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NRA elects new president, reaffirms LaPierre as CEO

By Nicholas Sakelaris
A sign featuring NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre hangs on the wall of an exhibition hall at the 147th National Rifle Association Annual Meetings in Dallas, Texas, on May 5, 2018. File Photo by Sergio Flores/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/4b8539ff3c1d2fbd1a1fa0926512d37f/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
A sign featuring NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre hangs on the wall of an exhibition hall at the 147th National Rifle Association Annual Meetings in Dallas, Texas, on May 5, 2018. File Photo by Sergio Flores/UPI | License Photo

April 30 (UPI) -- The National Rifle Association has elected a new president and voted to retain CEO Wayne LaPierre only days after former leader Oliver North was effectively removed from the organization.

Longtime NRA member Carolyn Meadows was elected the new president of the board Monday after power struggles and controversy forced North to abandon a second term. All positions were elected unanimously at the closed-door vote.

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The leadership moves follow accusations of extortion, financial mismanagement and an investigation into the group's nonprofit status.

President Donald Trump, who spoke at the group's annual conference last week, warned the NRA is "under siege" by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state's attorney general over gun control efforts, and suggested the NRA leave New York. The group has donated $30 million to Trump's campaign in 2016.

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Cuomo answered, "74,600 Americans have died from gun violence since you were elected. You have done nothing but tweet about it."

Gun control advocates say the challenges may be a sign the NRA is losing influence.

"I've never seen them weaker, I've never seen them in so much crisis, I've never seen so much public infighting and they are now under the spotlight of multiple investigations," said Everytown President John Feinblatt.

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The NRA announced the moves in its publication American Rifleman.

"United we stand," LaPierre said in a statement. "The NRA Board of Directors, our leadership team, and our more than 5 million members will come together as never before in support of our country's constitutional freedoms."

North did not seek a second term after accusations of extortion. He also cited confrontations with other board members, who said he made exorbitant payments to a law firm, and faced accusations of financial mismanagement. He ultimately sued the NRA's public relations firm. Over the weekend, he led unsuccessful efforts to oust LaPierre and was effectively removed as president.

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