NRA taps Oliver North as new president

Credit: Justin Sullivan

Credit: Justin Sullivan

Retired Lt. Col. Oliver North, the central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal three decades ago, will be the new president of the National Rifle Association, CNN reported.

Explore>> Read more trending news

North, 74, a Fox News contributor who also hosted “War Stories with Oliver North” on the cable channel, was touted as “the absolute best choice” to lead the NRA, said Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president and CEO of the NRA.

LaPierre said that choosing North as president was the “most exciting news for NRA members” since Charlton Heston became the organization’s president in 1998.

North will become president "within a few weeks," the NRA said. North is retiring from his post at Fox News, effective immediately, CNN reported.

Kris Brown, the co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, criticized the NRA’s choice and called North “a walking lightning rod.”

"Oliver North's very name is synonymous with corruption and disgrace," Brown said in the statement.

North was a key figure during the Reagan administration during the Iran-Contra scandal, which revolved around secret arms sales in Iran, CNN reported. The United States gave the money from the sales to Contras -- anti-communist rebels -- in Nicaragua.

North faced years of legal issues from the scandal before charges against him were dropped in 1991, The New York Times reported.

About the Author