Several National Rifle Association (NRA) board members are defending the gun rights organization’s proposal to buy a $6 million Dallas-area mansion for NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre's use after it was reported in The Washington Post.
David Keene, a board member and past NRA president, called it “a PR problem.”
“This is a PR problem, if you will. Our critics know that to get what they want, they have to take down the NRA, and the most effective way to do that is to take down Wayne LaPierre,” Keane told the Post. “I don’t think Wayne is at any risk. This is the sort of distraction we’ve had to deal with in the past.”
Keene added that he was the president of the NRA and received death threats after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. He added that he felt LaPierre’s request for a secure place to live after a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., was warranted.
LeRoy Sisco, a retired businessman in Texas who has been on the board for 10 years, told the Post that the house was considered for safety concerns.
“They were just trying to find a safe house to put him in,” Sisco said. “Other people could use it, too. They were just saying that they needed to get him to a safe place.”
Tom King, an NRA board member and president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, told the Post that its reporting was “a total misrepresentation of truth."
The NRA said that its longtime advertising firm Ackerman McQueen wanted to buy the house as an investment to be managed by the company. However, the firm alleges that LaPierre asked for assistance with buying the house, which alarmed its executives.
One NRA board member, former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), criticized the move, however. West called for LaPierre’s resignation in May over the organization’s continued financial problems.
“The optics ain’t going to look good to the membership,” West said.