Wayne LaPierre serves as executive vice president and chief executive officer of the National Rifle Association. The NRA is the largest gun rights advocacy organization in the country.
Who is Wayne LaPierre? Here are a few things you may not know about him.
- Wayne Robert LaPierre Jr. was born on Nov. 8, 1949, in Schenectady, New York. His family moved to Roanoke, Virginia, when he was 5 years old.
- He was raised a Roman Catholic.
- He spent a good portion of his career as a lobbyist.
- He volunteered for the 1972 presidential campaign of Democrat George McGovern.
- He earned a master's degree in government and politics from Boston College.
- He was on the boards of the American Association of Political Consultants, the American Conservative Union, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
- LaPierre became executive vice president and chief executive officer of the NRA in 1991. The NRA has 5 million members.
- He once told a friend his dream job was to retire from the NRA and open an ice cream stand in Maine.
- He is married. His wife, Susan, is also involved in the NRA.
- He makes nearly $1 million a year in salary.
- He hosts a weekly syndicated television program called "Crime Strike." In addition, he has a weekly podcast and offers a short broadcast on gun rights every weekday. LaPierre says he opposes universal background checks, an assault weapons ban (as it was proposed in 2013) and any limits to access to semi-automatic weapons by law-abiding Americans.
- He says he supports armed security guards in schools, creating a computerized universal mental health registry of those judged to be incompetent and Project Exile, which mandates severe sentences for all gun crimes, especially illegal possession. He is an author and has written several books on gun safety and gun rights.