The National Rifle Association, besieged by members angered to learn that the group was selling former members' names to anyone with the money to buy them, canceled the practice, effective immediately.

Wednesday's action by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre Jr. came a day after The Associated Press reported that the group had been selling lists of more than 697,000 former NRA members who had dropped out in the past four years."The privacy of our members is of paramount importance and outweighs the revenue benefit of renting the lists," LaPierre said, stressing that active NRA members' names have always been and will remain confidential.

Robert Marcario, the NRA's managing director of membership, had said earlier: "Our rule is, somebody gone for six months, they're fair game and we can sell their name."