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NRA LOSING MEMBERSHIP - AND POWER

The National Rifle Association is losing membership and power, its executive director said.

Wayne LaPierre said congressional and public opinion has turned against the powerful lobby and that NRA membership has fallen from 3 million to 2.5 million in the past decade."I don't think hunters and gun owners know how bad it is . . . back there in Washington," LaPierre told about 150 people Saturday at the annual meeting of the Washington State Rifle and Pistol Association.

He cited developments such as recent U.S. House passage of the "Brady Bill," which would require handgun buyers to wait seven days to pick up their weapons, during which time authorities could conduct a background check.