Out As NRA President After Leadership Dispute”

  1. Don’t forget it was Wayne Lapierre who was the NRA leader who caved to the gun control crowd in 1993/1994. It was Lapierre who helped bring us all these shitty gun control laws to begin with, right along with the Brady Group.

    Lapierre let Congress pass the Brady Act in 1994, which brought this former great nation the NICS background check system, a ten year federal assault weapons ban that included bans on magazines larger than ten rounds. Lapierre let all this shit become federal law. And last year, Lapierre encouraged the “Fix NICS” bill to he passed by Congress…which was gladly signed off by President Trump.

    Wayne Lapierre is about as pro 2A as Mao Tse Tung was…time for new NRA leadership that is way more no holds barred.

    1. Don’t forget to mention the ban on plastic furniture “bump stocks” ! He’ll cave to public out cry every time.
      Where’s the NRA on silencers..? Do they believe as Hollywood, that they are “super secret squirrel” quiet as portrayed in the movies..? Yeah. Get the ATFE out of my gun collection!

    2. Lapierre ‘let’ Congress pass the Brady Act in 1994? Amigo, learn Civics 101. NO INDIVIDUAL ‘lets’ Congress pass ANY law(s). The only ‘sh*t’ resides between your ears. Where do dolts like you come from?

      1. Congress passed the Brady Act, Comrade Clinton signed it into federal law. But Lapierre as President of the NRA at that time, he was of the opinion the gun control crowd had a strong legal point that the 1968 GCA had no enforcement. So Lapierre led NRA “agreed” with the anti gunners that the 1968 CHA needed “teeth” AKA the Brady Act. Lapierre COULD have fought hard to stop the Brady Act from making it thru Congress, in practice Lapierre encouraged Congress to pass the Brady Act.

        Remember, Lapierre’ s job is a lobbyist.

  2. This is the same sort of political BS that they used to force Neal Knox out of the NRA decades ago. This is why I no longer support the NRA, because like the RINOs in congress, they no longer support the constitution as it’s written. They’re more interested in maintaining their own personal power within the organization while gainsaying the rank and file members.

    1. I have been a member since I was a teenager.
      But as much as I don’t like Oliver North,
      The NRA has become a entrenched
      Elitist organization that that thought
      In Russia there was an gun rights organization,
      On the word of Red Sparrow !
      No organizations exist without Putin’s
      When my membership runs out I am out

  3. Lapierre must go. I have not donated in very many years. I am a life member. Lapierre is WEAK!

  4. LaPierre is way over paid on the backs of millions of Americans. He needs to go and his smiling dog grin. They now resort to trickery to get you on the phone. Have had a number of calls asking for Gary. When I say no one her by that name the response is “maybe you can help me” and they go into their spiel. I just hang up on the caller when they say maybe.

  5. Oliver North was/is a criminal. His term as NRA President was an attempt at destroying the NRA from within. Upon his becoming NRA’s President I cancelled my membership ASAP. I will not renew it either.
    Oliver North’s Criminal History
    Volume I:
    Investigations and Prosecutions
    Lawrence E. Walsh
    Independent Counsel
    August 4, 1993
    Washington, D.C. https://fas.org/irp/offdocs/walsh/index.html

  6. Ever read NRA American Rifleman magazines from the olden days? Like mid sixties on back. I have a collection of old American Rifleman and man if you read American Rifleman from 1960 it’s obvious they meant business. No compromise, no attorney mentality of “let’s just settle this issue out of court” like the NRA has had since the early nineties.

    Lapierre AND Chris Cox have to go. In fact the entire NRA leadership needs to be fired all at once. Every single current NRA leadership guy needs to go because they are not doing a good job at combating gun control. Replace them with hardcore, no compromise gun control people. Run the fudds out of the NRA. Then lobby Congress to REPEAL the 1994 Brady Act and get rid of NICS background checks.

  7. They lost me. The NRA no longer fights for gun rights. GOA is a better choice. I don’t care about a magazine, duffel bag, knife, hat, etc. I care about my 2nd Amendment rights, and I feel the NRA, has lost sight of what their purpose is supposed to be.

  8. It is almost to a point that the NRA does not really support the shooting sports anymore.
    It seems like all they care about is how much money they can get out of members.
    I think they would rather be busy with the political scene, then building the shooting sports up. It is time for new leadership.
    I wonder how much money has been funnelled into their private pockets and away from where it needs to be spent.

  9. I Agreed with North and most of the members ,La Pierre Loves total Control of the NRA ! My Best Friend was in Africa hunting when La Pierre was there with his Young, Fat girlfriend on Our Dime ! , ” Look Honey I hit it !!! Bragging about hunting on my Dime ! He has to Go !! $200,000.00 on Wardrobe !!! Come On ! He’s a Scum Bag !!

    1. Lapierre likes to settle away NRA members 2A rights. He has been doing it since the early nineties. Settle settle settle, its like Americans Second Amendment rights are some auto collision litigation case. “Hey let’s just settle out of court!”

  10. In my honest opinion:

    LaPierre it like all the other highly overpaid CEO’s in the corporation industry. His only interest is in keeping his salary which is alarming high as well as his freebies, all on the backs of hard working Americans who do not want their 2nd Amendment rights taken from them. LaPierre is willing to sell out all 2nd Amendment supporters to the leftest and socialist crowd just so he can keep his high paying job. He has no interest in protecting either the 2nd Amendment nor the rights of Americans as a whole.

    LaPierre has to go and we need leadership that will stop these anti gun zealots in their tracks, and LaPierre is not the man to lead the NRA in this endeavor, to win back the rights of law abiding citizens who have had their rights stripped from them under the unconstitutional laws that Lapierre seems to rubber stamp.

    I am a Lifetime Member and an Endowment member of the NRA and I have stopped giving them my monies for almost 2 decades now and now support the Gun Owners of America who have done more for the 2nd Amendment than LaPierre has done in the last 30 years. This is NOT the NRA that I grew up with and supported in the 1960’s. LaPierre’s has derailed the NRA train long ago and does not deserve another dime from a single American until the NRA rights their train, and I do not see that happening under LaPierre’s leadership.

    LaPierre has not been a gun rights advocate for more than 4 decades now, if not longer. LaPierre is an embarrassment to the 2nd Amendment supporters and Americans that he vowed to protect. He is just another politician cut from the same cloth as anti gun and anti constitutional leftest and socialist.

    Ditch the NRA under its current leadership and support the Gun Owners of America. At least the GOA is willing to fight for our rights. The NRA will continue to roll over under LaPierre’s leadership so that he can continue to enjoy his $1000 lunches off the backs of law abiding 2nd Amendment supporters whom LaPierre swore to protect

  11. Outstanding ! Mr Lessard, can’t be said Better !! We need New Leadership ! Always looking for more Money !!! Vendors and Guns Manufacturers donate all the so called ” Giveaways ! La Pierre makes lots of Money !! He has to Go !!!

    1. Well said! We need new leadership, it has grown stagnant! News no sooner broke, and they’re asking for money to fight the problem they created!

  12. The NRA has seen the last of my money and my support until there is a MAJOR shake up and the likes of La Pissaire and his toady, Chris are just a fading bad memory. It’s time the NRA took it’s example from GOA and became a streamlined no nonsense, no compromise “go get ’em” type of 2ND Amendment protection association. I’m sick and tired of watching the NRA compromise my rights away. From the 1934 NFA to the “Bump Stock Ban,” and every bad piece of gun legislation in between, the NRA has had it’s slimy little claws all over them. Find somebody we can get behind, get squared away and start carrying the fight to the enemy, instead of always reacting after the fact. If we can do this, then maybe we can remind the present President of the US that he campaigned on being Pro 2nd Amendment and had done a piss poor job of showing it what with his “bump stock bans” and calling for gun confiscations with no due process. We have got to get our ducks in a row so we can put the fear of God back into these stupid politicians.

  13. I’ve been a proud member of the NRA most of my life. Recently I feel I’m not getting my money’s worth. If you are not working for we the people then you are not doing your job and should be thrown out just like most officials in our government. Changes better happen at the NRA or will stop renewing my membership. It scares me to think of a United States without the NRA but it scares me more to have one slowly help erode our 2nd Amendment. I’ve been contributing to the GOA because they are actually fighting for us. Maybe the stand and fight slogan the NRA has been using should be slouch and cave.

  14. Same can be said about Mark A. Keefe. He travels the world and goes on safaris & shooting sprees, all on the NRA Members’ contributions. His writings are poor, and pander to whatever brand he is “representing” at the time. Mr. Keefe acts more like a politician than a warrior for the Second Amendment.

    Same can be said about Smith & Wesson, and their poor-quality, obsolescence-built-in M&P line of products. No military, nor police standardize on their M&P line. – unlike SIG and/or Glock.

    1. Plenty of police contracts have gone to S&W and their M&P line of products. And their quality has vastly increased since the 1970’s. You have no idea what you are blabbing about.

      1. Maybe, but wait 3-4 years when the current designs go “obsolete” and parts are hard to come by. I consider the S&W M&P’s “disposable” guns because they completely change after a few years.
        I bought my SIG P228 the year it came out. 90% of the parts are compatible with the rest of the P22x models and are still readily available. Yes, SIG has has some nice upgrades, but everything is backward & forward compatible.
        Additionally, my SIG’s will out shoot any M&P on any day.

        THAT is what I am “babbling” about.

  15. I didn’t realize what’s been going on with Mr La Parrie Using NRA funding for his own personal interest. That’s not only no but Hell No! I’m going to give myself serious thought ant considerations about any future support. Thanks for the “heads us”

  16. I’ve been a gun owner and hobbyist my entire life and I well remember reading my father’s American Rifleman magazines as a kid back in the 50’s. I considered rejoining back in the 90’s and took one look at the NRA website and LaPierres rants and decided this was an organization that I want no part of. I do support some pro-gun suits, but I’m very careful to make sure that they are well thought out.. An example is Nichols VS Brown (now Newsom), look this one up and compare it to the NRA suits in CA,,,, You’ll see why the NRA is doomed to fail, but raises a lot of money from the crazies….

  17. I have to agree with all the comments written before mine.

    I’m a Patron Life Member and haven’t donated to the NRA in a long time. I refuse to do so for all the reasons said in the previous posts. I feel like I’ve been sold out by the NRA leadership.
    When I recently found out that LaPierre’s salary was 2 million PLUS?!?
    $1,000.00 suits for LaPierre as he lives the life of the rich and famous.
    Hunting Trips and all the other things the Leaders think they are entitled too.
    All the private flights to where ever they travel.
    The elegant dining in places, WE the membership, would never think to charge to the NRA if given the chance.
    He no doubt does a lot of glad-handing with politicians and industry CEO’s.
    All done in the name of the membership and “fighting” for OUR Second Amendment Rights.

    But seeing our Rights be given away at the drop of a hat, in the name of “cooperation”.
    While the NRA does offer our nation’s schools free training for the asking…How many have asked?
    How many have been called to offer this training to them?
    I only recently found out about the school Free Training from a video presented by Oliver North.
    A program like this IS needed and I’m happy to have the NRA donate its time and money to this cause!
    The 1994 Clinton Crime Bill expired amid the yelling and crying of Congress trying to keep it alive. The result is a patchwork of different magazine capacity, muzzle devices, pistol grip and many other small things chipping away at The Constitutional Right’s owed to all American’s…

    As it stands now, the NRA is the 800 lb. Gorilla in the room. It’s feared and known for it’s lobbying efforts from the past..

    I’ve lost faith with the NRA and have done what other’s here have said.

    When I donate I give to the Gun Owners of America, the S.A.F., the Firearm Coalition, and other organizations that seem to have the real gains…

    When the tragedy happened in Las Vegas, the NRA petitioned ATF AND Congress, to look at “bump” stocks as THEY (NRA) believed the ATF made a mistake in how they classified the “bump” stocks…

    G.O.A. and the Firearm Coalition fought tooth and nail AGAINST the re-classification of “bump” stocks…

    THEY got my donations and memberships too…

    Like the HEADS of DOJ, NSA, FBI, CIA…they’ve gotten as bad as what President Donald Trump is now trying to clean out in the Swamp in D.C….

    I agree with those that have posted here…

    It’s time to overhaul the leadership of the NRA and the Ackerman McQueen Group, and I’d like to see how and where their payments go…

    Ackerman McQueen Group works for the NRA, and that means they work for US!!!

    There is NO REASON that they should be able to refuse to show their billing and disbursements to the NRA board and all the membership!!

    As an NRA member, I’m disgusted by all the begging for donations for this or that “emergency”, Right NOW…

    Yet, I’ve never received ANYTHING, to show how the fight for this or that came out!!
    Is it that hard to distribute results as to how the struggling court case or whatever the thing that was sooooo important???

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