Lawyers for the National Rifle Association have set their sights on winning a new trial of a defamation case in which a jury awarded $4.45 million to two NRA members who said their reputations were smeared when NRA President Charlton Heston falsely accused them of staging a disruption at the organization’s July 1998 annual meeting in Philadelphia.

In a 105-page brief filed last week, the NRA argues that it should never have been forced to stand trial just two weeks after the high-school massacre in Colorado, when public sentiment against the NRA was at an all-time high.

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