More than 86,000 Second Amendment supporters attended the NRA’s annual meeting in Houston last weekend, shattering the previous attendance record, the National Rifle Association announced Monday. The numbers for 2013 increased by almost 15,000 from last year’s convention in St. Louis, according to spokesman Andrew Arulanandam.
The NRA originally estimated that around 75,000 people would attend, CNN reports.
The gun rights organization also named its new president over the weekend.
The incoming leader of the National Rifle Association has a long history with the powerful gun rights lobby and a penchant for bold statements that are sure to enflame an already explosive national debate over gun control.
James Porter, an Alabama attorney and first vice president of the NRA, assumes the presidency on Monday after the group’s national convention wraps up in Houston. He didn’t wait until then to ignite a new furor over gun control, telling the NRA grass-roots organizers on Friday they are the front line of a “culture war” that goes beyond gun rights.
“(You) here in this room are the fighters for freedom. We are the protectors,” Porter said.
Porter, 64, whose father was NRA president from 1959-1961, is part of the small, Birmingham, Ala., law firm of Porter, Porter & Hassinger. The firm’s website notes its expertise in defending gun manufacturers in lawsuits.
Porter takes over the organization as the NRA finds itself in a national fight over gun control in Washington, D.C., and state capitols around the country. The NRA had a major victory regarding gun control with the defeat in the U.S. Senate of a bill that would have expanded background checks for gun sales.
Make sure you check out TheBlaze’s extensive coverage of the NRA convention here.
The Associated Press contribute to this report. Featured image via AFP/Getty.