Gun lobby: Who got elected to the NRA board?
By Frank Smyth, August 19, 2013, MSNBC

This year’s gun lobby board election brought a few surprises, as the National Rifle Association has been trying to keep the results (and the low voter turnout) quiet. George K. Kollitides II is the founder and CEO of Freedom Group, America’s largest and most profitable firearms consortium. One of the company’s products is the Bushmaster AR-15 semi-automatic rifle that was used…

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Christie moves right on gun issues with veto
By Frank Smyth, August 18, 2013, MSNBC

Last summer, after Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie showed independence from his own party when he embraced President Barack Obama. The move made Christie a target among his GOP colleagues for appearing to betray then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But Friday night Christie,  a possible 2016 GOP presidential candidate, seemed to move back to

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Was that gun used in a crime? Now you can find out
By Frank Smyth, June 25, 2013, MSNBC

On Sunday in New Orleans, Laderika Smith, 28, returned from the store to find her five-year-old daughter bloodied and lying on the bedroom floor with a gunshot wound to her head. The girl soon died. Her mother has been charged with Relative Cruelty to a Juvenile. She has not yet entered a plea. “It is

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Six months after Sandy Hook, grassroot groups and the gun debate
By Frank Smyth, June 13, 2013, MSNBC

After the horror of the Newtown shooting, gun reform advocates expected to finally see a change. Yet Friday marks the six-month anniversary of the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and, largely due to the efforts of the gun lobby, none of the nation’s federal gun laws have changed. “The NRA and special interests

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For NRA’s new president, not his father’s gun club
By Frank Smyth, May 6, 2013, MSNBC

James W. Porter, Jr. assumed the unpaid, but politically important post of president of the National Rifle Association Monday. While the role puts the Birmingham, Ala., attorney for the first time on a national stage, he is hardly an unknown within the gun lobby. Nearly 20 years ago, I observed Jim Porter in action behind closed doors at

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Fresh off victory, NRA looks toward 2014
By Frank Smyth, April 24, 2013, MSNBC

Fresh from its biggest legislative victory in years, the gun lobby is gearing up for its next project: backing their congressional champions in the 2014 midterm elections. But this time the landscape will be different. At least one, if not more, gun reform groups are promising to spend millions of dollars challenging those incumbents who

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How the gun lobby has already blocked Boston’s bombing investigators
By Frank Smyth, April 17, 2013, MSNBC

One avenue of investigation is already closed off to forensic officials working the Boston Marathon bombing case due to efforts dating back decades by the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers. The FBI said Tuesday that gunpowder, along with pieces of metal and ball bearings, were packed into at least one pressure cooker and another

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