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NRA Chief Wanted ‘Street Cred’ as Hunter

National Rifle Association (NRA) CEO Wayne LaPierre said Tuesday that he intended to build a reputation as a hunter for “street cred” to reflect his job description.
LaPierre, 74, a longtime face of the NRA, resigned from his position earlier this month amid New York Attorney General Letitia James’ 18-month investigation into whether the organization purportedly diverted millions of dollars away from the NRA’s mission for senior leadership to profit.
The lawsuit alleges that contracts were awarded to benefit associates and family members, and that “lucrative no-show contracts” were offered to ex-employees to “buy their silence and continued loyalty.” LaPierre has previously called the suit an “unconstitutional, premeditated attack aiming to dismantle and destroy the NRA.”
Newsweek has reached out to the NRA via email for comment.
NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre at the New York State Supreme Court on January 08, 2024, in New York City. On January 30, LaPierre testified that he wanted “street cred” as a perceived hunter even though… NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre at the New York State Supreme Court on January 08, 2024, in New York City. On January 30, LaPierre testified that he wanted “street cred” as a perceived hunter even though he reportedly didn’t have the acumen. More Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
LaPierre, whose Manhattan jury trial began Monday, is accused of “using millions upon millions from NRA reserves for personal use” without proper disclosure, allegedly benefiting him and his family with trips to The Bahamas, over $500,000 in private jet travel, expensive meals, and other private travel. Three other co-defendants were also sued in 2020 and face the same charges.
During the second day of trial on Tuesday, LaPierre reportedly said on the stand that he attended safaris solely for TV and wouldn’t have gone if it wasn’t for work, according to an X post by journalist Jennifer Mascia.
“I needed to build a rep and be seen as a hunter,” LaPierre was quoted as saying. “I needed to develop the street cred if I was going to do the job.” LaPierre gained notoriety among conservatives and gun owners for his opposition to gun control legislation over the years.
In 2021, a piece published by The New Yorker in partnership with The Trace cited video footage of LaPierre in Botswana that was originally hidden from public view for years. It showed the chief executive, who is officially stepping down on Wednesday, having poor marksmanship and requiring multiple attempts even from close range to kill an elephant.
A guide accompanying LaPierre repeatedly told him where to shoot the elephant, even aiming the rifle and telling him to consider the scope. After multiple failed attempts, another member of the safari took the kill shot but still commended LaPierre on his supposed accuracy.
LaPierre admitted on Monday that he expensed private flights for his family and accepted vacations from vendors doing business with the NRA without proper disclosure, according to the Associated Press. Receipts shown by state prosecutors to the jury reportedly included a handbag costing more than $1,000 and purchased for LaPierre’s wife with NRA funds.

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