This feature appears in the September ‘16 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.
Whoever controls the Senate will determine the future of gun rights.
Hillary Clinton has proudly proclaimed that if she’s elected president, the destruction of our Second Amendment-protected rights will be her priority from “day one.” And while a majority of the American people don’t trust her, this is one time when we must take her at her word.
While the race for the White House is a huge priority, we can’t forget the other elections that we must be engaged in to protect our Second Amendment freedoms.
Recent events in Congress illustrate how important every election—for every office—is to securing our freedom. When Obama, Clinton, and others blamed law-abiding gun owners for the terrorist attack in Orlando, Fla., it was pro-gun senators who defeated gun control proposals. If not for our pro-gun defenders in that chamber, our opponents’ scheme might have succeeded.
But as gun owners know all too well, this recent battle won’t be our last. The passing of a pro-gun legend on the U.S. Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia, means that the Senate will be called upon to confirm or reject the next president’s choice to fill the vacancy.
If Clinton wins the presidency, the fight over Scalia’s seat will be just the beginning. The House and Senate would be all that’s standing between her and her deep-seated desire to eliminate our freedoms.
This means we must do all we can to keep Congress in pro-gun hands. And it all starts in the Senate, where Michael Bloomberg and anti-gun groups have targeted several U.S. Senate seats in their bid to secure a gun control majority.
We cannot let them succeed. The following is a partial list of the states where we must prevail.
In Alabama, incumbent and A+-rated Sen. Richard Shelby is running against Democratic challenger, Ron Crumpton.
Shelby has been an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment for nearly two decades in the U.S. Senate. He has voted in favor of national Right-to-Carry reciprocity; voted multiple times against Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s failed semi-automatic ban; and opposed President Barack Obama’s anti-gun Supreme Court nominees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
He was also a co-sponsor of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, protecting the firearm industry against frivolous lawsuits; voted against multiple bills to mandate “universal” background checks that would criminalize private transfers of firearms; and voted to prohibit gun confiscation during states of emergency.
We need to keep Richard Shelby working for us in the U.S. Senate.
Gun owners in Colorado have an opportunity this year to replace the anti-gun incumbent, F-rated Sen. Michael Bennet, with pro-gun, A-rated Darryl Glenn.
Bennet has opposed our rights at every turn, supporting the U.N. gun ban treaty; supporting a ban on semi-automatic firearms and standard-capacity magazines; and supporting anti-gun U.S. Supreme Court justices. In addition, he supports President Obama’s anti-gun executive actions and opposed legislation to preserve the Second Amendment-protected rights of veterans.
Glenn, on the other hand, supports veterans’ firearm freedoms; opposes a ban on semi-automatic firearms and standard-capacity magazines; and opposes the U.N. gun ban treaty. In addition, he opposes anti-gun nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court.
We need to send Darryl Glenn to the U.S. Senate this fall.
A+-rated Sen. Marco Rubio is a proven Second Amendment advocate who will continue to support our firearm freedoms.
Rubio has opposed Obama’s anti-gun Supreme Court nominees; voted against Feinstein’s semi-automatic ban; and sponsored legislation that would repeal Draconian gun control laws in Washington, D.C., and restore the right of self-defense to law-abiding individuals in our nation’s capital.
He’s also voted against denying persons on secret government lists from purchasing or possessing firearms; voted against a ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds; and voted against so-called “universal” background check legislation.
Marco Rubio has earned the support of Florida’s gun owners in November.
In Georgia, A-rated Sen. Johnny Isakson has established a clear record in favor of our Right to Keep and Bear Arms and should be supported by Georgia’s law- abiding gun owners.
Isakson has voted in favor of national Right-to-Carry reciprocity legislation; opposed semi-automatic bans; voted to prohibit gun confiscation during states of emergency; supported legislation to prohibit firearm manufacturers and dealers from liability for the criminal acts of third parties; and opposed legislation to strip the Second Amendment-protected rights of law-abiding Americans based on secret government lists.
Georgia gun owners should support Johnny Isakson’s re-election to the U.S. Senate.
In the Hoosier state, A+-rated Rep. Todd Young is running against former Sen. Evan Bayh, a Democrat. Although Bayh left the Senate in 2010, gun owners in Indiana should remember that he repeatedly opposed their rights.
F-rated Bayh voted in favor of Obama’s anti-gun Supreme Court nominees Sotomayor and Kagan; voted in favor of Feinstein’s semi-automatic and magazine ban; and voted against protecting firearm manufacturers and dealers against lawsuits meant to bankrupt them for the criminal acts of third parties.
In contrast, Young is a Second Amendment stalwart, having consistently defended gun owners in the U.S. House of Representatives. He opposed the Obama administration’s attempts to ban the most popular and commonly used ammunition in America; opposes Feinstein’s failed semi-automatic and magazine ban; and cosponsored legislation to create national Right-to-Carry reciprocity for concealed carry permit holders.
Todd Young deserves the support of Indiana gun owners to continue his defense of our freedoms in the U.S. Senate.
In the Hawkeye State, Senate Judiciary chairman, longtime defender of our firearm freedom and NRA A+-rated Sen. Chuck Grassley is being challenged by former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge.
Grassley’s support of the Second Amendment is unquestioned, including his leadership as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He has opposed Feinstein’s semi-automatic and magazine ban; supported national Right-to-Carry reciprocity legislation; opposed “universal” background checks; opposed gun control laws for Washington, D.C.; and voted to prohibit gun confiscation during states of emergency, as happened after Hurricane Katrina.
In addition, he is leading the fight against President Obama’s attempt to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Scalia’s passing with anti-gun nominee Merrick Garland.
Chuck Grassley should be supported by law-abiding Iowa gun owners so he can continue working on our behalf in the U.S. Senate.
A-rated Sen. Rand Paul is well known for his support of liberty in the U.S. Senate, and that includes his tireless defense of our firearm freedom.
Paul opposes Obama’s anti-gun nominees to the Supreme Court; opposed so-called “universal” background checks; and voted for legislation to repeal a gun ban in Washington, D.C. He also supported national Right-to-Carry reciprocity legislation; opposed the U.N. gun ban treaty; and voted against Feinstein’s failed semi-automatic and magazine ban.
Rand Paul should be supported in November to continue the fight for our freedoms in the U.S. Senate.
A-rated Sen. Roy Blunt is being challenged by F-rated Democrat Jason Kander.
Kander is no friend of the Second Amendment. When he served in the state Legislature, Kander voted against NRA-sponsored legislation to expand Castle Doctrine protections, and he supports so-called “universal” background checks.
In contrast, Roy Blunt has been a consistent defender of our Second Amendment-protected rights in Congress. He voted against repeated attempts to pass “universal” background check legislation; voted against bans on semi-automatic rifles and standard-capacity magazines; and opposed attempts to ban firearm purchases for those wrongly included on secret government lists.
In Missouri, the choice is clear. Roy Blunt should be supported by law-abiding gun owners to continue his work on our behalf in the U.S. Senate.
Anti-gun U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid decided not to seek re-election this year, giving Nevada gun owners an opportunity to put this seat in pro-gun hands.
Reid’s handpicked choice to succeed him, F-rated Catherine Cortez-Masto, has a clear record of opposing the Second Amendment. In 2015, she worked against a campus carry bill in the state Legislature, testifying that the legislation was “a solution in search of a problem.” Evidently, she believes that self-defense is not a fundamental right.
Cortez-Masto also supports so-called “universal” background checks; supports denying Second Amendment-protected rights with no due process for those who have been placed on secret government lists; and praised Obama for his executive actions on gun control.
In contrast, A-rated Republican Joe Heck has supported our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Heck voted for national Right-to-Carry reciprocity legislation and has co-sponsored a bill to protect the firearm freedoms of Social Security beneficiaries.
Heck also opposed the U.N. gun ban treaty and voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder criminally and civilly liable for his role in attempting to hide the facts in the tragic Fast and Furious scandal.
Gun owners in Nevada should send Joe Heck to the U.S. Senate in November.
Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images
A+-rated Sen. Richard Burr is being challenged by F-rated Deborah Ross, a former state legislator who has used every opportunity to work against gun owners while in office.
Ross has a long history of supporting anti-gun bills. She consistently tried to undermine Right-to-Carry in North Carolina by voting against a bill to eliminate prohibited places; voting against a bill providing for reciprocity agreements with other states; and opposed protecting permittee information from invasions of privacy.
Burr, on the other hand, has proven his support for our firearm freedom. He opposed so-called “universal” background check legislation; opposed denying Second Amendment-protected rights for those on secret government lists; and opposed Obama’s anti-gun Supreme Court nominees Sotomayor and Kagan.
Burr also voted for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; voted for a bill to require concealed-carry reciprocity for permit holders; and has been the lead sponsor of legislation to protect the firearm freedoms of veterans.
Gun owners should return Richard Burr to the U.S. Senate this fall.
F-rated Democrat Ted Strickland is challenging A-rated Sen. Rob Portman in Ohio. While Strickland did receive pro-gun grades when in the U.S. House and later as governor, he has since turned his back on gun owners in the Buckeye State.
After leaving the governor’s mansion, Strickland served as president of an anti-gun group in Washington, D.C., that supports firearm registration and mandatory gun permits for semi-automatic firearms. Strickland also supports reckless lawsuits that would bankrupt American firearm manufacturers.
Portman, on the other hand, is a staunch defender of the Second Amendment. He voted in favor of national Right-to-Carry reciprocity legislation and opposed a ban on semi-automatic rifles and standard capacity magazines. He also opposes so-called “universal” background checks; the U.N. gun-ban treaty; and any attempt to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
The choice in this race is clear. Rob Portman has stood up for the Second Amendment at every turn. Ohio gun owners should strongly support his re-election.
Badger State voters have a clear choice between A-rated Sen. Ron Johnson and F-rated Russ Feingold.
Feingold’s support of anti-gun legislation is extensive. He voted for Feinstein’s so-called “assault weapons” ban; voted in favor of a ban on standard-capacity magazines; voted in favor of a handgun purchase waiting period; opposed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; and voted in favor of Obama’s anti-gun Supreme Court nominees, Sotomayor and Kagan.
In contrast, Johnson has consistently defended our firearm freedoms. He voted for Right-to-Carry reciprocity; opposes so-called “universal” background checks; and is against banning semi-automatic rifles and standard capacity magazines. He also opposes the confirmation of anti-gun Supreme Court nominees.
This November, gun owners should return Ron Johnson to the U.S. Senate.
It’s no overstatement to say that the Second Amendment hangs in the balance in this year’s elections. In addition to the Senate races mentioned above, NRA members and supporters need to work hard in support of our pro-gun friends in the U.S, House governors’ mansions, and other state and local races across the country. It is important to invest some time researching and educating every gun owner you know about the candidates who support our rights. Please visit our websites often to make sure you have the most up-to-date election information and are prepared to help deliver the votes needed to secure our Second Amendment-protected freedoms.
As with every election, our rights will be protected so long as our voices are heard—loudly and clearly—in November.