Oliver North, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel, will become the new president of the National Rifle Association, the organization announced Monday. North was a prominent figure in the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s and was convicted on three felony counts related to the illegal sale of weapons to Iran to benefit the right-wing rebel Contras group in Nicaragua. The convictions were later reversed, and the charges dismissed. He has since become a Fox News commentator and author, and is already on the board of the NRA. Current NRA President Pete Brownell will depart "within a few weeks," and North will step in. Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's CEO, called North a "legendary warrior for American freedom."

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