For Release: Thursday, May 4, 2017
In response to the announcement this week that gun industry leader Pete Brownell, CEO of gun, ammunition, and firearm accessories vendor Brownells, has been elected president of the National Rifle Association, Violence Policy Center Executive Director Josh Sugarmann released the following statement:
“By elevating one of its million-dollar gun industry donors to its presidency, the NRA is publicly acknowledging its growing financial, marketing, and organizational links to the gun industry. This is just the latest confirmation that in virtually all of its activities today’s NRA is nothing more than a gun industry trade association masquerading as a shooting sports foundation.”
In his 2010 campaign to join the NRA’s board, Brownell stated: “Having [NRA] directors who intimately understand and work in leadership positions within the firearms industry ensures the NRA’s focus is honed on the overall mission of the organization. These individuals bring a keen sense of the industry and of the bigger fight to the table.”
At the National Rifle Association’s May 2013 annual meeting, Brownell and his company were inducted into the NRA’s Golden Ring of Freedom, reserved for donors of a million dollars or more to the organization. At the ceremony, Brownell, along with other gun industry members, was honored with a yellow sports coat and the opportunity to ring the “Freedom” bell.
For more information on the financial links between the gun industry and the National Rifle Association, please see the 2013 VPC study Blood Money II: How Gun Industry Dollars Fund the NRA (http://vpc.org/investigating-the-gun-lobby/blood-money/).