NRA Explore
APPEARS IN News

NRA Political Victory Fund: Making Endorsements Count

Thursday, August 26, 2010

America is heading full-tilt into an election cycle that offers tremendous opportunities. In primaries and special elections that have already occurred, we’ve seen voters fired up to protect our constitutional rights. Your NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is working to have the greatest possible impact on this critical election cycle. Between now and November, we’ll be issuing our candidate endorsements in thousands of elections across the country.

We’ve received letters, e-mails and phone calls from NRA members who had questions about some of our endorsements and want to know how we make these important decisions. Here’s a brief explanation of our policies:

First and most important, NRA-PVF is non-partisan in issuing its candidate grades and endorsements. We do not base our grades or endorsement decisions on a candidate’s party affiliation—period. Rather, we look at a candidate’s record on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms; answers to our candidate questionnaires; public statements and involvement in Second Amendment issues.

We do this because NRA is a single-issue organization. There are many other issues a candidate must address with voters; obviously, many folks look at candidates’ positions across the board. But our longtime election slogan—“Vote Freedom First”—reflects our hope that our members and all gun owners will put Second Amendment issues in the forefront when they make their voting decisions.

Next, NRA-PVF has an incumbent-friendly policy that requires our support for pro-gun lawmakers seeking re-election. Again, this is regardless of political party. Whether in Congress or the state legislatures, it is critical that we stand with our friends who have stood with us. Actions speak louder than words, so a concrete voting record trumps untested words of support. We also consider a candidate’s other actions, both public and behind the scenes, such as pushing for votes on critical bills or lobbying colleagues. (Of course, if a pro-gun challenger wins an election and supports our rights, that person will get our support when it’s his or her turn to stand for re-election.)

Unfortunately, this is the hardest policy for some to understand. Especially this year, when many voters are in a mood to “throw ’em all out,” we hear from many members who disagree with our support of certain incumbent lawmakers. But while voters’ tempers are understandably running high, we also need to remember political reality. If we don’t support those who’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with us, there will be no incentive for other lawmakers to stand up to the biased media and the anti-gun lobby.

When an incumbent lawmaker is a-rated and endorsed for re-election by NRA-PVF, that person has been tested over time and has voted to protect our rights. Some may disagree with the candidate on other issues, but an NRA-PVF endorsement reflects support for the Second Amendment.

That doesn’t mean other candidates are left out in the cold. Many of them have held other offices, and we always review the votes they cast. And for all candidates, but especially for those who’ve never held office or built up a voting record, we issue detailed candidate questionnaires. As mentioned earlier, candidates’ voting records and questionnaire answers are evaluated, along with their public statements and involvement in Second Amendment issues.

All of this information is reviewed and we issue a grade ranging from “A” to “F.” But we also don’t make an endorsement in every race. The NRA-PVF endorsement is not given lightly--it must be earned.

Finally, we’re often asked about endorsements in judicial races. NRA-PVF generally does not issue endorsements in judicial elections because they often involve unique issues. Judges, unlike legislators, often do not have voting records, so NRA-PVF can only make evaluations based upon past legal opinions (if any) and public statements on firearm-related issues.

In addition, states have different codes of judicial conduct. Often, they have statutes that restrict judicial candidates from announcing their views on issues that may come before their courts. While we welcome information from our members on judicial candidates, members should also know that an NRA-PVF endorsement in a judicial race is an exception to the rule.

We’ve followed these policies for decades and they’ve proven time and again that they’re the fair and responsible approach to take. Even if you don’t agree 100 percent with NRA-PVF`s endorsement decisions, I hope this explanation is helpful. We know there are no perfect systems, but for an organization to be effective in the political arena it must issue grades and endorsements in a fair, consistent and credible manner. At the end of the day, the most important thing is for you, your friends, your family and your fellow gun owners to Vote Freedom First.

For a list of candidate grades and endorsements for your state, please refer to your November NRA magazines, or visit www.nrapvf.org.

TRENDING NOW
Sen. Schumer Introduces Gun Control Bill After Brady Campaign Tantrum

Friday, May 20, 2016

Sen. Schumer Introduces Gun Control Bill After Brady Campaign Tantrum

For the past several months, Brady Campaign President Dan Gross has been repeatedly telling anyone who will listen that support for gun control is at a “tipping point.” Gross’ theory suffered a blow this week as the Brady Campaign ...

Outrage of the Week: Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin Blocks Efforts to Restore Rights to Veterans

Friday, May 20, 2016

Outrage of the Week: Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin Blocks Efforts to Restore Rights to Veterans

We have long reported on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) scandalous practice of reporting to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)  any VA beneficiary who has had a “fiduciary” appointed to help the individual ...

NRA Endorses Donald Trump for President of the United States

News  

Friday, May 20, 2016

NRA Endorses Donald Trump for President of the United States

The chairman of the National Rifle Association's Political Victory Fund, Chris W. Cox, released the following statement on Friday:

West Virginia: Permitless Carry to take Effect Today, May 24!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

West Virginia: Permitless Carry to take Effect Today, May 24!

Today, May 24, the provisions of House Bill 4145, West Virginia’s permitless/constitutional carry legislation, take effect.  Please refer to NRA-ILA’s HB 4145 Fact Sheet for important information on this monumental pro-gun reform.

Maryland: Governor Hogan Signs Pro-Gun Bill into Law

Friday, May 20, 2016

Maryland: Governor Hogan Signs Pro-Gun Bill into Law

Yesterday, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed House Bill 312 into law.

California: Anti-Gun Legislators Steamroll Through the Senate

Thursday, May 19, 2016

California: Anti-Gun Legislators Steamroll Through the Senate

Today, Thursday, May 19, anti-gun Senators continued the assault on your rights, voting through ten anti-gun bills and moving one step closer to the Governor’s desk. The ongoing feud between anti-gun senators and Lt Governor ...

NRA Mentors, Take Someone To The Range

News  

Monday, May 23, 2016

NRA Mentors, Take Someone To The Range

Along with encouraging budding shooters to enroll with local NRA Certified Instructors for expert training, mentors can provide actual places to shoot that are safe and welcoming, help new shooters understand firearm safety, handling and ...

Federal Judge (Again) Suspends Enforcement of D.C.'s Prohibitive Concealed Carry Regulation

Monday, May 23, 2016

Federal Judge (Again) Suspends Enforcement of D.C.'s Prohibitive Concealed Carry Regulation

The fight to restore Second Amendment rights in the Nation’s Capital gained an important victory on Tuesday when U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon ordered D.C. officials to begin issuing concealed carry licenses without regard to the ...

California: Immediate Action is Needed by All Gun Owners and Second Amendment Supporters

Monday, May 16, 2016

California: Immediate Action is Needed by All Gun Owners and Second Amendment Supporters

On Monday, May 16, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed and sent nine anti-gun bills straight to the Senate floor.  This move is of great concern not only for the egregious subject matter of the bills ...

Ninth Circuit Holds that Second Amendment Protects the Right to Acquire Firearms

Monday, May 23, 2016

Ninth Circuit Holds that Second Amendment Protects the Right to Acquire Firearms

On Monday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the right to keep and bear arms necessarily includes the right to acquire them.  The case, Teixeira v. County of Alameda, involves a ...

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.