FAIRFAX, Va. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The National Rifle Association’s top lobbyist has resigned in another sign of infighting within the powerful gun lobbying group.

Chris Cox’s departure comes just days after the NRA placed him on administrative leave, claiming he was part of a failed attempt to extort the longtime CEO.

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Cox was long viewed as the likely successor to CEO Wayne LaPierre, who’s been at the helm for decades. His resignation was confirmed by NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. No other comment was immediately made about his departure.

Cox had been the executive director of NRA’s lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, since 2002 and was the organizations No. 2 official.

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His departure comes amid some head-spinning turmoil within the NRA that has embroiled its longtime public relations firm, its former president and NRATV, the online TV station.

“After careful consideration, I am announcing that starting today, we are undergoing a significant change in our communications strategy. We are no longer airing ‘live TV’ programming. Whether and when we return to ‘live’ programming is a subject of ongoing analysis,” LaPierre said in a statement on the NRA website.

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