NRA honors FCC chair with rifle for
repealing 'net neutrality'
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[February 24, 2018]
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The National Rifle
Association (NRA) on Friday honored the head of the Federal
Communications Commission with a rifle after braving death threats and
other opposition as he worked to undo the Obama administration's 2015
net neutrality rules.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was honored at the Conservative Political Action
Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Maryland, by the NRA with the "Charlton
Heston Courage Under Fire Award," an honor named for the late actor who
was an NRA president.
The award is a Kentucky long rifle that will stay at the NRA's museum in
Fairfax, Virginia. The NRA was not allowed to bring the weapon on stage,
said Carolyn Meadows, an NRA official.
It was not immediately clear why the NRA was not able to present the
long gun to the FCC chairman. The FCC, CPAC and the NRA did not
immediately respond to questions.
A Reuters reporter at the event said there were no visible prohibitions
against weapons at the event but metal detectors were present before
President Donald Trumpís address earlier on Friday.
At the event, Pai defended his aggressive approach to undoing numerous
telecommunications regulations put in place under former President
"Some people urged me to go for sacrifice bunts and singles and try to
nibble around the edges ó make some minor changes," Pai said. "But I
don't play small ball."
Pai canceled his appearance in January at a large consumer electronics
event in Las Vegas after receiving deaths threats, sources told Reuters.
The repeal of the net neutrality rules was a victory for internet
service providers like AT&T Inc <T.N>, Comcast Corp <CMCSA.O> and
Verizon Communications Inc <VZ.N>, conferring power over what content
consumers can access and allowing them to offer paid fast lanes for
[to top of second column]
Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai speaks at
the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National
Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
On the other side, technology companies including Alphabet Inc
<GOOGL.O> and Facebook Inc <FB.O> have thrown their weight behind
the congressional bid to reverse the net neutrality repeal.
On Thursday, 22 state attorneys general filed sued to block the
Fight for the Future, a group that backs net neutrality, said in a
tweet the NRA gave Pai an award that will "allow Internet service
providers (ISPs) to censor websites and information about guns."
Several corporations have cut ties with the NRA after the group
launched a counter-offensive against a student-led campaign for
tighter U.S. gun ownership laws after a gunman killed 17 people at a
Insurer Chubb Ltd <CB.N> said on Friday that it would stop
underwriting an NRA-branded insurance policy for gun owners that
covers legal costs in self-defense shootings. Insurance company
MetLife Inc <MET.N> ended an auto and home incentive program for NRA
members, while several rental car companies announced they were
ending discount programs for NRA members.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Additional reporting by James
Oliphant in Oxon Hills, Maryland; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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