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Friday, May 3, 2013

NRA Members rolled up their sleeves and went to work at today's NRA-ILA Grassroots Workshop, held in conjunction with NRA's Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Houston, Texas. Though many attendees were home state Texans, NRA members were represented from states all across the country. Diversity in geography notwithstanding, all were united in a singular mission--learning what MORE they could do to protect and preserve our Second Amendment rights!

As they do every year, many of NRA's Officers stopped by the Workshop to pay tribute to the attendees who serve as the tips of our grassroots arrow. NRA President David Keene, NRA First Vice President Jim Porter, and NRA Second Vice President Allan Cors each came to the podium and gave credit for NRA's recent legislative victories in the U.S. Senate to whom it rightly belongs--our members and grassroots activists. Each stressed the need for attendees to continue their vigilance in defense of the Second Amendment, noting that this battle has not ended. 

In addition to his remarks highlighting the continued importance of our grassroots efforts, NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox presented the “Defender of Freedom Award” to Louisiana State Senator Neil Riser (R-32).  Senator Riser was recognized for his efforts in passing the nation’s strongest constitutional protection for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. The provision is unique because it is the first time in the history of our country that this right is expressly protected as “fundamental” and requires a “strict scrutiny” level of review. Senator Riser led the passage of the amendment in the legislature and worked around the state to help pass this ballot initiative.

On Election Day 2012, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms amendment passed with 73% of the vote. There were nine ballot questions and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms amendment garnered the most votes with 1,331,891.  It also received 49,082 more votes than the second highest vote percentage ballot question!

Also in attendance at today’s Workshop were a number of NRA-ILA's Election Volunteer Coordinators (EVCs)--who once again are prepared to lead the charge in recruiting and organizing pro-gun volunteers for legislative activism and in preparation for the all-important 2014 elections.

After NRA-ILA Grassroots staff conducted presentations on the state of NRA-ILA’s Grassroots union, our legislative efforts, keys to effective activism, and NRA-ILA Grassroots programs, the “In Their Own Words” panel was assembled.  This panel featured NRA-ILA staff and two of our Election Volunteer Coordinators (EVCs)--David Adams of Virginia and Nate Crain of Texas.  The panelists discussed effective utilization of social networking, tracking state legislation, and organizing volunteer events.  Upon conclusion of their presentations, the panelists took questions from the audience.

Based on the level of focus, energy, and enthusiasm of those who packed the room today, it is clear that our Members understand that our fight is not over, and they will “Stand And Fight” with NRA…in Houston and beyond!  

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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.