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Oliver North speaks at the NRA convention on April 26 in Indianapolis. [AP/Michael Conroy]

Bang for the Buck

NRA President Oliver North Forced Out

He had been locked in a power struggle with Wayne LaPierre.

Oliver North has stepped down as the National Rifle Association’s president.

North had been locked in a power struggle with Wayne LaPierre, the organization’s longtime executive vice president and public face.

At the NRA’s annual meeting of members, held during the group’s convention in Indianapolis this weekend, Richard Childress, the association’s first vice-president, read a letter written by North announcing that he had been pushed out of the NRA and would not be seeking re-election.

“Please know that I had hoped to be with you today as NRA president endorsed for reelection. I am now informed that will not happen,” the letter read.

North’s letter said that he had created a committee to examine accusations of financial wrongdoing surfaced in media reports including an investigation by The Trace and The New Yorker. Staff Writer Mike Spies’s reporting showed that NRA leadership and preferred vendors had extracted hundreds of millions of dollars from the nonprofit’s budget.

“If true, the NRA’s nonprofit status is threatened. There is a clear crisis that needs to be dealt with immediately and responsibly so the NRA can continue to focus on protecting our second amendment,” North’s letter read.

North, a former lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps who was involved in the Iran–Contra affair, became president of the NRA in spring 2018.

His resignation came less than 24 hours after it was reported that North had asked Wayne LaPierre, the NRA executive vice president, to step down. In a fiery letter to the organization’s board, LaPierre said North had threatened to release a letter with damaging information about the NRA.

“The exhortation was simple: resign or there will be destructive allegations made against me and the NRA,” states LaPierre’s letter.

LaPierre appears to still have the support of the NRA faithful. Shortly before Childress finished reading North’s letter, LaPierre appeared at the members meeting. He was met with a standing ovation.