National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre Steps Down After 47 Years

Gun Rights

IRVING, TX – National Rifle Association (NRA) CEO Wayne LaPierre is stepping down after almost 50 years at the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the history of the United States, a household-name juggernaut dedicated to supporting the Second Amendment and promoting self-defense, hunting, and responsible gun ownership.

With a membership that fluctuates around five million members, the NRA has been one of the most powerful political organizations in the nation, often making the difference in states and legislative districts where many Americans tend to vote Democrat on many issues but also value the right to keep and bear arms. The NRA also played a central role in the Supreme Court’s recognition of the Second Amendment as an individual right in the cases D.C. v. Heller (2008), McDonald v. Chicago (2010), and New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen (2022).

LaPierre — or “Wayne,” as he goes by to everyone in the NRA — has worked at the organization since 1977, rising through the ranks to become CEO (or “Executive Vice President”) in 1991. Under his watch, the NRA was pivotal to White House victories in several presidential elections, including President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 and President Donald Trump in 2016. In March 2022, the NRA achieved another major victory: defeating New York Attorney General Letitia James’ attempts to dissolve the organization, which was incorporated in New York in 1871.

“With pride in all that we have accomplished, I am announcing my resignation from the NRA,” says Wayne. “I’ve been a card-carrying member of this organization for most of my adult life, and I will never stop supporting the NRA and its fight to defend Second Amendment freedom. My passion for our cause burns as deeply as ever.”

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Wayne is 74 years old, and his stepping down becomes effective on January 31. He announced the decision Friday at the NRA Board of Directors meeting in Irving, Texas. Per the succession protocol at the NRA, Executive Director of General Operations Andrew Arulanandam will become the new CEO at that time. All NRA officers serve one-year terms, which are reviewed each year after the organization’s annual meeting, which takes place in the late spring. The 2024 annual meeting will be in Dallas, Texas, in May.

“I’ve worked with Wayne for a quarter of a century, and there is no man I have ever come across who works harder and is more dedicated to the organization and principles for which he stands than Wayne LaPierre,” former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr, who is first vice president at the NRA and expected to be elected as the next NRA president, said exclusively to Breitbart News. “It has been a tremendous honor to work with him all these years, and I look forward to continuing to work with him as a friend for many years to come.”

“Wayne has been an extraordinarily consequential leader in modern American life,” agreed former Ambassador Ken Blackwell, who is a member of the NRA Board of Directors. “I congratulate Wayne on his decades of leadership at the NRA and wish him well as he enjoys the next chapter of life.”

“Wayne never forgot the legacy that the NRA has with the civil rights movement that was so important to the African-American community and others,” Blackwell added in his exclusive statement, noting that the NRA was one of the first national organizations in the nation to accept Black Americans as full members and praising the role that lawful gun ownership played for decades in the minority community.

The NRA makes this transition as it gears up for the 2024 elections, in which it is expected to play a prominent role in several presidential battleground states, as well as elections in West Virginia, Ohio, Montana, and other states that will likely determine control of the U.S. Senate.

Breitbart News senior legal contributor Ken Klukowski is a lawyer who served in the White House and Justice Department. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) @kenklukowski.

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