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Election 2010: Races To Watch

Friday, November 12, 2010

Election 2010:

Races To Watch

The political contests this year will shape the future of our rights. Make sure you Vote Freedom First.

It`s election season again. By the time you read this, you will have been bombarded with campaign ads on television and non-stop radio spots touting candidates at every level—from your local town council to governor and U.S. Senate. You and your fellow voters have a lot of decisions to make. The outcome of those decisions will have a far-reaching impact, because there is one inescapable truth in American politics: Elections have consequences.

As Americans and as voters, there are many issues with which we`re concerned. But always remember that in every election we decide if our freedoms will be protected—and that includes our Second ?Amendment freedoms.

In the next few years, those freedoms will face some big tests. Will we win passage of interstate Right-to-Carry reciprocity? Will we continue to stop extreme anti-hunting groups from banning lead bullets? Will we stand up to the United Nations and reject any international gun control treaty?

And what will happen if Barack Obama has the opportunity to nominate another justice to the Supreme Court? So far, the appointments of Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor represent the Obama administration`s most serious and long-lasting threat to our Second Amendment rights. Strengthening the pro-gun majority in the U.S. Senate is the best way to protect our recent legal victories for future generations.

We will answer most of these questions just days from now. Between now and Election Day, Nov. 2, gun owners must take action to help ensure that pro-gun candidates win the chance to protect our rights. Here are a few of the races gun owners should watch—and where we can make a difference.

Key U.S. Senate Races

John Boozman, Arkansas

As a member of the U.S. House, John Boozman has earned an "A" rating and endorsement from the NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) for his 100 percent pro-gun voting record. During his service in the House, Rep. Boozman stepped forward on crucial issues of importance to gun owners. Notably, he joined "friend of the court" briefs filed by members of Congress in both the Heller and McDonald cases in support of our fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Rep. Boozman is the lead sponsor of a national Right-to-Carry reciprocity bill to allow law-abiding citizens who can legally carry in their home states to carry across the country. He has made it clear that he opposes any effort to reenact the Clinton semi-auto ban. And he voted for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which prohibits reckless lawsuits intended to bankrupt dealers and manufacturers.

A strong supporter of our hunting heritage, Rep. Boozman also voted to protect access to federally owned or administered lands for hunting, fishing, trapping and recreational shooting.

Ken Buck, Colorado

Former federal prosecutor Ken Buck has received an "A" rating from the NRA-PVF for his record of support for our Right to Keep and Bear Arms during his tenure as District Attorney of Weld County.

He opposes any federal legislation to compile a database of gun owners ?or to further restrict Americans` freedoms under the Second Amendment, and he strongly opposes reenacting the Clinton gun and magazine ban.

Buck supports national Right-to-Carry reciprocity to protect the self-defense rights of all law-abiding people across the nation. And he supports Coloradans` right to hunt and shoot on federal lands.

Roy Blunt, Missouri

Of the two leading candidates to replace retiring pro-gun Sen. Kit Bond, only one is a friend of gun owners.

Roy Blunt has been endorsed by the NRA-PVF seven times for his solid pro-gun record and his dedication to protecting our most cherished freedoms. Blunt`s record of support includes cosponsoring national Right-to-Carry reciprocity. He also signed the pro-gun congressional briefs in the Heller and McDonald cases.

In contrast, Blunt`s opponent, Robin Carnahan, is one of the leading anti-gun politicians in Missouri and would certainly continue her efforts to erode our freedoms in the U.S. Senate. Carnahan has earned an NRA-PVF "F" rating for her long history of opposition to Second Amendment rights. Most notably, in 1999, Carnahan proudly led the effort to defeat Missouri`s Proposition B—a ballot initiative that would have established "shall issue" carry permits in Missouri.

Richard Burr, North Carolina

Sen. Richard Burr has had an "A" ?rating from the NRA-PVF in all six of ?his previous campaigns: five races for the U.S. House and one for the U.S. Senate. ?Sen. Burr has never failed to protect the rights of gun owners and sportsmen.

He has cosponsored and voted for key legislation such as the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; the District of Columbia Personal Protection Act; and legislation to force much-needed reform of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Sen. Burr has also played a role in the court battle over the Second Amendment, signing on to the congressional amicus briefs in the landmark Heller and McDonald cases, and voting against the confirmation of both Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Tar Heel State gun owners can count on Sen. Burr to continue opposing anti-gun judicial nominees.

Jerry Moran, Kansas

With Sam Brownback leaving the Senate to become (almost certainly) the next governor of Kansas, gun owners need to elect a new senator who will continue to champion Second Amendment rights. Jerry Moran has proven his commitment to sportsmen and gun owners as ?a member ?of Congress. For that, he`s "A"-rated and endorsed by the NRA-PVF.

Rep. Moran cosponsored and voted for the District of Columbia Personal Protection Act to restore gun rights for Washington, D.C., residents. He`s also cosponsored national Right-to-Carry reciprocity legislation.

Rep. Moran is the lead House sponsor of the Open Fields Initiative, a new program that will fund state efforts to expand public access to private lands for hunting and fishing.

In 2008, Rep. Moran joined the pro-gun congressional brief in the Heller case arguing that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right. He joined the congressional brief in the McDonald case—a brief that helped establish that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental right for all Americans.

Rob Portman, Ohio

Rob Portman has shown gun owners in the Buckeye state a long standing commitment to protecting their rights. He has an "A" rating and is endorsed by the NRA-PVF.

As a longtime House member, Portman voted against the Brady bill in 1993. He also voted against the Clinton semi-auto ban in 1994 and voted to repeal the ban in 1996.

Portman strongly supported the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. He also voted for the District of Columbia Personal Protection Act to restore Second Amendment rights to law-abiding District residents.

In contrast, Portman`s opponent, Lee Fisher, is one of the leading anti-gun officials in Ohio, and has been graded as low as an "F-minus" by the NRA-PVF for his role in support of anti-gun legislation. Fisher is a former board member of the national gun-ban group, Handgun Control, Inc. (now known as the Brady Campaign).

Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania

With a proven pro-Second Amendment record, Pat Toomey has again won endorsement from the NRA-PVF and an "A" rating.

While in Congress, Toomey co-sponsored and voted for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, the District of Columbia Personal Protection Act and consistently supported other pro-gun legislation.

Toomey`s opponent, Joe Sestak, has an "F" rating from the NRA-PVF and has been endorsed by the Brady Campaign.

As if that`s not enough, he`s also endorsed by anti-gun New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. That`s all gun owners need to know—the choice is clear.

Key Governor Races

Gov. Jan Brewer, Arizona

Gov. Jan Brewer has been thrust into the national spotlight this year because of her fight to secure Arizona`s borders. But she has fought just as hard to protect and enhance our Second Amendment rights.

Gov. Brewer has earned an "A+" rating from the NRA-PVF because she has supported and signed legislation that makes Arizona one of the leading states when it comes to protecting our rights. Just check the rankings that gun-ban groups put out as annual publicity stunts; when it comes to the laws these groups love, Arizona usually comes in near the bottom of the list.

Among her achievements, Gov. Brewer expanded protections for Arizonans` right to self-defense, by signing legislation that protects permit holders` Right to Carry in restaurants. She was also instrumental in the passage of legislation that protects the right of Arizona workers to keep firearms locked in their vehicles while parked on company property.

Most dramatically, Gov. Brewer proved her strong commitment to the Second Amendment when she became only the second governor in the nation to sign a "constitutional carry" law, recognizing the right of law-abiding citizens to carry firearms without a permit.

Gov. Dave Heineman, Nebraska

During his first term as Governor of Nebraska, Dave Heineman started strong for Nebraska gun owners. He signed legislation that prohibits cities, counties and municipalities from passing any kind of ordinance relating to registration of handguns for concealed-carry permit holders.

Target shooters and hunters have also found a friend in Gov. Heineman, who has signed legislation that provides much needed protection for shooting ranges in Nebraska. He also signed a bill to create a mentored hunting program and to lower the hunting age to encourage more youth to benefit from our hunting heritage. Those actions have earned him an "A" rating and endorsement from the NRA-PVF.

And what could the future hold Freedom`s work is never done, but Gov. Heineman has said he supports passage of Castle Doctrine legislation to protect the fundamental right of self-defense for Nebraskans.

Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania

In the race for governor of Pennsylvania, there is a clear choice for gun owners. As Pennsylvania`s attorney general, Tom Corbett has proven time and again his commitment to protecting our freedoms. For that commitment, he has earned an "A" rating and endorsement from the NRA-PVF. (In contrast, his opponent, Dan Onorato, has earned an "F" rating from the NRA-PVF and has been endorsed by the Brady Campaign.)

As attorney general, Corbett issued a letter stating clearly that local governments do not have the legal authority to regulate firearms and ammunition. He also has opposed efforts in the state legislature to weaken Pennsylvania`s preemption statute—a major ongoing battle for Pennsylvania gun owners. Attorney General Corbett also tripled the number of concealed-carry reciprocity agreements with other states, greatly advancing the self-defense rights of Pennsylvanians who travel.

Dennis Daugaard, South Dakota

Before becoming lieutenant governor in 2002, hunter and NRA Life member Dennis Daugaard was elected to the state Senate in 1996, 1998 and 2000—with NRA-PVF support each time.

Daugaard has now served eight years as lieutenant governor of South Dakota under pro-gun Gov. Mike Rounds. During that time, the Rounds-Daugaard administration helped enact several pro-gun bills including Castle Doctrine; the right to concealed carry in state parks; repeal of the 48-hour waiting period on handgun sales; and confidentiality for Right-to-Carry permit holders. The administration also supported a law that requires the sale of confiscated guns to benefit law enforcement agencies, and it backed provisions for youth and apprentice hunting.

Daugaard has selected Matt Michels to be his running mate as lieutenant governor. Michels is a former Speaker of the South Dakota House, who was also an NRA-PVF-endorsed candidate.

Scott Walker, Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, the choice for governor could not be more clear. On the one hand, there`s Scott Walker, who earned "A" ratings from the NRA-PVF for the entire 10 years he served in the Wisconsin House of Representatives, and is again "A"-rated and endorsed for 2010. On the other hand, there`s "F"-rated Milwaukee Mayor (and former U.S. Representative) Tom Barrett, who has opposed Second Amendment rights for his entire career.

Scott Walker supported statewide preemption of firearm laws, ensuring that the rights of all Wisconsinites are protected equally. Tom Barrett strongly opposes that preemption law. And while Barrett wants to deny Wisconsin residents` right to self-defense, Scott Walker strongly supports Right-to-Carry and has promised to sign a "shall issue" Right-to-Carry law. Last but not least, Scott Walker voted for an amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution to guarantee the individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms, while Barrett works closely with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to push for new gun laws.

Additionally, running for the U.S. Senate elsewhere are strong supporters like Sen. Charles Grassley in Iowa, Sen. Mike Crapo in Idaho, Sen. John Thune in South Dakota, Sen. Richard Shelby in Alabama, Brad Ellsworth in Indiana, John Hoeven in North Dakota, Joe Manchin in West Virginia, Mike Lee in Utah and Dino Rossi in Washington. Running for governor we have outstanding Second Amendment supporters like Rick Perry in Texas, Rick Scott in Florida, Sam Brownback in Kansas, Gary Herbert in Utah and Sean Parnell in Alaska. And we haven`t even scratched the surface when it comes to important races for the u.s. House and state legislatures.

Fortunately, all the pro-Second Amendment candidates in your state are highlighted on the nra-pvf Political Preference Chart in the center of this magazine, and also available online at www.nrapvf.org. Take the chart with you when you vote and tell your friends. We can make the difference in all of these key races—as long as you go to the polls Nov. 2 to

Vote Freedom First!

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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.