The NRA's next president will be a familiar name: Oliver North. The group said Monday that the retired Marine who figured prominently in the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s will assume the post in the next few weeks, reports CNN. “This is the most exciting news for our members since Charlton Heston became president of our association,” said NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre in a statement. He called North a "warrior for American freedom," adding that "in these times, I can think of no one better suited to serve as our president.” Heston, of course, famously declared that his guns could only be taken "from my cold, dead hands," notes the AP. North is retiring from his role as a Fox News analyst, effective immediately. At the NRA, he will replace current President Pete Brownell, who is not seeking a second term.
North, 74, is a member of the NRA board, and the Washington Post notes that he attended the group's prayer breakfast over the weekend during the annual convention. “I want my grandkids to say that Granddad was a person who taught me how to fight the good fight,” North said. “You see, that’s the most important lesson of all: We’re in a fight. We’re in a brutal battle to preserve the liberties that the good Lord presents us.” North first became a national figure while serving on the National Security Council under Ronald Reagan. He was convicted in 1989 of obstructing Congress and other charges for his role in the sale of weapons to Iran (despite sanctions) and the diversion of proceeds to support the right-wing Contra rebels in Nicaragua (despite a congressional ban on such aid), per the Hill. A judge eventually dismissed the convictions. (Read more Oliver North stories.)