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You Did It! NRA & Gun Owners Enjoy Tremendous Success At Polls

Sunday, November 10, 2002

All of your hard work leading up to Election Day 2002 paid off with incredible returns, as voters have decided to send a more pro-gun Congress to Capitol Hill in January 2003. While the media have focused on the success of Republicans and President George Bush (R), we are proud to be able to state that NRA-PVF-endorsed pro-gun candidates (both Democrats and Republicans) won nearly 94% of 270 races at the federal level, although the final outcome in a handful of races has yet to be determined. Thanks to the efforts of NRA and its dedicated members, the pro-gun community saw a net gain of at least two pro-gun seats in the U.S. Senate, and at least 13 pro-gun seats in the House of Representatives. And with the Republicans regaining majority control of the U.S. Senate, anti-gun U.S. Senator Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) will no longer be able to wield power as Senate Majority Leader. That position will return to U.S. Senator Trent Lott (R-Miss.), a pro-gun stalwart. Due to your efforts, many anti-gun committee chairmen in the U.S. Senate will be replaced by supporters of our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Republicans also added to their advantage in the House of Representatives—an accomplishment that is noteworthy considering it has been 100 years since the party last gained House seats while a Republican (Theodore Roosevelt) resided in the White House. This marks the fourth straight election cycle that Democrats have failed to regain control of the House—control they lost in 1994—a failure that is likely one of the reasons anti-gun U.S. Representative Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) has announced he will not seek another term as House Minority Leader.

NRA success was not limited to federal races, though. Across the nation, NRA-PVF’s endorsed candidates seeking state and local offices enjoyed an amazing 85% success rate in approximately 2,300 races. Gubernatorial candidates running on anti-gun platforms were turned back everywhere, most notably in Maryland, although some anti-gun candidates were successful when they camouflaged themselves as being pro-gun. Overall, there are now 37 states with a governor that holds pro-gun views.

Our thanks go out to all of our members and supporters—especially NRA-ILA’s 300+ Election Volunteer Coordinators—who worked so hard to make Election Day 2002 such a tremendous success. Without your dedication, we would not have been able to achieve all that we have. With new pro-gun Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Sununu (R. N.H.), and Jim Talent (R-Mo.), and too many new pro-gun U.S. Representatives to list, NRA looks forward to working with our supporters, both old and new, as we promote our pro-Second Amendment agenda. Even with our successes on Tuesday, however, the pro-gun margin in Congress remains very thin. There is still a need to remain vigilant, as threats to our Right to Keep and Bear Arms will remain!

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.