- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 29, 2020

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and CEO of the National Rifle Association, on Saturday said the gun-rights group is beating back a multi-pronged effort to try to destroy it.

“We are fighting back every day against a highly-coordinated, scorched earth assault to destroy the NRA,” Mr. LaPierre said on the final day of the 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference.

He pointed out San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ recent vote to designate the group a “terrorist” organization and the NRA’s legal battle with the state of New York.

The NRA is accusing New York of illegally discouraging banks and insurance companies of doing business with the gun-rights group.

“In the face of these attacks…we fought back,” Mr. LaPierre said. “We fought back. We took them to court, and we won.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James is also investigating the group’s coveted non-profit status.

Both the NRA and Mr. LaPierre have had a tumultuous year.

Beyond the costly legal battles, Mr. LaPierre survived an apparent coup attempt by former NRA President Oliver North last year.

Chris Cox, the NRA’s former top lobbyist, resigned last June after he was accused of being part of the effort to oust Mr. LaPierre. Mr. Cox denied the allegations.

Mr. LaPierre ignored those internal battles in his address and urged attendees to get active before the 2020 election.

“Let’s not let Michael Bloomberg dictate from the White House what freedoms we’re allowed to have,” he said, referring to the former New York mayor and 2020 presidential contender with whom the NRA has sparred over the years.

“And let’s not allow Bernie Sanders to transform the United States of America to a free republic to a socialist nightmare like Cuba or Venezuela,” he said.

A man appeared to yell “No red flag laws!” in the middle of Mr. LaPierre’s address before being escorted out by security and serenaded with “USA!” chants by the surrounding crowd.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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