Jan 6, 2024 - Politics & Policy

NRA fights fading influence as longtime leader resigns

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre at its annual conference in 2013. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The National Rifle Association — a one-time lobbying powerhouse — is heading into a civil trial over fraud and mismanagement allegations without its longtime leader.

The big picture: The group, whose CEO announced his resignation on Friday, is attempting to stave off declining luster and impact in Washington.

Catch up quick: Wayne LaPierre, who has led the organization since 1991, announced that he's stepping down as CEO just days before he and other NRA officials are set to face a civil trial in New York.

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit in 2020, accusing LaPierre and other officials of fraud and mismanagement. The NRA has denied any wrongdoing.
  • The trial is set to begin Monday and is expected to last six weeks, per NBC News.

Zoom in: The NRA has been facing internal feuds, legal scrutiny and conflict with other groups within America's gun lobby.

  • It's also seen a steady decline in lobbying activity since 2015 in both the number of lobbyists and money spen, according to OpenSecrets analysis from Senate Office of Public Records data.

Reality check: Decades of gun rights advocacy have kept the NRA at the center of GOP politics, even as gun violence has soared throughout the country.

  • Heading into the 2024 presidential primaries, Republican candidates have continued to carry the torch of defending a strict interpretation of the Second Amendment and rejecting the notion that more strict legislation would reduce gun violence.
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