New NRA President Signals Aggressive Stance: “Stand And Fight, As We Say, Or Die”

National Rifle Association Introduces New President With Blatant Lie On Background Checks

Newly elected National Rifle Association president Allan D. Cors riffed on the NRA's “Stand and Fight” slogan by appending the words “or die” to the end and offered blatant falsehoods about a new background check law in an interview promoted on NRA News.

Cors was elected to a two year term as president of the NRA during the April 10 - 12 NRA annual meetings in Nashville, Tennessee, and replaces Jim Porter, who began his term in 2013. Before becoming president, Cors was the NRA's first vice president. Pete Brownell, who owns a company that manufactures gun parts and ammunition, was elected as the new first vice president at the meeting, meaning that he will likely become NRA president in 2017.

Cors has served on the NRA's board of directors since 1972 and is a past president of the NRA Foundation. According to an NRA profile, Cors, who has a background in governmental affairs, “enjoys his work on Capitol Hill, advocating for or against legislation.”

Under the NRA's organizational structure, the direction of the gun group will still be led by executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre, who was also reelected to his position at the meeting but made headlines for complaining about the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency by saying, “eight years of one demographically symbolic president is enough.”

The NRA is now introducing Cors to its supporters with an interview that aired on the April 14 edition of NRA News show Cam & Company.

During the interview, Cors described the NRA as “stronger than ever” by comparing the modern day NRA to the NRA of the 1960s that he said did not do enough to oppose the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968. That legislation, enacted in the wake of the gun assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy, created the federal framework for the regulation of firearms.

The main provisions of the Gun Control Act prohibit the sale of guns to felons and other dangerous people, require individuals “engaged in the business” of selling guns to obtain a Federal Firearms License, give authority to the federal government to prohibit the importation of firearms that lack “sporting purposes,” and require manufacturers to affix serial numbers to guns.

Speaking of his efforts during the legislation's consideration, Cors said, “we did as much as we could to hold back some of the really bad things, but we did get rolled finally when Martin Luther King was -- when Bobby Kennedy was assassinated.”

While concluding his remarks on the NRA's more aggressive lobbying stance since the 1960s, Cors later added, "'Stand and Fight,' as we say, or die." The NRA debuted its "Stand and Fight" slogan a month after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School during a national discussion about changes to gun laws in the wake of that tragedy.

During the interview, Cors also offered blatant falsehoods about a new Washington state law that expands background checks on gun sales. The expansion was adopted after voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure during the November 2014 elections.

Taking NRA falsehoods about the new background check law to a new extreme, Cors untruthfully said that merely handing someone a gun without a background check is now a crime in Washington, by offering three scenarios:

  • “You come to my house and I take you to my gun room, and you want to see some of the guns in my collection, and I lift one off the wall and put it in your hands.”
  • “My daughter comes home, she's over 18. She comes home, she says, 'I want to shoot, dad, I want to go down to the farm, the tank farm, and shoot,' and I give my daughter a rifle.”
  • “Go to a gun show, a typical gun show, all the guns are out there on the tables, and I wander by and say, 'You know, that really looks really pretty nifty. Can I look at it?'”

According to Cors, “In all those cases, if you live in the state of Washington, you have committed a crime.” His claim, however, is false. 

The new background check legislation in Washington provides exemptions to the background check requirement in a number of scenarios involving temporary transfers for lawful purposes, such as target shooting and hunting, and for permanent transfers between immediate family members.

Regarding Cors' first and third scenarios, Washington law enforcement have said simply handing someone else a gun does not count as the kind of “transfer” that would trigger a background check requirement. According to the Seattle Times, prior to the passage of expanded background checks in Washington, the NRA was unable to provide a single example of a gun owner being “prosecuted on a technicality of gun-transfer laws.”