All posts by Kelly Ward

Schlapp, Mercedes (Board Member)

Mercedes Schlapp is the co-founder of Cove Strategies, a government and public affairs firm that she started with her husband, Matt Schlapp.  She was the Director of Specialty Media under the Administration of President George W. Bush and hosted the Republican National Committee’s web show, “In the Know,” in 2006. Schlapp has been an NRA Board Member since April 2015. She is regularly featured as a pundit on Fox News.


Cors, Allan (President)

Cors earned his bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Cincinnati and went to work as a counsel with the Judiciary Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. He then served as Corning’s Director of Government Affairs and Senior Vice President for 34 years. A lifelong hunter and competitive shooter with a passion for collecting World War II military vehicles, Cors has served as president of the NRA Foundation and is a member of the NRA’s Executive Committee. He was a principal advocate for the establishment of NRA’s Political Action Committee. Cors was elected President of the National Rifle Association in April 2015. Cors, now retired, was a senior vice president with Corning, Inc., where he directed the company’s government affairs programs worldwide.

Cotton, Charles (Board Member)

Charles Cotton is an attorney who resides in Friendswood, Texas. He is a competitive action pistol shooter and a life member/consultant with the Texas State Rifle Association (TSRA), an NRA affiliate organization. Cotton is also is the founder of the Youth Action Pistol League, a program for junior shooters. He has served on the NRA Board of Directors for well over a decade and was also elected to the Board of Trustees of the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund.

Dowlut, Robert (Former General Counsel)

Robert Dowlut was born in the Nazis’ Augsburg slave labor camp in September 1945 to Polish parents Donald and Olga, less than five months after the U.S. Army liberated the camp. In 1949, the family emigrated to Wisconsin, and then to South Bend, Indiana. As a young man, Dowlut had several run-ins with the law. At 16, he was arrested for a crime spree using stolen weapons and a homemade zip gun, but was put on probation and graduated from Washington High School in January 1963. He then enlisted in the Army and began basic training in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Then, in November 1964, Dowlut was found guilty of second-degree murder, accused of shooting and killing Anna Marie Yocum in April 1963. After six years in prison, the court reversed the conviction, and the case was never retried. Dowlut then returned to the military, joining the 82nd Airborne Division, and served with the Army Reserve’s 12th Special Forces while he attended Indiana University South Bend. After graduating in 1975, Dowlut enrolled at Howard University School of Law. He began working for the National Rifle Association in 1977. In 1979, he graduated law school and was admitted to the D.C. Bar a year later in 1980. He has served as the NRA’s General Counsel and is currently on the NRA Civil Rights Legal Defense Fund board of directors.