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Don’t Give Up On California—The NRA Hasn’t

Don’t Give Up On California—The NRA Hasn’t

As numerous states are pushing forward to restore the Second Amendment rights of their citizens through “permitless” carry laws and other Right-to-Carry reforms, California seems to be on just the opposite path.

On Tuesday, the Assembly Public Safety Committee failed to pass Assembly Bill 757, also known as the “shall-issue” concealed-carry bill, by a party-line vote. The measure would simply have brought the Golden State into line with most other states in the nation, doing away with the ability of bureaucrats and politicians to deny concealed-carry permits for inconsequential reasons.

“Today the Democrat majority spat in the face of the Constitution by killing this measure,” Republican Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, author of the bill, said in a statement. “The Constitution guarantees equal protection under the law, yet the current system we have for issuing CCWs in California is anything but equal. Rest assured, this fight for equality isn’t over.”

The constant attack on the Second Amendment in California is likely enough to make law-abiding gun owners there throw their hands up in frustration. And such actions cause many across the country to wonder if the state is simply a lost cause.

Put simply: It is not. In fact, California has more National Rifle Association members than any other state. And the NRA is redoubling its efforts to fight for California gun owners’ rights in the face of the constant attacks they endure.

The Association has invested in new data management and communication tools in the fight for California freedom. NRA has also recast how it works with local activists.

Many of these new approaches were tested in the 2016 presidential race. The NRA and its members were quite successful in that endeavor, and the entire culture of Washington has changed for the better. Now the Association is ready to expand this new approach to the state level, and California is the tip of the spear.  

NRA even launched a new California website—Stand And Fight California—to assist in the battle for firearm rights in the state. The website includes legislative updates, legal updates, California-specific news items, information on volunteering and other helpful sections.The constant attack on the Second Amendment in California is likely enough to make law-abiding gun owners in the state throw up their hands in frustration.

“Some of you think NRA has given up on California, but we haven’t,” Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA executive director, said in a recorded message to a recent gathering of the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA). “And neither have you. Your being here proves it. You’re taking a stand for your liberty. It’s the same stand tens of millions of law-abiding gun owners made last November when they went to the polls across the country and voted freedom first.

“It’s not always easy to see, when the goons in Sacramento pass stupid law after stupid law. But it’s real, and it has an impact across America.”

Cox said the November election wasn’t an end point to restoring freedom, but only a place to start.

“We aren’t done,” he said. “Because as you and your fellow 12 million gun owners in California know, the fight to restore our freedom is far from over. And the truth is, we’re just getting started. Today’s event must mark an historic beginning of a renewed fight for freedom, and your NRA is with you in this fight. We’ll deploy every ounce of manpower, technology and financial support possible.

“Every penny raised in California will go to the fight for freedom in California.”“Every penny raised in California will go to the fight for freedom in California.” — Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director

Cox concluded his remarks by reiterating NRA’s commitment to gun owners in California, vowing that NRA will never abandon them. But, he said, winning will take an outstanding effort by all involved. 

“Look, it won’t be easy,” he said. “The anti-gun extremists we face are well-organized and well-funded. A great challenge faces every Californian who believes in our right to keep and bear arms—especially the right to protect yourself and your family. But in this effort, the NRA will never back down, and never surrender our God-given rights. 

“I ask that we all resolve to do everything in our power, together, to fight as hard as we can and as long as it takes to see our rights fully restored in California.”

Mark Chesnut has been the editor of America’s 1st Freedom magazine for nearly 17 years and is an avid hunter, shooter and political observer.