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Heston Steps Down as NRA Chief - 2003-04-25

Charlton Heston will make his last appearance as head of the National Rifle Association this weekend during the group's annual convention.

Mr. Heston has led the gun owners' advocacy group for five years. He revealed last year that he has developed symptoms consistent with the brain-wasting disease Alzheimer's.

The Hollywood actor, who starred in such movies as Ben Hur and Planet of the Apes, brought to his NRA role a forcefulness that won the respect from even some of those adamantly opposed to his stand on guns.

But his unwillingness to give in on gun control issues enraged others, in particular when he brandished a rifle over his head and said "from my cold, dead hands."

The National Rifle Association fights efforts to limit gun ownership or restrict the types of weaponry and ammunition available in the United States.