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Who is head of US gun-rights organisation the National Rifle Association?

Executive vice president has been at the helm since the 1990s

Zoe Tidman
Wednesday 25 May 2022 10:39 BST
Joe Biden demands change after Texas mass school shooting

The US has been rocked by its deadliest school shooting in a decade after a gunman opened fire at a primary school in Texas, killing at least 19 children and two teachers.

The rampage at Robb Elementary School has sparked calls for gun reform in the country, which - according to its president - has faced more than 900 incidents involving gunfire on school campuses in the past 10 years.

Joe Biden said on Tuesday it was time to “turn this pain into action” and change gun laws in the US.

He can expect to face resistance from the National Rifle Association (NRA), a gun-rights group which is one of the most powerful organisations in the nation.

It has been hit with problems in recent years, including lawsuits - one of which calling the group “fraught with fraud and abuse” as it sought to disband it - and a bankruptcy bid, which was tossed out by a judge last year.

Wayne LaPierre has been at its helm since the 1990s. He was re-elected as chief executive and executive vice president last October.

Wayne LaPierre is an avid critic of those who want gun control (Getty Images)

He is a hardline critic of those wanting to impose controls on firearms in the country that has seen 27 school shootings this year so far.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference last year, he said: “Gun-hating politicians, big tech, the media, they are all working together to shame us, censor us, cancel us, and have us submit to their demands.

“That we surrender our freedom and the right to self-defence be reserved only for politicians and the wealthy elites.”

The 72-year-old has faced a host of scandals, including accusations of lavish spending. The NRA also reportedly once had to pull a video that showed Mr LaPierre shooting an elephant at point-blank range.

The NRA also elected a new president in October: Charles Cotton.


He is a lawyer by trade who has been on the NRA board for two decades.

Mr Cotton said his appointment was “the honour of a lifetime for a guy who has grown up hunting and plinking”.

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