Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

What NRA Does For You

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"What's the NRA done for me?"

That question was recently posed by a young man at an airport. He recognized me and struck up a conversation about gun control. I asked him if he was an NRA member and he said, "No." That's when he hit me with, "What's NRA done for me?"

As NRA members, we've all heard that question--especially from casual gun owners who enjoy the benefit of our success--and I guess your reaction is the same as mine: It's worth a thoughtful response.

Before I answered, I wanted to know more about him--always a key to confronting a lack of knowledge or misconception.

Did he believe in the Second Amendment? "You bet."

Did he believe in the right to carry? "Absolutely. I have a permit." The right to armed self-defense? "Of course." Was he a collector? "Yes." Semi-automatics? "Everybody should own an AR."

Was he a target shooter? He proudly corrected me. "A precision shooter."

A hunter? "Yes."

Just then he was called to board his plane. So I knew I had to answer that question in print for his benefit and for your use.

First and foremost, he can thank the NRA for our 35 years supporting the superb scholarship and practical legal experience that led to the U.S. Supreme Court's June 2008 definitive ruling declaring the Second Amendment to protect an individual constitutional right. That case struck down the District of Columbia's ban on handguns and the ban on any armed self-defense in the home. It wouldn't have happened without the NRA. That goes for the case pending before the same court challenging Chicago's ban and demanding that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms apply to state and local governments.

The NRA grassroots effort that re-elected President George W. Bush centered on the importance of his high court appointments. Without that total commitment, the court would surely have been dominated by Al Gore's and John Kerry's gun-ban appointees.

Beyond the high court, in broad strokes, here's what the NRA has achieved for my airport inquisitor based on his interests:

He exercises the right to carry and he can thank the NRA for his "shall-issue" permit. Since 1987, that right has been extended to 40 states with 36 states issuing permits to all qualified applicants.

If this young man had carried or even possessed a firearm in a national park before Feb. 20, 2010, it would have been a crime. Thanks to the NRA and our friends in Congress, citizens can now possess and carry firearms in federal parklands in conformity with the laws of the state.

As for today's array of handgun designs and models available to consumers, our friend can thank the NRA for defeating every national scheme to ban pistols and revolvers--from so-called concealable "Saturday Night Specials," to handguns with polymer frames, to semi-automatics capable of using "high capacity magazines," to handguns in small or large caliber, to handguns not possessing built-in "smart gun" technology.

Then there is the question of ammunition. The NRA Institute for Legislative Action's first decisive victory in 1977 prevented the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission from outlawing handgun ammunition as a "hazardous substance" in the home.

As to where a firearm can be used in lawful self-defense, the NRA has been responsible for Castle Doctrine laws enacted in 24 states, many replacing laws that required potential victims of violent crime to run away when confronted with deadly force outside their homes. We've already preserved the rights of employees in 12 states who wish to keep lawful firearms locked and properly stored in their vehicles.

Among the citizen safeguards in the landmark 1986 McClure-Volkmer Act, known as the Firearms Owners' Protection Act, is a provision protecting gun owners traversing any state with properly stored firearms. Previous to that, gun owners traveling through states like New Jersey were subject to felony prosecution for illegal possession for transporting a gun in their vehicle.

That law reformed the worst provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968 and curbed massive abuse of power against gun owners, licensed dealers and collectors.

That brings me to how my young inquirer obtains his firearms. From dealers? At gun shows? From other lawful individuals? Were it not for the NRA, all of those sources would have been closed down long ago.

Through enactment of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act in 2005, Congress effectively slammed the door on scores of big city lawsuits designed to put federally licensed gun dealers and manufacturers out of business.

We have held the line against Brady Campaign and Violence Policy Center legislation intended to close gun shows nationwide. As for criminalizing now-lawful intrastate sales between individuals--the goal of the Brady Campaign--we have blocked that one as well.

As for the young man's ownership of an AR-15, the NRA was responsible for the sunset provisions of the onerous Clinton gun ban, and we used our collective might to make sure that worthless ban faded from law.

"Precision shooter?" We have stopped bans on accurate rifles claimed to be "sniper rifles."

There is more: we worked to arm airline pilots, an essential to protecting passengers.

And he can thank the NRA for keeping the United Nations' gun-ban treaty at bay.

Without the NRA, this young man would have no place to shoot or to hunt. Preserving and developing both has long been an aggressive NRA effort, as is our gun safety focus in training millions of gun owners and law enforcement officers.

Anyone who asks that question-- "What's NRA done for me" --owes a deep debt they can pay by joining our ranks.

As NRA members, we share a sense of pride in what our members and dedicated staff have accomplished.

To show unity and strength in answering new challenges to our rights, I urge you to attend the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Charlotte, N.C., May 13-16, and to participate in our Celebration of American Values Freedom Weekend at this important moment in freedom's history.

TRENDING NOW
Wisconsin: Important Right to Carry Bill Introduced

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Wisconsin: Important Right to Carry Bill Introduced

Today, LRB 2039/1 was introduced to the Wisconsin State Legislature.  This Right to Carry bill would allow for the concealed carry of a firearm without a concealed carry license anywhere in the state where an ...

California: One Gun a Month Bill Pulled from Senate Public Safety Hearing

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

California: One Gun a Month Bill Pulled from Senate Public Safety Hearing

Today, Tuesday, March 28, anti-gun SB 497, was scheduled to be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee.  At the last minute, the bill was pulled from today's agenda. Thank you to all who contacted the ...

Texas: Senate Passes SB 16, LTC Fee Reduction Bill, by Overwhelming Vote

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Texas: Senate Passes SB 16, LTC Fee Reduction Bill, by Overwhelming Vote

On Monday, the Texas Senate voted to pass Senate Bill 16, NRA-backed legislation sponsored by State Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) and Joan Huffman (R-Houston), on a 26-5 vote.

Seattle Gun Tax Fails to Generate Projected Revenue, Succeeds in Burdening Rights

News  

Gun Laws  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Seattle Gun Tax Fails to Generate Projected Revenue, Succeeds in Burdening Rights

On March 16, 2017, the Seattle Times reported that Seattle city officials were reluctant to release data on the revenue generated by the city’s firearms and ammunition tax, citing taxpayer confidentiality concerns. Less than a ...

Virginia Action Needed: Governor McAuliffe Vetoes Self-Defense Bills

Monday, March 27, 2017

Virginia Action Needed: Governor McAuliffe Vetoes Self-Defense Bills

Following their passage in the Virginia General Assembly, Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed multiple self-defense bills; Senate Bill 1299, Senate Bill 1300, House Bill 1852, and House Bill 1853. 

News  

Monday, March 27, 2017

NRA Applauds Texas State Senate for Passing SB 16

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action applauds the Texas Senate today for passing Senate Bill 16, legislation that substantially reduces License To Carry fees in the Lone Star state.

Georgia: Senate Passes Pro-Gun Bills – Governor Needs to Hear From You!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Georgia: Senate Passes Pro-Gun Bills – Governor Needs to Hear From You!

Today, the Georgia Senate passed pro-gun bills; House Bill 406, House Bill 292, and House Bill 280. 

The Washington Post Gives Gun Control Group and U.S. Senator Three Pinocchios on Suppressors

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Washington Post Gives Gun Control Group and U.S. Senator Three Pinocchios on Suppressors

Last week, we wrote about Americans for Responsible Solutions’ irresponsible misinformation about The Hearing Protection Act on Twitter.  Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who took notice of ARS’s complete disregard for the facts on ...

Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Embraces Heller and Originalism During Senate Hearings

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Embraces Heller and Originalism During Senate Hearings

Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme court, asserted during his confirmation hearings this week that Scalia’s landmark Second Amendment opinion in District of ...

California: Anti-Gun Bill Limiting Firearm Purchases to be Heard in Senate Public Safety on Tuesday, March 28

Friday, March 24, 2017

California: Anti-Gun Bill Limiting Firearm Purchases to be Heard in Senate Public Safety on Tuesday, March 28

On Tuesday, March 28, anti-gun SB 497, is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee.  SB 497 would expand the existing one handgun a month law to include ALL guns.  

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

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.