We have an exclusive interview with Allen West for you this week.
He announced on Monday he would accept the call of current and former board members to challenge Wayne LaPierre for the control of the NRA. He will be pitted against the long-time head of the organization in a fight for the group's future. The results will determine how the NRA moves forward after years of controversy coupled with financial and legal struggles.
West says the gun-rights group is in desperate need of reform. He pledged to bring transparency to how the group handles its finances. He accused a "cabal" of top NRA leaders of blocking reform efforts and putting the group in legal limbo.
He said the recent downturn in membership even as gun ownership has grown is a symptom of LaPierre's mismanagement. He argued leadership had lost the trust of members and that was the core of their problem. He said restoring trust is his top priority. West attacked New York Attorney General Letitia James (D.) for being biased against the NRA, but said LaPierre had given her the ammunition she is now using to try and capture control of the group.
West responded to several critiques of his run from NRA board member David Keene. He also rejected the idea his heated rhetoric repels more potential NRA members than it attracts, a common criticism of the group's current approach.
He said refocusing the NRA on core priorities such as safety training and marksmanship were key pillars of his plan to start growing the organization again. West said his reputation, service in the military, and previous time as a board member will also help him convince the board to choose him over LaPierre. That decision will be made by the board at this month's Annual Meeting which West says he will attend.
Plus, Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman and I discuss California's age-based rifle ban being struck down as the state removes another popular pistol from its handgun roster.