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Fourth board member resigns from NRA in a sign of further upheaval

Julie Golob, a professional sport shooter and a strong public advocate for gun rights, announced Monday she was resigning from the National Rifle Association board before the end of her three-year term.

She is the fourth member in the past two weeks to leave the board of the NRA in a sign of further upheaval within the nation’s most powerful gun rights group.

Golob, a regular on shooting shows who has won multiple competitions and is an advocate for women’s use of firearms, did not state a reason for her departure in a note posted on her website.

“I am proud to have had the opportunity to represent the members of the NRA but I can no longer commit to fulfilling the duties of a director,” she wrote. Golob was a well-known personality in the gun rights world and produced videos for the NRA with titles such as “Helping Women Choose a Gun.”

She pledged to continue to support NRA “programs and sports” and to continue to advocate for “the preservation of freedom.”

NRA President Carolyn Meadows thanked Golob for her service in a prepared statement and noted that “Julie, a gifted shooter, will continue to support the NRA’s programs. We proudly welcome her ongoing support of our organization.”

The NRA has a 76-member board of directors, most of whom continue to defend the current NRA leadership, which has been under siege in recent months.

Earlier this year, Oliver North was fired from his position as NRA president after raising questions about the finances of the tax-exempt organization. Perhaps even more significant for the organization’s dominance in gun-policy debates, the NRA’s top lobbyist, Christopher W. Cox, resigned after being accused of participating in an alleged scheme to push out NRA Chairman Wayne LaPierre.

Before North left the NRA, he said the organization’s private lawyer had earned extraordinary legal fees, and requested a more detailed accounting of the spending.

Since North’s departure, the organization has been roiled by allegations of self-dealing, including a report last week that LaPierre sought to have the nonprofit organization buy him a luxury mansion in 2018 after a mass shooting at a Florida high school.

Pressure has also mounted on the organization in the wake of last week’s shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso. As a chorus again demands background checks and other restrictions on firearms sales, gun-control advocates say Golob’s departure adds to the sense that the NRA is vulnerable.

“This is big,” said David H. Chipman, senior policy adviser at the Courage to Fight Gun Violence organization, founded by former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords. While NRA leaders “run for the exits,” Chipman said his organization is seeing growth, particularly among gun owners.

“The NRA isn’t really representing the values of gun owners and this has opened up a space,” for concerned gun owners to express themselves on common-sense solutions to limit violence, he said.

Golob’s departure — and the political impact — was noted Monday by another organization lobbying for action on firearms issues, Everytown for Gun Safety.

“Now another board member is calling it quits,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown. “At this rate, they may be answering subpoenas rather than paying for political ads in 2020.”

|The Washington Post

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