WASHINGTON — Rene Carlos Vos, an arms dealer in Alexandria, Va., began hanging around the Washington headquarters of the National Rifle Association in the mid-1980s. The NRA’s staff were intrigued to see the garrulous, back-slapping Vos in the group’s seventh-floor suite, home to its lobbying operation and the chief congressional lobbyist, Wayne LaPierre.
Vos and LaPierre struck those who saw them huddle together as an odd couple. Vos took to cowboy boots and neatly pressed western wear.
“He came off like something of a dandy and a hustler, glad-handing with everybody,” recalled Johnny Aquilino, a former NRA communications director.