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NRA’s top lobbyist resigns in the midst of the turmoil and power struggles in gun-Lobby group

The National Rifle Association’s top lobbyist, Chris Cox, resigned on Wednesday, the latest in a dizzying series of clashes within the gun-Lobby group in the last few months has been entangled, even their most ardent supporters. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, file)

The National Rifle Association’s top lobbyist, long viewed as the likely successor to the long-standing Chief Executive Officer, Wayne LaPierre, Wednesday resigned after the reports.

The lobbyist, Chris Cox, joined only about a week after the NRA put him on administrative leave, he claims he was part of a failed attempt to blackmail, LaPierre and slide out of him.

Cox played his usual prominent role at the NRA annual meeting and there was little public evidence that he and LaPierre or the NRA’s Board of Directors were at odds.

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His termination was confirmed by the NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. No other comment was immediately out of his.

Cox, the Executive Director of the NRA’s lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative action since 2002. He was credited with leading efforts to enable the decade long ban on “assault weapons” to expire in the year 2004, a performance that allowed the gun industry to continue to sell what the industry calls “modern sporting rifles” and critics claim that are too often used in mass shootings.

If he was suspended, Cox said in a statement, the allegations he had been part of a group trying to LaPierre’s fall were “offensive and obviously wrong. Since 24 years I am a faithful and successful leader in this organization.”

Cox’s resignation came a few hours after the NRA formally severing relations with Ackerman McQueen, the Oklahoma-based public relations company, with which it was involved in a legal tangle over the expenditure.

The NRA has paid Ackerman McQueen tens of millions of dollars in the decades since they teamed up to Form the group messaging.

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A prominent part of the NRA public relations was NRATV, with hosts, addressing everything from immigration to gun rights. In a statement from LaPierre, the gun Lobby posted on the NRA website, the group said it is airing live programming on NRATV, and would be the evaluation, that an operation in the future.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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