Tom Selleck, one of the National Rifle Association’s most recognizable and beloved celebrity endorsers, has abruptly resigned from the gun group’s board of directors, The Trace has learned.
The actor, an ardent gun collector famous for his starring roles in crime dramas like “Magnum, P.I.” and “Blue Bloods,” became an NRA member at age 8, and has served on the group’s 76-member board since 2005. He is revered among members, garnering 110,812 votes — more than any other candidate at the time — when he was re-elected to a fifth three-year term on the board last year.
Selleck’s publicist, Annette Wolf, confirmed to The Trace that he stepped down, saying that his participation had been minimal: “He has nothing to do with policy. He’s never been active on the board or anything the NRA engages in. He’s almost always been a silent board member.” She followed that up with a statement saying, “Tom Selleck has stepped down from the board of the NRA due to his work schedule. Mr. Selleck remains a member of the NRA.”
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Asked if Selleck continued to support the NRA’s politics, policies, messaging, and mission, Wolf declined to comment.
Sources close to the NRA confirm that Selleck was not a regular presence at board meetings. But the actor, who showed his fun-loving side in feel-good comedies like “Three Men and a Baby,” was helpful to the group as a fundraiser and public face. He has repeatedly donated rifles and revolvers that were used in his films to the gun group’s National Firearms Museum. In 1999, he appeared in a print NRA ad with a rifle slung across his shoulder and the message, “Shooting teaches young people good things.” Selleck and the NRA came under fierce criticism when, a month after the ad ran, two teenagers carried out a mass shooting at Columbine High School.
Selleck has also served as the main attraction at NRA events. In 2014, the actor was the keynote speaker at the Women’s Leadership Forum Luncheon, an exclusive gathering that takes place during the gun group’s annual convention. The event included an auction, to which Selleck donated a series of items from the set of “Magnum, P.I.” One, a Rolex watch worn by Thomas Magnum, fetched $45,000. Another, a Colt 1911 prop gun, went for $35,000.
Three years later, in 2017, Selleck again addressed the Women’s Leadership Forum Luncheon, sharing the bill with Kellyanne Conway, one of President Donald Trump’s top advisors. In his remarks, the actor said, “We are living in troubled times, times of partisanship and a toxic political environment.”
The NRA has not made any public announcement about Selleck’s departure, and did not respond to a request for a comment.