Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

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
Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

News  

Friday, September 7, 2018

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

Levi Strauss & Co. established its brand in the mid-19th century by selling durable clothing to working-class Americans. As Levi’s signature jeans gained popularity amongst a wider set in the middle of the last century, ...

Surprise: Physician Group Rehashes Same Tired Gun Control Policies

News  

Friday, November 2, 2018

Surprise: Physician Group Rehashes Same Tired Gun Control Policies

Everyone has hobbies. Some doctors’ collective hobby is opining on firearms policy. Half of the articles in the “Latest from Annals” email from the Annals of Internal Medicine journal are related to firearms. The most prominent of these ...

Missing the Marx: Gun Control’s Future is … Communism?

News  

Friday, November 2, 2018

Missing the Marx: Gun Control’s Future is … Communism?

After every high profile crime committed with a firearm of any sort, there are always calls for gun control. But one particular proposal this week managed to distinguish itself amid the usual din, if only ...

Midterm Elections Offer Motivation to Continue the Fight For Our Rights

News  

Friday, November 9, 2018

Midterm Elections Offer Motivation to Continue the Fight For Our Rights

The votes have all been cast in the 2018 midterm elections. And while the counting and recounting is still under way in some places, the overall picture that has emerged soundly refutes the breathless media narrative of ...

NRA Challenges Constitutional Violations in Initiative 1639

News  

Thursday, November 15, 2018

NRA Challenges Constitutional Violations in Initiative 1639

The NRA was joined by the Second Amendment Foundation in filing a lawsuit challenging gun control measures recently passed in Washington ballot initiative I-1639.

Former ATF Agent Pulls Mask Off Giffords’s Plans for Federal AR-15 Registration

News  

Friday, November 2, 2018

Former ATF Agent Pulls Mask Off Giffords’s Plans for Federal AR-15 Registration

In an odd turn, just before Halloween one prominent gun control group briefly got out of costume. When former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly launched Americans for Responsible Solutions (now named Giffords) in ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Videos Reveal Arizona’s Sinema and Florida’s Gillum Downplay Anti-gun Positions

News  

Friday, November 2, 2018

Videos Reveal Arizona’s Sinema and Florida’s Gillum Downplay Anti-gun Positions

In the last decade, gun control groups have tried to get more sophisticated with how they market their unpopular ideas. Some gun control advocates have gone so far as to partner with high-profile public relations firms to ...

Georgia Gubernatorial Candidate Stacey Abrams Reiterates Support for Semi-automatic Ban

News  

Friday, November 2, 2018

Georgia Gubernatorial Candidate Stacey Abrams Reiterates Support for Semi-automatic Ban

During a recent segment on ABC’s The View, Stacey Abrams reiterated her support for a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. During an interview with the candidate, host Meghan McCain, daughter of longtime U.S. Senator John McCain, ...

Ohio: House to Consider Pro-Gun Legislation Tomorrow

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Ohio: House to Consider Pro-Gun Legislation Tomorrow

Tomorrow, the Ohio House of Representatives is scheduled to consider House Bill 228.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.