One of the most recognizable members of the National Rifle Association board of directors is stepping down “due to his work schedule.”
According to Fox News, a spokesperson for actor Tom Selleck confirmed his resignation following an election last year in which he received the most votes of any board member.
Publicist Annett Wolf initially released a statement on the issue to The Trace. She took the opportunity to downplay the 73-year-old actor’s role on the board.
“He has nothing to do with policy,” she said. “He’s never been active on the board or anything the NRA engages in. He’s almost always been a silent board member.”
Wolf went on to confirm that Selleck “has stepped down from the board of the NRA due to his work schedule” but “remains a member of the NRA.”
Selleck, who has been a household name since his leading role in the 1980’s television series “Magnum, P.I.,” joined the organization when he was 8 years old, according to The Trace.
His affiliation with the NRA has led to controversy in the past, most notably in an interview with Rosie O’Donnell nearly 20 years ago.
In the wake of the mass shooting at Columbine High School, Selleck appeared on O’Donnell’s to promote his latest movie. The infamous exchange that followed included the host’s harsh rebuke of the NRA.
She said the organization “has such a militant strength, especially a power in Washington to veto or to stronghold any sensible gun law.”
Selleck clarified that he is “not a spokesman for the NRA,” but shared some positive personal experiences involving the group.
“In fact, all I can tell you is, I was a member when I was a kid,” he said. “I was a junior NRA member. I learned firearm safety.”
Sympathizing with O’Donnell, Selleck the issue is “really contentious” and “potentially as troubling as the abortion issue in this country.”
He argued that rushing to pass legislation in the wake of a tragedy is not the proper way to handle the issue.
“What I see in the work I’ve done with kids is, is troubling direction in our culture,” he said. “And where I see consensus, which is I think we ought to concentrate on in our culture is — Look, nobody argues anymore, whether they’re conservatives or liberal, whether our society is going in the wrong direction. They may argue trying to quantify how far it’s gone wrong or why it’s gone that far wrong, whether it’s guns, or television, or the internet, or whatever. But there’s consensus saying that something’s happened. Guns were much more accessible 40 years ago. A kid could walk into a pawn shop or a hardware store and buy a high capacity magazine weapon that could kill a lot of people and they didn’t do it.”
As of the latest reports available, the NRA had not issued a statement on Selleck’s departure from the board.
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