Chris is a familiar figure in political circles across the country. He is respected and well liked by elected officials from both sides of the aisle. An accomplished government-relations professional, he has held senior positions within ILA and has been the point-person on many key NRA legislative and political initiatives. A few months after being promoted to deputy director of ILA Federal Affairs Division, Chris was named the executive director of NRA-ILA.
Directing NRA’s nationwide legislative and political effort, Chris develops and executes independent political campaign and legislative initiatives, coordinates national advertising and direct-mail programs and has administrative responsibility over ILA’s $20 million budget. He also serves as the Association’s principal contact with key members of the administration and leaders in the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives. During the 2002 election cycle, Chris’ first as NRA’s chief lobbyist, he led efforts that resulted in one of the most successful election cycles on record for the NRA.
The successes of 2002, while significant, were overshadowed in 2004. Chris led the winning battle to retire the decade-old failed experiment, deceptively labeled as the “Assault Weapons Ban.” The forced expiration of this law on September 13, 2004, was a major blow to the gun control lobby and to their allies in Washington, D.C. Under Chris’ leadership, NRA delivered yet another setback to the gun control lobby during the 2004 elections. 95% of the NRA-PVF endorsed federal candidates and 86% of the endorsed state candidates prevailed. These margins of victory were unprecedented in the history of the NRA-ILA. Chris also devised an aggressive plan to mobilize grassroots voters with a hard-hitting earned media campaign, resulting in a higher gun owner turnout for the reelection of President George W. Bush than in 2000.
Chris is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and minored in business administration. He grew up hunting and fishing with his father and three brothers in west Tennessee.