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NRA leaders knock-back liberal pols ‘who want to exaggerate our death’: ‘We haven’t lost a beat’

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The National Rifle Association says it remains steadfast in its mission to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans amid a civil corruption lawsuit in New York and repeated attacks by liberal politicians. chairman and interim CEO told FOX News Digital.

“We’re going to be as active, if not more active, than we’ve ever been. We’ve always been a grassroots organization,” NRA Interim CEO and Executive Vice President Andrew Arulanandam said this month on Fox News Digital. said in an interview.

Arulanandam and NRA Chairman Charles Cotton spoke to Fox News Digital earlier this month in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where the gun rights group held its annual Great American Outdoors Show. A record number of over 200,000 attendees were reported for the nine-day event, which this year included former President Donald Trump, who delivered the keynote address at the Presidential Forum.

The interview took place ahead of the verdict in a civil corruption case brought by Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James, and at a time when the NRA has come under increasing criticism from critics under the Biden administration.

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NRA Interim CEO and Executive Vice President Andrew Arulanandam (Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

“New York AG is not trying to put other organizations out of business. No organization is attacked nearly daily like the NRA. They go after enemies who are making their lives miserable, not enemies who have no effect. ” Cotton, an attorney who has been fighting for Second Amendment rights since the 1970s, said of the New York attack and trial.

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In August 2020, James Dissolution suit He is aiming to dismantle the NRA over corruption allegations. A New York State Supreme Court judge ultimately blocked Mr. James’ efforts to dissolve the group in a 2022 ruling, saying the lawsuit did not meet the requirements to subject the group to the “corporate death penalty.” A judge has allowed the lawsuit against NRA executives, including former CEO Wayne LaPierre, to proceed. James accused NRA employees of “years of illegal self-dealing” with NRA funds that provided “luxury lifestyles.”

President Trump and NRA President

NRA Chairman Charles Cotton joins former President Donald Trump on stage. (Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

But the NRA has repeatedly fought back since the lawsuit was first filed, claiming it was politically motivated and aimed at silencing the organization, and that James was elected to the New York State Assembly. He pointed to past comments in which he vowed to confront the NRA before it was released.

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On the campaign trail in 2018, Mr. James called the group a “dangerous propaganda machine” and a “terrorist organization” and vowed to investigate whether the NRA could maintain its charitable status.

Cotton said in an interview that the incident had an impact on the organization, but claimed that James and other critics wanted to “exaggerate our mortality” and that he wanted to honor the late Mark Twain. did.

Letitia James

Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a press conference in New York on September 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Britteny Newman, File)

“That’s exactly what the AG is trying to do. When she first filed the lawsuit, she was calling for the dissolution of the NRA. That simply means we don’t exist anymore. It’s worse than that. “All of our assets would be seized.” “The money was donated by the state to other Second Amendment organizations. They didn’t even have to be gun control organizations. “We know where it went. It would have gone to Bloomberg’s Everytown,” he said of the gun control movement. organization.

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Now, James’ lawsuit is not about the NRA, LaPierre, former chief financial officer Wilson “Woody” Phillips, and general counsel John Frazier dissolving the organization, but about private purchases of luxury goods and travel. The focus is on the use of funds. Lapierre left the club last month citing health reasons, and Arulanandam will soon take over.

The NRA has also faced repeated criticism from critics who have called the organization “racist” and promoted white supremacy, but Arulanandam said the organization focuses on good and evil. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

“The NRA is a color-blind organization. All we care about is the good and the bad. And good and bad, there is no color. Across all races, colors, and creeds. There are good people, just as bad. What we care about is good. “We want to empower good people and we want to make sure the criminal elements in our country pay the price. “There is nothing racist when you draw the line between good and evil,” he said.

Following LaPierre’s resignation, which took effect late last month, Arulanandam said the organization’s mission to protect law-abiding Americans’ right to firearms and self-defense remains steadfast.

President Trump and NRA leaders

NRA Interim CEO and Vice President Andrew Arulanandam greets former President Donald Trump. (Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

“We’ve always been a front-line organization fighting for self-defense laws, the right to hunt, firearms, everything self-defense-related. We’ve been at the tip of the spear for decades as far back as I can remember. “We have a great team,” he said, adding, “We have a great team.”

“People should judge us based on the record,” he said. “…27 states now have it in their constitutions. It’s kind of the golden rule when it comes to self-defense laws. And we accomplished that in a relatively short period of time.”

Enforcement of the Constitution: 2023 marks a new milestone for gun rights

Last year, the United States officially emerged as a constitutional carry majority nation, but when 2023 ends, 27 states will have enacted laws allowing law-abiding residents to carry concealed firearms without a permit, and eligible There is virtually no need for residents to make requests to the law. We are seeking permission from the government to carry it.

Asked how the NRA is working to grow, especially among young people, Arulanandam said it is engaging with the public and creating a viral video of legal gun ownership that reaches millions of Americans. He cited the NRA team that produced the video. But he added that the media “refuses” to cover stories highlighting how guns can save lives from criminal activity and training programs the NRA runs for its members.

“We’re working. We’re not missing a beat. We’re keeping the scores on the board. It’s just the media refusing to report on it,” he said.

NRA events

Audience at NRA’s Great American Outdoors Show. (Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

Cotton also argued that the media has created obstacles that prevent the public from accurately reporting the NRA’s activities. He said that when the average American thinks of the NRA, their mind goes to litigation, legislation, and elections, but the approximately 200 units provided to train and educate the public on the proper use of firearms are said that it is not a program.

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“I think it’s ironic for a lot of the young people you’re talking about that even young people on the other side of the issue are coming to our side. And why they’re doing it. It’s not because of our efforts, frankly.” But as Andrew said, the media, from their point of view, are not going to promote what we’re doing. So it’s ironic that they come to us because of the illegal activities that we see in many major cities. ”

NRA event in Houston

People walk past a sign in the hallway outside exhibit hall during the NRA annual meeting at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, May 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

“You’ll see stories like, ‘So why in the world did grandma get her first gun?'” “Depending on the state, why did someone who just turned 18 or 21 get a gun for the first time?” Are we going to get guns?” And unfortunately, it’s a reaction to the times and what we’ve seen, which is an increase in violence. So literally, thank God, the NRA has the training capacity of 120,000 firearms instructors. We can answer that call,” he said.

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Closing arguments in the civil corruption case were heard last week, and the jury is expected to render a verdict in the coming days.

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