Days before the NRA’s winter board meeting in Tysons Corner, Virginia, new reporting has exposed that one of the NRA board’s newest members, Anthony Colandro, has been spouting deeply offensive and bigoted rhetoric on his social media dating back to at least 2017.
According to The Informant, a new investigative publication dedicated to uncovering hate and extremism in the United States, Colandro has used his social media as a platform for Islamophobic and homophobic rhetoric.
“For years, Colandro has used the handle @guns4hyr to spew anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT slurs. He has called Islam a “parasitic cult” and described its followers as “cockroaches” and “savages.” He has also raged against “multiculturalism,” “globalism” and immigration.
“It would be one thing if Colandro was just a small business owner with bigoted ideas.
“But he’s also a board member for the National Rifle Association.”
Madihha Ahussain, Special Counsel for Anti-Mulsim Bigotry at Muslim Advocates, a national civil rights organization dedicated to “stopping bigotry in its tracks” called for Colandro’s resignation, saying, “Colandro’s comments are exactly the type of rhetoric that leads to violence against Muslims.”
According to the Informant, “[i]n a brief interview by phone on Monday, Colandro stood by many of his tweets but said that others were being taken out of context. He also insisted his rhetoric on Twitter didn’t come from a place of hate. As proof, he put forward his love life.”
In an attempt to defend his use of a specific gay slur, Colandro told the Informant he didn’t see it as anti-gay and that he uses “that word all the time.”
In April 2019, Colandro was elected to a one-year term on the NRA board of directors and is running for election to a three-year term on the board this coming April. Colandro is the CEO of the Gun for Hire shooting range in Woodland Park, New Jersey and the executive vice president of the NRA’s state affiliate, the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs.
This week, the NRA holds its annual winter board meeting in Tysons Corner, Virginia. Per the Informant piece, the NRA “did not return a message seeking comment on” this story.