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President’s Column | NRA Supports Rights Of Members, Law Enforcement, Emergency Responders

President’s Column | NRA Supports Rights Of Members, Law Enforcement, Emergency Responders

NRA members, we are at a crossroads in this country. Either we will prevail in elections this yearsaving our nation and preserving our way of life, or if the anti-gun crowd triumphs, America as we have known it will vanish. The far-Left is doing everything it can, including using the awesome powers of government, to tear down the NRA. Why? Because we stand in the way of its end goal to repeal the Second Amendment.

2020 will no doubt be a critical juncture in our country’s history. With your support, NRA can ensure that politicians remain in office who will support and defend our right to defend ourselves and our loved ones. We will work to defeat those who want to disarm us and look down on us because we “cling” to our Bibles and guns.

One reason we all fight to preserve our way of life is to preserve the dignity and authority of the thin blue line: sheriffs and policemen at the local, county and state levels. Dedicated public servants the Left loves to call “pigs” or “racists” or other insulting slurs—the very men and women in blue who risk their own lives every time they put on a uniform.

The NRA also stands with our neighbors, friends and family who are firefighters and emergency medical technicians—those who are the first to respond and arrive at emergencies. We owe them all a debt of gratitude for keeping our communities safe.

Did you know the NRA is one of the largest law-enforcement member organizations in the United States? Of our 5 million members, tens of thousands of them are law-enforcement personnel.

When most people think about NRA, they think about our political efforts. But the NRA was first founded in 1871 to focus on firearms training, education and marksmanship. Simply put—the NRA is the gold standard for safe firearm training. And that includes training of law enforcement.

In fact, one of the five purposes and objectives of the NRA reads, “To train members of law enforcement agencies, the armed forces, the militia, and people of good repute in marksmanship and in the safe handling and efficient use of small arms.”

Since the late 1960s, NRA has provided direct training for law enforcement firearm instructors around the country. We train instructors—almost 70,000 to date—who then return to their agencies to train their officers.

In addition, we at the NRA believe that firearms competition is a direct extension of training. Consequently, the NRA also established competitions for law-enforcement officers to test their accuracy and skill against fellow officers and agencies.

This past September, we conducted the 57th National Police Shooting Championships in Pearl, Miss. The three-day event attracted hundreds of law-enforcement professionals, representing local, state and federal agencies from the United States and across the globe, uniting them to test their marksmanship skills in timed matches from multiple positions and distances. The overall winner was Robert Vadasz—a senior agent with the U.S. Border Patrol.

Another way your NRA honors America’s law-enforcement members is by providing line-of-duty death benefits that are automatically available to any city, county, state or federal law-enforcement officer who is a member of the NRA while killed in the line of duty. Since 2000, the NRA has paid over $3.2 million dollars in death benefits to officers’ families.

In addition, the NRA’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award, established in 1993, recognizes those who put themselves in harm’s way for their fellow officers and citizens they swore to protect. I encourage you to read the stories of past recipients of this award on the NRA Law Enforcement Division’s website: le.nra.org.

NRA members are patriotic. We enthusiastically say the Pledge of Allegiance and proudly sing our National Anthem. 

We also pray for those among us who put their lives on the line each and every day for our safety and freedom. The brave men and women who strap on their badge and service weapon, or don their firefighting gear to keep our communities safe.

Each and every NRA member can be proud of the support that your Association provides to our nation’s first responders. Next time you encounter a police officer, firefighter or emergency medical technician—let them know that the NRA has their back.

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