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Who Should Be The Next Executive Vice President of the NRA?

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Editors Note: To be clear AmmoLand News has no knowledge that Wayne Lapierre is about to leave his position as NRA EVP and none of the individuals mentioned in this article have been consulted or expressed any interest in being the next NRA EVP. This series of articles is just a candid discussion of the cold reality that one day we will have a change in leadership.

If the pattern we have seen since 1986 holds, Wayne LaPierre could be replaced as Executive Vice President of the NRA by NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.

Fairfax, Virginia – -( Eventually, the Wayne LaPierre era at the National Rifle Association will come to a close, the question then becomes who will replace him as Executive Vice President and CEO.  LaPierre is a very tough act to follow.

One does not last nearly three decades as the leader of the NRA without a commitment to protecting the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment, or the skill and intelligence needed to come up with the best possible tactics and strategy to successfully protect the Second Amendment over that timeframe. They may not have been the preferred tactics or strategy of all Second Amendment supporters, but for the most part, the Second Amendment is in many ways in much better shape than it was in 1991 and the NRA has grown to 6 million members.

So, what qualifications would make a person a good replacement for Executive Vice President LaPierre?

Commitment To The Defense Of The Second Amendment

For starters, there has to be a firm commitment to the defense of the Second Amendment, and tons of knowledge on the issues surrounding our Second Amendment rights. The protection of the Second Amendment has been the primary focus of the NRA for years. Therefore, it is not surprising that the last two Executive Vice Presidents, LaPierre, and J. Warren Cassidy, previously held the position of Executive Director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) before moving to this new position.

Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA-ILA. (Photo: NRA)

The Insiders:

That would make the current NRA-ILA Executive Director, Chris Cox he logical front-runner to be the new Executive Vice President. Cox has been in that post for over a decade and has presided over the organization as it has worked to advance pro-Second Amendment legislation in that time. Cox is also well respected by his staff and co workers on the NRA-ILA team.

If picked this would mean the NRA would have to choose a new head of NRA-ILA. That is the subject for another article.

Another option would be the head of NRA’s Publications Division, Doug Hamlin. Hamlin was selected for the post in 2014, so he lacks the lengthy tenure of Cox. However, as head of the Publications Division, he would have a passing familiarity with all of the aspects of the NRA general operations, going beyond legislation. To his credit we have seen him produce real results with a minimal budget and maximum medaling from NRA contactors.

An Experienced Temporary Replacement:

If the NRA Board wanted to buy time while looking for a replacement for whatever reason. Richard Childress, the current NRA Second Vice President, a former NASCAR driver, and owner of Richard Childress Racing, could be chosen to fill the seat temporarily. Childress would undoubtedly have the needed experience of running a corporation the size and scale of the NRA.  Other members of the Board of Directors could be selected for this sort of short-term service in defense of our rights as well.

Or maybe a past board member like Chief J. William “Bill” Carter (Ret). Bill Carter is a much respected past NRA board member and a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Border Patrol and an NRA Benefactor Member. He also worked for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Mr. Carter was chairman of many important NRA committees and the son of former NRA executive vice president Harlon Carter. So he is familiar with the gritty sausage making that is the day to day running of the NRA.

A Wild Card:

Then again, maybe it could be time for new blood. One option could be to bring in an outsider. A strategic appointment has the advantage of taking some cards out of the hands of those who hate the Second Amendment. Who might such an outside choice be?

Mia Love

Well, why not look at soon-to-be former Representative Mia Love of Utah? Love had a solid record of supporting the Second Amendment during her tenure in the House, including a yes vote for HR 38, which would have established national concealed carry reciprocity had it passed the 115th Congress. Now, she wasn’t super-vocal on this issue, but she may be a good choice despite that silence. She did represent a suburban area, and the suburbs are Michael Bloomberg’s primary target in his anti-Second Amendment campaign. Love would be able to relate better to suburban women who have been given a great deal of misinformation because of Bloomberg’s fear-mongering propaganda and who are most in need of personal self-defense options. Alternatly Love could also be tapped to replace Cox as the next NRA-ILA Executive Director should Cox be the pick for Executive Vice President.

Sound like an odd choice? Not really. J. Warren Cassidy was mayor of Lynn Massachusetts before he became the head of NRA-ILA. Who’s to say Mia Love would be less capable than Cassidy? A lack of experience can be handled through a solid deputy (for that matter, why doesn’t NRA have a deputy Executive Vice President?).

There are many threats the Second Amendment faces today, and the NRA will need strong leadership.

The next Executive Vice President will have some big shoes to fill and will be facing many new challenges including one we only hinted to in the article above. That is the much-needed effort to fill the NRA’s leadership with individuals capable of running an organized and well managed 200 million dollar a year corporation. And the leadership with a plan to raise half a billion dollars in the next three years and the skillset and accountability needed for that job. This will be the subject of our next article in this series.

We would love to hear who you think could be our next choice for our next NRA EVP?

About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics, and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post,, and other national websites.

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