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Carolyn Meadows, an east Cobb native and president of the National Rifle Association, talked to the MDJ in May about her goals for the NRA.

East Cobb resident and president of the National Rifle Association Carolyn Meadows has hired off-duty Cobb County Sheriff’s Office deputies to guard her home, a spokesperson confirmed Thursday.

Word of the detail began spreading on social media Wednesday evening and comes following three high-profile mass killings last week that totaled 33 deaths -- shootings in Gilroy, California, El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

“The deputies are working a part-time detail on behalf of the home/property owner. The home/property owner is paying for the deputy’s services,” said Glenn Daniel of the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, who would not reveal when the detail began, how many off-duty personnel were hired or at what cost.

“We do not release the details of how many deputies are working at any time due to safety of the deputies,” Daniel added.

It is unclear why Meadows had obtained the security personnel, and whether she or the NRA were paying for the detail. Efforts to reach Meadows were unsuccessful Thursday, while officials from the NRA did not return messages from the MDJ seeking further details or reaction to reports of the deputies’ hire.

Cobb Police, meanwhile, have not been alerted to any reports of threats involving Meadows or her home, according to Officer Sydney Melton, a spokeswoman for the department.

Meadows previously told the MDJ she has identified as Republican and conservative as far back as high school. The 1956 Sprayberry High graduate became involved in gun advocacy efforts in the 1980s just before Ronald Reagan’s presidency, and she served as a national committeewoman for the Republican National Committee in 1988. Meadows joined the NRA’s board in 2003, eventually becoming second vice president, her most recent role before being elected president in April.

Details regarding the hired security for Meadows’ home remained scant Thursday to Cobb GOP Chairman Jason Shepherd.

“We’re all getting different reports through the local media what may have happened,” Shepherd said. "I think the fact that it seems to be that she’s paying a couple of off-duty sheriff’s deputies to watch out for her seems to be the most consistent statement out there.”

Shepherd characterized any actions aimed at intimidating and threatening Meadows as the result of political rhetoric that “needs to turn down.”

“Carolyn Meadows is not Oliver North, who has been in the public limelight most of his adult life, who has been on television, who is used to having security, and even before Oliver North, Charlton Heston, who led the NRA. These were people who were well-known names to a large amount of people well outside the NRA; Carolyn Meadows is an activist, she’s someone who just believes in something and has devoted years of her life to it,” Shepherd said, adding, “Fear should not be part of our political vocabulary in the United States of America.”

MEADOWS MENTIONED BY DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSWOMAN

Meadows and the organization she heads were referenced by U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Marietta, on her Twitter account Thursday. McBath, who represents Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, unseated Karen Handel, R-Roswell, last year.

“When the NRA said I only won my seat in Congress ‘because I’m a black woman,’ I called them out,” McBath tweeted, linking to a news article based on Meadows’ remarks to the MDJ in May.

Phone and email messages Thursday to a McBath spokesperson seeking comment on Meadows were unreturned by press time.

McBath previously said she was inspired to run for office after her son, Jordan Davis, was shot to death in what became known as the loud music case.

Meadows, who resides in McBath’s district, previously told the MDJ that she and other right-leaning groups would be targeting McBath in next year’s election, going on to say that McBath’s victory in 2018 had not been due to her anti-gun stance.

“There will be more than one person in the race, but we'll get that seat back,” Meadows said in May. 

Follow Jon Gargis on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JonGargis.

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