WASHINGTON (AP) â€” Charlton Heston will be allowed to run for an unprecedented third term as president of the National Rifle Association at the group's annual convention later this month.
NRA spokesman Bill Powers said today that the gun lobby's bylaws are being amended to allow Heston, first elected in 1998, to run for a third term. Traditionally, NRA officers are elected to one-year terms and may only serve two terms concurrently.
Heston and the NRA have been in the political spotlight of late, particularly once Congress began considering gun legislation following a rash of school shootings across the nation. The NRA has vehemently lobbied against proposed new restrictions on gun owners' rights.
Heston also recently appeared in a series of political ads that critics say portrayed President Clinton as a liar during the recent fight over the legislation.
Another NRA leader, executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, accused Clinton in March of exploiting gun deaths for political purposes. The White House angrily accused the NRA of making ``outrageous and disgusting'' charges about the president and called on the group's political supporters to repudiate the statements. Several of Clinton's harshest critics, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, R-Ill., called on LaPierre to apologize.
Heston, however, defended LaPierre on NBC's ``Today'' last month: ``You guys owe Wayne an apology. He was right and you guys were wrong.''
The NRA will elect its officers at its annual convention, scheduled for May 19-21 in Charlotte, N.C.