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Meet the NRA's Board of Directors

Tom Selleck, Ted Nugent, and Karl Malone are just some of the high-caliber individuals who call the shots at the National Rifle Association.

| Wed Jan. 16, 2013 7:06 AM EST

The National Rifle Association claims to speak for more than 4 million gun owners. But the shots are really called by a hush-hush group of 76 directors. The majority are nominated via a top-down process and elected by a small fraction of NRA members. A breakdown of the current board, based on their official bios:

  • 87 percent are men. 93 percent are white.
  • 25 percent are current or former federal, state, or local lawmakers or officials.
  • 22 percent are current or former law enforcement officers. 30 percent are current or former members of the military.
  • 24 percent are lawyers.
  • 12 percent are entertainers or athletes.
  • 64 percent are hunters. 71 percent are sport or competitive shooters.
  • At least 71 percent were nominated, endorsed, or selected by the NRA's Nominating Committee.

Some notable members of the NRA's current board of directors:

Tom Selleck
The Magnum, P.I. star, gun buff, and vocal gun-rights supporter was the top vote-getter in 2008's board election. (Fellow '80s TV heartthrob Erik Estrada sought a seat on the NRA board in 2011 but eventually withdrew his candidacy.)

Ted Nugent
At the NRA's 2012 annual conference, the Nuge announced, "If Barack Obama becomes the next president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year," prompting a meeting with the Secret Service.

Oliver North
"I love speaking out for the NRA in large part because it drives the left a little bit nuts," says the Iran-Contra conspirator and Call of Duty pitchman

Marion Hammer
The former NRA president helped craft and implement Florida's Stand Your Ground law, which provided a model for similar self-defense laws in 24 other states.

Karl Malone
"About the only thing I'd rather do than play basketball is hunt," says the retired NBA player in an recruitment ad for the NRA.

Patricia Clark
A record-holding shooter, Clark has been on the board of directors since 1999 and is currently the head of the NRA's nominating committee, which helps pick the majority of board members. She lives in Newtown, Connecticut.

Robert K. Brown
The former Special Forces soldier and big-game hunter is the founder and publisher of Soldier of Fortune, which was sued in the late '80s for running want ads for mercenaries and guns for hire.

David Keene
The former NRA president is the former chairman of the American Conservative Union. In 2003, his son was sentenced to 10 years in prison for firing at another driver during a road rage incident.

R. Lee "The Gunny" Ermey
Former Marine turned actor is best known for his turn as a drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket (who is gunned down by a suicidal recruit). He's also a spokesman for Glock.

Wayne A. Ross
In 2009, Sarah Palin nominated the former NRA vice president to be Alaska's attorney general, but lawmakers passed on him after he was accused of making homophobic and sexist comments.

Roy Innis
The head of the Congress of Racial Equality, a civil rights organization now known as a climate-denying astroturf outfit. While representing the United States at a UN arms conference in 2001, Innis explained, "The Rwanda genocide would not have happened if the Tutsis had had even one or two pistols to fight back with."

Ronnie G. Barrett
Founder of Barrett Firearms Manufacturing and inventor of the .50 sniper rifle, which can penetrate armor from more than 4,500 feet and is legal for civilian purchase in 49 states.

Carl T. Rowan Jr.
Formerly a cop, FBI agent, and vice president for the private-security firm Securitas.* He is the son of columnist Carl Rowan Sr., who once caught a teenager swimming in his backyard pool and wounded him with an unlicensed handgun. (Update: As of July, 2014, Rowan no longer appears to be an NRA board member.)

Larry Craig
The former Idaho senator sponsored a 2005 law protecting gun makers from liability in connection with their products being used by criminals. The NRA spent $1.8 million on lobbying Congress that year.

Grover Norquist
The president of Americans for Tax Reform is a NRA Life Member and member of the Fifty Caliber Shooters Association. After Newtown, he echoed the NRA's line: "We have got to calm down and not take tragedies like this, crimes like this, and use them for political purposes."


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More: See a complete list of NRA board members in 2013.

* Correction: An earlier version incorrectly stated that Carl T. Rowan Jr. is currently employed by Securitas, based on his bio on the NRA site. Securitas told Mother Jones that it no longer employs him.

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