A challenger to the National Rifle Association’s chief executive has stepped aside - at least temporarily - amid suggestions he wanted to push the embattled group further to the right.
In a letter to fellow board members, Neal Knox, a gun writer and former NRA lobbyist, accused the current executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, of generating false rumors about his interest in leading the gun group.
The NRA board meets Friday and Saturday, and LaPierre is expected to face a fight. The organization’s annual meeting is set for April.
“The charges are not true and I will not have to resign,” Knox said in his letter. “But under the climate Wayne has created, I cannot consider accepting election as (executive vice president,) even until the annual meeting.”
LaPierre has been targeted by supporters of Knox, who has been lining up support for his views among board members since 1992.
LaPierre generated controversy in a 1993 fund-raising letter by referring to federal agents as “jack-booted government thugs.”