The NRA is attempting to silence its critics with its recent effort to block the release of a book critical of its founder and chief executive officer.
A federal appeals court has denied the NRA’s request to halt the publication of the book “Freedoms Lost: How the National Rifle Association Used Its Power to Destroy America,” a book that was set to be published next month.
The book is by former NRA executive director Chris Cox.
Cox was one of the founders of the group and now runs it under the Freedom Foundation, a political action committee established by the NRA.
The NRA says Cox is not a licensed firearm instructor and therefore cannot teach firearms in a classroom.
The NRA’s efforts to stop the book’s release are a response to a New York Times article last week, in which Cox, now a lawyer, claimed the group has engaged in a campaign to silence conservatives.
The Times, citing people familiar with the matter, said the organization has spent millions of dollars trying to defeat Cox and other critics.
The Times said Cox, who died in 2012, spent years trying to undermine the organization.
The New York City attorney general’s office and others are investigating Cox and the organization over its actions.
The Justice Department is also investigating.
The New York Daily News on Friday published excerpts of a March 6, 2017, email in which the NRA and Cox allegedly discussed ways to “smear” Cox and to “mute” his comments.
The book was written by Cox, a former lawyer who was once a top aide to President Donald Trump, according to excerpts obtained by The American Conservatives.
The Daily News has not independently verified the excerpts.
The email exchange, which was obtained by the Daily News and first reported by The Washington Post, came as the NRA was trying to keep Cox out of a conference he was scheduled to give.
Crowds for Freedom has a long history of opposing Cox.
It has previously blocked the release, in 2015, of the National Endowment for Democracy, a group that Cox founded in the 1990s that helped push through a number of draconian gun-control measures.
The Daily News reported that Cox said in a March 27 email that “the NRA will stop at nothing to silence” him.
“We will use every tactic to keep the rest of you from having the opportunity to speak about the NRA, and we will do everything we can to silence you and others in the conservative movement,” Cox said.
The Freedom Foundation says it has been working with Cox since February to “stop the publication and dissemination of this book.”
Cox said he would “fight tooth and nail” to keep his book out of circulation.
The letter that was sent to the NRA said the Freedom group was not interested in “discussing the merits” of Cox’s book or in its political agenda.
Instead, it wrote, the group wanted the “publication of the text to coincide with the National Association for Gun Rights conference, which is slated for June 23 in Atlanta.”
The NRA has not responded to a request for comment.