Wayne LaPierre, the long-time public face of the National Rifle Association, says the NRA’s president, Oliver North, is trying to force him to step down from the organization. In a letter addressed to the NRA board, LaPierre says that North threatened to publish damaging allegations against him, unless he agreed to leave the NRA immediately. LaPierre told the Board members that he had refused to quit, in spite of the attempt to extort him. He wrote:
“Yesterday evening, I was forced to confront one of those defining choices — styled, in the parlance of extortionists — as an offer I couldn’t refuse. I refused it. Delivered by a member of our Board on behalf of his employer, the exhortation was simple: resign or there will be destructive allegations made against me and the NRA. Alarmed and disgusted, I refused the offer.”
LaPierre said the allegations against him and the NRA included “a devastating account of our financial status, sexual harassment charges against a staff member, accusations of wardrobe expenses, and excessive staff travel expenses.”
Wayne LaPierre is married Susan LaPierre. Here’s what you need to know about Susan LaPierre, Wayne’s wife:
1. She Grew Up in Wisconsin, Where Her Dad Taught Her to Fish, Hunt & Shoot
Susan LaPierre has been described as a “life-long outdoorswoman.” She grew up in Wisconsin, where her father taught her to fish, hunt, and shoot. LaPierre is active within the NRA, working to encourage more women to join the organization. She says that her goal is to increase the group’s diversity, and insists that the NRA’s Women Forum is open to women from all walks of life.
2. She’s On the Board of the National Parks Foundation
Susan LaPierre sits on the Board of Directors of the National Parks Foundation, which is the official charitable partner of the National Park Service. She was appointed to the Board in 2017 by then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Some pointed out at the time that LaPierre’s announcement was not publicly announced, probably because it would have been controversial. Some saw her appointment as part of a larger move by the Trump administration to reconfigure the rules around hunting and fishing in national parks.
LaPierre’s biography says that she is “passionate about protecting America’s cherished national public lands, making them accessible to all Americans and celebrating the central role of nature and conservation in supporting healthy lives and healthy families.
3. She Helped to Found the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum
LaPierre is the co-chair of the Women’s Leadership Forum, which she described as “a nationwide network of influential and philanthropic women united by a desire to protect the Second Amendment and our conservation, hunting, shooting, and outdoor traditions for future generations.” LaPierre launched the Forum 14 years ago and still serves as the group’s volunteer co-chair.
The Women’s Leadership Forum says that it is committed to uniting “women of influence,” to protecting Second Amendment freedoms, and to “ensuring the future of the NRA. The forum’s website says, “We’re mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, friends, business owners, college students, hunters, target shooters and non-shooters, but we all respect the right to bear arms. Together, we share a passionate desire to protect our freedom and preserve it for future generations.”
4. She Wants to Increase Diversity Among NRA Members
LaPierre is the co-chair of the Women’s Leadership Forum, which aims to get more women involved in the NRA. She says that one of her biggest goals is to increase the Forum’s memberhsip and to attract women from all backgrounds and from all walks in life. According to her official NRA biography,
“she has seen membership skyrocket and has played a key role in growing the annual luncheon from a small living room gathering to a large banquet setting at the NRA Annual Meetings. “We welcome anyone with open arms,” says Susan of the Women’s Leadership Forum. “The more diverse the better.”
5. She Has Decades of Experience as a Fundraiser
LaPierre sits on the board of the National Parks Foundation, which is the official charitable partner of the National Parks Service. She was appointed to the board by then-Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in 2017, although some have pointed out that her appointment was not publicly announced. Her biography on the National Parks Foundation’s site points out that LaPierre has decades of experience as a fundraiser:
“Susan is an accomplished fundraiser with more than 30 years’ experience working on behalf of charitable, political and mission driven causes,” the biography notes.