ST. LOUIS (AP) - Adolphus Busch IV, whose family founded beer giant Anheuser Busch, has resigned from the National Rifle Association to protest the organization's direction and "distorted values."
In a letter sent Thursday to NRA President David Keene, Busch criticized the NRA's decision to fight an expansion of gun background checks, KSDK-TV in St. Louis reported (http://on.ksdk.com/11qsujZ). Busch said the majority of NRA members support the expansion, and he said the NRA's work against the proposal ignored its members' wishes in favor of gun and ammunition manufacturers.
Busch's resignation from the NRA came the day after the Senate rejected new gun-buying restrictions in the face of strong public opinion.
"One only has to look at the makeup of the 75-member board of directors, dominated by manufacturing interests, to confirm my point," Busch said in the letter. "The NRA appears to have evolved into the lobby for gun and ammunition manufacturers rather than gun owners."
He said he was compelled to leave the NRA "based upon my personal feelings toward the distorted values I see emerging within the NRA."
The Busch family ceded control of the company to the InBev conglomerate in 2008, which bought Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion.
"The NRA I see today has undermined the values upon which it was established," said Busch, whose great-grandfather founded Anheuser Busch. "Your current strategic focus places a priority on the needs of gun and ammunition manufacturers while disregarding the opinions of your 4 million individual members."
Busch, who described himself as previously being a "staunch defender of the NRA purpose and tradition in representing the interests of gun owners," also said he didn't understand "how assault weapons and large capacity magazines have a role in your vision."
The NRA did not immediately return a message seeking comment on Friday from The Associated Press.
Information from: KSDK-TV, http://www.ksdk.com