Members of the NRA are heading to Houston for the group’s annual convention this week, where they will meet the gun lobby’s newly announced president, Alabama attorney Jim Porter.
President David Keene will conclude his two-year term at the group’s annual meeting and Porter will take over the reins beginning Monday.
While stating that Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre will continue to be the face of the organization in media appearances, the NRA has announced that Porter is the perfect candidate for the job. He served as first vice president of the board for two years and second vice president for another two years.
In an interview with the Washington Times, David Keene laid out the road map ahead for Porter. “As we are likely to win most of the legislative battles in Congress, we will have to move to courts to undo the restrictions placed on gun owners’ rights in New York, Connecticut, Maryland and Colorado.”
Keene also described how Porter’s legal expertise and his service as a legal counsel for the NRA in federal court would lead the gun group’s efforts. “He’s a superb attorney” said Keene. “Our focus now will shift to the courts to make sure these states’ laws are scaled back… Jim is perfect to lead that effort because of his ability and experience running a legal team.”
Porter, who has served the board for 20 years, will become the first son of a former NRA president to become the figurehead of the nation’s top gun lobby. His father, Irvine Porter, was NRA president from 1959-1960.
Comedian Conan O’Brien took a jab at the organization at the White House Correspondents dinner last Saturday.
“Here’s a fun fact about tonight’s food– everything you ate was personally shot by Wayne LaPierre,” O’Brien joked. “Don’t worry, it was during a home invasion. The fish came in through the window.”
“Incidentally, you may not know this, but Wayne LaPierre is merely the executive vice president of the NRA,” O’Brien continued. “Which begs the question, how freaking crazy do you have to be to be the actual president of the NRA? He’s not even at the top.”
Porter is set to take over the NRA as gun control lobbyists continue to push for stricter gun legislation in Washington. Sen. Toomey, who crafted a proposal with Sen. Joe Manchin, told editors from Digital First Media the reason their bipartisan background check bill failed was “because we’re so politicized… There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it.”
Sen. Manchin said on Fox News Sunday that he plans on reintroducing his bill to expands background checks, and he predicts that the second time around, it will get enough votes to move out of the Senate.
While gun rights activists applauded the Senate’s rejection last month of the gun legislation that would have expanded background checks for all commercial gun sales, President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have vowed to continue pushing for tougher gun laws.
Obama pledged Thursday during a trip to Mexico to continue fighting, saying that more attempts are necessary for reform. “Things happen somewhat slowly in Washington, but this is just the first round,” the president said.