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WOODLAND PARK, New Jersey — Anthony Colandro is the owner of a gun shop and shooting range in suburban New Jersey, and he hosts a pro-gun podcast with about a million listeners each week.
And last month, he became the newest member of the National Rifle Association's board of directors.
It's just in time for the NRA's worst crisis in a decade. At its annual convention in April, NRA President Oliver North tried to launch a coup against the longtime CEO, Wayne LaPierre, accusing him of financial improprieties and threatening to release more of the organization's dirty laundry to the public.
The allegations came after a series of news reports revealed that the organization — which is technically a nonprofit — is running out of money, while executive compensation has skyrocketed. LaPierre, in particular, is said to have been a beneficiary: According to the Wall Street Journal, he spent more than $240,000 in the past several years on lavish shopping sprees and overseas trips, without properly accounting for it.
Colandro has been a bit of an outsider in the pro-gun community — a hard-liner who has advocated for the NRA to take even tougher positions on gun control and has called for the organization to reform from within.
But now that he's on the board, he told VICE News, he's realizing the biggest threat to the cause could come from division within the pro-gun community.
"We have division going on right now where if you get enough people disgusted and stop the flow of donations and memberships, that can take down the NRA," Colandro said. "It's always like this power struggle — if anybody here watches 'Game of Thrones,' I've compared it to that. It's like this fight for the throne."
This segment originally aired May 22, 2019, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.