Chris W. Cox has served as the executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, the political and lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association, since 2002.
As NRA’s chief lobbyist and principal political strategist, Cox oversees nine NRA-ILA divisions – Federal Affairs, State & Local Affairs, Public Affairs, Research & Information, Grassroots, Hunting/Conservation/Wildlife, Office of Legislative Counsel, External Affairs (International) and Fiscal. He also serves as president of the NRA Freedom Action Foundation (NRA-FAF), which conducts non-partisan voter registration and citizen education, and chairman of NRA Country, which brings country music artists together with NRA members in support of our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage.
Directing NRA’s nationwide legislative and political efforts, Cox develops and executes independent political campaigns and legislative initiatives; coordinates national advertising and direct mail programs; and has administrative responsibility over NRA-ILA’s $30 million budget. He also serves as the Association’s principal contact with the United States Senate and House of Representatives, the White House and federal agencies.
As chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF), Cox has directed NRA’s electoral efforts at every level. From presidential campaigns to congressional, state and local races, NRA has achieved unprecedented success under Cox’s leadership. In fact, of the hundreds of federal elections in which NRA-ILA and the Political Victory Fund participated during 2014, more than 90% of the candidates who had the NRA’s endorsement won their elections. And today, NRA members benefit from tremendous political support in congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative offices across the country.
National television networks and cable news outlets, in addition to prominent daily and weekly publications, often seek Cox’s insight on policy and political matters. He has appeared on Fox News, CNN and other networks defending gun rights and responding to media inaccuracies on a variety of firearms, hunting and NRA-related matters.
Prior to joining NRA in 1995, Cox served as a senior legislative aide in Congress, managing issues relating to the judiciary, criminal justice reform and firearms freedom. He is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in business administration. He grew up hunting and fishing with his father and three brothers in west Tennessee. Cox resides in Virginia with his family.