WASHINGTON — The National Rifle Assn. lost more than 300,000 members this year, almost one-tenth of its total, at a time of both highly publicized controversy and rising influence in Congress.
The five consecutive months of membership declines, after a brief increase in January, left the group with slightly less than 3.2 million members at the end of June, according to NRA documents.
Issues that drew sometimes unwanted attention to the organization included an NRA fund-raising letter that called federal law enforcement agents "jack-booted government thugs," prompting former President George Bush to cancel his membership.
Wayne R. LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president, said that the group remains in good shape. He blamed the drop-off on a $15 increase in dues.