NRA has record conference turnout, new president
May 6th, 2013
04:58 PM ET
10 years ago

NRA has record conference turnout, new president

Washington (CNN) – The National Rifle Association said Monday they saw a record number of attendees at their annual meeting in Houston last weekend with 86,228 attending, up almost 15,000 from last year's annual meeting in St. Louis, according to the group's spokesman Andrew Arulanandam.

The NRA had estimated 75,000 would attend.

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Former President David Keene rounded out his two-year term as president of the NRA at the meeting. His replacement is former Alabama lawyer James "Jim" Porter, who officially assumes the position Monday as part of a formal rotation.

While Keene and the NRA have vocalized excitement about Porter's new role, they have also stated that Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre will maintain his position as the unofficial public face of the organization, a role emphasized in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school shooting in December 2012.

Porter has a deep history with the NRA. The Alabama lawyer served as the NRA's second vice president, first vice president, and was also a longtime member of the organization's legal affairs committee. In addition, his father served as president of the organization from 1959 to 1961, according to his NRA bio.

As president, Porter is expected to lead the NRA's charge against court challenges of gun control legislation in light of the Newtown school shooting massacre. In his former position as vice president of the board, Porter was vocal about his criticism of the Obama administration's role in gun control.

In a speech to the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association in June 2012, as reported by The New York Times, Porter condemned President Obama saying, "I get so sick and tired of all these people with this fake president that we got, who wants to say 'he hasn't done anything bad for gun owners.' I say, let me tell you something bad that he's done. His entire administration is anti-gun, anti-freedom, anti-Second Amendment."

In the same speech, Porter told the NYSRPA that the NRA was prepared for a prolonged fight against gun-control advocates. "I can tell you one thing, we're whooping their asses right and left, up and down…this fight has just begun" Porter said

Porter takes on the role of NRA president at a turbulent time for the organization in Washington and in state capitals. While the organization saw the U.S. Senate defeat a bill that would have expanded background checks for gun sales, there are attempts to revive that legislation which it will fight and it will continue to battle many state-passed laws that call for the banning of large ammunition magazines and the expansion of background checks in gun sales.

Filed under: Gun control • NRA
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    So the NRA's answer to the whole issue is to grab itself a president that is a birther and calls Obama a "fake president"?

    Oh an pssssst, gun nuts, have fun losing more and more ground as the demographics continue to shift away from you. 75,000 armed imbeciles declaring a "culture war"...yeah...that's sure to bolster your image. Please proceed.


    May 6, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. rs

    86,000 isn't even a decent turnout for a NASCAR race, except perhaps the NASCAR crowd is more diverse, and better mannered. "Fake President" indeed- he ought to be tried for treason!

    May 6, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  3. California Gary

    @sniffit....."please proceed" indeed! The more these guys open their mouths and let us know what they are thinking, the more likely they are to see huge losses of their influence on politics going forward. Seems like every time they open their mouths, they also draw their side arm and immediately shoot themselves in the foot.

    May 6, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  4. PJ

    The speeches being reported that were made by the likes of Beck, this guy, and others is appalling. I can't
    believe all of the people who attended are proud of what went on.
    A room full of hate is nothing to brag about.

    May 6, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  5. f ray

    good news is out about 310 MILLION people there are only about 86,000 with no brains.

    May 6, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  6. Gurgyl

    Nation needs gun-ban. Period.

    May 6, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  7. Mike

    Obama's not a fake president, he's just a lying sack o' crud, typical of Chicago politicians. Newsflash: Free sour grapes available for all gun-control advocates, all you can eat!

    May 6, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  8. alex s

    I am afateher of a daughter that i love. A wife that i love.And a community that i care about deeply.I sick and tired of being told the lie that laws and rules about guns our not allowed. because it is an infringement on your rights. And that our sons and daughters have to be the consequence (30,000 a year mind you) The NRA wants a fight.I choose to stand and have this fight.So parents everywhere that have already started the war against unfair manipulation and distortion of the 2nd amendment That we are have to endure the senseless loss of life that has now become the false hood we have to accept as a price of freedom is an out right lie. we have every right to demand laws that keep us safer.while still allowing you to hunt and protect yourself. Im all in i will do my part every day to ensure that we get the laws we Every day in the U.S., an average of 289 people are shot. Eighty-six of them die: 30 are murdered, 53 kill themselves, two die accidentally, and one is shot in a police intervention. The grass roots movement is here

    May 6, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. Larry L

    Translation: When Porter uses the term "fake President" he means a President who isn't white. It seemed that part of his speech needed clarification...

    May 6, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. king

    America has gone to the guns, now we are no different than one of those unlawful gun touting countries where every one is fare game. its amazing what scaremongers and hatred can do to a stabilized society. i always wondered how did Hitler took over a Germany in real time, and thrust them into anarchy. now you are seeing first hand view of how he did it. these repubs and their amaghedan speeches and doom doom doom scenario antics are scaring the gullible in this country and setting up this country for a dark future.

    May 6, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  11. Michel Desmarais

    The Onion or Huffington Post:
    NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre sparked controversy on Saturday when he asked, "How many Bostonians wished they had a gun two weeks ago?


    May 6, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  12. jw

    No one polled me, my family, or my friends. So that must be correct 90 percent of American's want more gun control. I will wait until 2014 elections. then I'll decide who I want to represent me.

    May 6, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  13. Liber8me

    I joined the NRA decades ago when it was primarily focused on gun safety and training. The NRA today seems to have become an extreme right wing political organization that represents above all else the interests of the gun and ammo manufacturers that finance it. I don't think I'll be renewing my membership next time around.

    May 6, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  14. Bob

    The KKK also recently had a record turnout rally. Coincidence? Just because the crazies and bigots are feeling more emboldened by hate mongerers at Fox and in the GOP. People shouldn't confuse that with popularity or acceptance because the NRA has neither.

    May 6, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  15. Deb in MT

    Isn't this new NRA supreme being the same goofball who goes on & on about 'the war of northern aggression'? These so-called 'responsible gun owners' are sounding nuttier by the minute. I've decided to assume that most gun owners are drunken, raving lunatics until proven otherwise (I do know sane gun owners–people who actually hunt, or carry a gun when they're deep in the forest because we do have bears, mountain lions, and assorted odd folk around–but they're not represented by today's NRA)..

    In other news: I just went through another day in my life without any need for a gun whatsoever.

    May 6, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  16. nintex

    I wish these NRA nuts could see themselves as the rest of us normal people see them. With their confrontational, ugly talk about "whooping asses" – do they really think this appeals to people not of their mind set? I know it turns me off. And the lies they spread about President Obama just make me sick! Surely there are more sane people in this country than there are these kooks. I'm not against gun ownership – there are many hunters in my family – but the angry, fearful talk and downright lies won't win them and their supporters in Congress many fans come election time.

    May 6, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  17. David

    Not really that impressive, more people show up for many a college football game.

    May 7, 2013 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  18. Loathstheright

    Record turn out of low IQ violent neanderthals....great....maybe if a stray shot goes off they can all shoot each other trying to get the bad guy.

    May 7, 2013 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  19. Justin

    never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups, especially when their answer to every problem is 'more guns'

    May 7, 2013 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  20. North Dallas Don

    So the potential loss of the ability to put holes in 30 people in rapid succession means the loss of freedom and liberty as we know it. Oh how tragic for the NRA leaders who evidently support more killings by way of firearms. The NRA is a nasty group that is incapable of reason and must be squashed before they become even more dangerous than they already are. They do not adhere to the foundation of the Second Amendment. They do not care about anything other than serving the craziest nut among them who is likely to be the next mass murderer or the manufacturers of guns who are eager to put more of their instruments of death on the streets in the hands of the mentally ill or criminally minded. Senators who support these anti-American nutcases should be held accountable and made to explain why they favor instruments for killing over a simple background check...the same kind of background check that they want all Americans to go through when they register to vote. Hypocrites. Every last one of them!

    May 7, 2013 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  21. Chris

    The US has, by far, the most guns per capita than any other Western country. It also has, by far, the highest rate of gun related violence. Yet the NRA keeps insisting that the reason there is so much gun violence is that there is not enough guns.

    May 7, 2013 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  22. Marie MD

    I forgot to add that the nra and some 1,000 (or so they say) of its members are marching on DC with their loaded guns on July 4th to tell the world that they have little members below the waist but they have their guns and they know how to use them.
    Carrying a gun, much less loaded, in DC is a crime. I hope they have enough paddy wagons to take them all away for a little bit of jail justice. If not, I am sure MD and WV can help them out.

    May 7, 2013 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  23. abnguy

    I wouldn't say he is a fake president, just not up to the task of being a leader. As to Porter, I do not care what he says as long as he keeps the NRA protecting our civil rights. We have a history of our civil rights leaders saying interesting things.

    May 7, 2013 07:24 am at 7:24 am |