Skip to main content

The Journal Gazette

Sunday, July 01, 2018 1:00 am

North aims to double gun lobby's members

Associated Press

POCATELLO, Idaho – Retired Lt. Col. Oliver North announced Friday that his top goal as the next president of the National Rifle Association is to double the membership of the powerful gun lobby that currently stands about 6 million.

“I'm going to break some news tonight. My goal as president of the NRA is very simple, all I want to do is double the membership,” North said in Pocatello, Idaho, while speaking at the state's Republican Party convention.

The 74-year-old defended his organization's work during his 20-minute speech, calling it the nation's largest “civil rights organization.”

His speech included video testimonials of NRA members sharing why gun rights are important to protect.

Idaho's race for the open governor's seat also took center stage, when North promised to throw his group's support behind Lt. Gov. Brad Little – the Republican gubernatorial nominee – who is running against former Democratic Rep. Paulette Jordan.

“You'll find that our citizens, our communities, our legislators and yes, our governors are big Second Amendment supporters,” Little said.

Jordan, 38, who is a member of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, has gained national attention after winning the Democratic nomination in the May. She is Idaho's first female nominee of a major political party and favors some gun control measures like restricting bump stocks.

North was a military aide to the National Security Council during the Reagan administration in the 1980s when he drew the spotlight for his role in arranging the secret sale of weapons to Iran and the diversion of the proceeds to the anti-communist Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

He was convicted in 1989 of obstructing Congress during its investigation, destroying government documents and accepting an illegal gratuity. Those convictions were overturned in 1991.