Retired Lt. Col. Oliver North said Saturday that he will not serve a second term as the president of the National Rifle Association amid inner turmoil in the gun-rights group, the AP reports. In a statement read to members of the group Saturday, North said he believes a committee should be set up to review the NRA's finances. North was not present at the meeting when the statement was read by Richard Childress, the NRA's first vice president. "There is a clear crisis and it needs to be dealt with" if the NRA is to survive, North's statement said. His announcement came after an effort by some members to force out top executive Wayne LaPierre, who has long been the public face of the group. LaPierre sent a letter to board members Thursday saying that North was trying to push him out by threatening to release "damaging" information about him to the board.
North told the NRA in a letter that he would not be renominated, CNN
reports. He said in the letter that he wanted a second term but "I am now informed that will not happen." North's announcement is a clear sign that his efforts to force out LaPierre have failed. LaPierre got two standing ovations from the crowd of more than 1,000 NRA members before giving a scheduled speech after North's announcement. He began by going after the mainstream media and lawmakers who seek to restrict gun rights. He did not mention his feud with North. "Our enemies have sunk to new lows," LaPierre said, blasting Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, where regulators have scrutinized NRA operations. The NRA has sued the state, claiming its rights under the First Amendment are being violated. In an unusual pairing, the American Civil Liberties Union has joined the NRA in its fight.
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