A top NRA lobbyist was instrumental in convincing the organization’s top leadership that it should endorse President Trump’s executive order banning all Muslim immigration, according to a new report.
The National Rifle Association Foundation reported on Wednesday that David Keene, the NRA lobbyist who had helped push the policy, was instrumental to convincing the executive branch to lift the ban, a move that is expected to be announced Friday by Trump.
Keene is the founder and CEO of the law firm Keene & Associates, and he is the former president of the NRA Foundation.
Keenes lobbying efforts to lift Trump’s order came amid growing tensions between the president and the NRA, which was once considered one of his strongest political supporters.
He was one of the chief proponents of the ban.
The NRA said it has been working with the Trump administration since at least February to work out a transition period, but the new report says Keene and his group were instrumental in persuading top NRA officials to support the ban by arguing it was in the best interest of the nation.
Keener was instrumental at the time in pushing the ban through both chambers of Congress.
The ban was signed into law by Trump on Jan. 6, just days after the mass shooting in Las Vegas.
It was initially supposed to take effect March 16.
Kehenes push led to a swift reversal of the policy in the House of Representatives, and it eventually became law.
But the NRA later dropped its support, and a new administration quickly took over the organization.
The president also pushed to make it easier to get a concealed carry permit.
Keening and the National Rifle Assn.
have been critical of the new administration, saying they will not support Trump’s agenda.
Keens lobbying also included a push to get the Senate to approve the bill that created the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a lobbying group with more than 3,400 members.
Keenes group pushed for the passage of the legislation, and the Senate ultimately approved it by a 54-45 vote on Feb. 8.
It now awaits a House vote.
The lobbying effort led to the NRA filing a lawsuit against the Trump Administration to block its policy.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on March 7, the day after the House voted to approve Trump’s immigration executive order.