From the time I joined the NRA, I always felt we were the underdog, even though a majority of America was on our side.
We are perpetually fighting against massive media conglomerates, Hollywood elites, anti-gun politicians at every level of government and the billionaire tycoons who do their bidding.
However, NRA members have always had something more powerful: a streak of independence that courses through our veins today and runs straight back to our founders. A yearning for freedom fuels us for the fight.
Despite the infinite volume of money and power aligned against us, the accomplishments of our five million NRA members, and the many millions who came before us, are historical.
In fact, they almost defy belief. Just consider how NRA has defended, preserved, and won back lost freedoms during an era that has seen citizens of almost every other nation disarmed and stripped of their freedom.
When future generations look back at this crucial moment in history, let them record that NRA members once again wielded the sword of freedom.
We passed a law securing the right of law-abiding Americans to travel through any state in the U.S. with their firearms. Plus we passed preemption bills in virtually every state so you don’t have to navigate a crazy patchwork of local city and town laws in your own state.
We fought hard to remove the most-egregious parts of the 1968 Gun Control Act, and continue to fight for the restoration of gun owners’ rights at every level.
We passed laws protecting ranges and stopped government from denying access to millions of acres of hunting land.
We passed laws so officials cannot confiscate our guns in an emergency, like they did after Hurricane Katrina, leaving us defenseless when we need our firearms the most.
We passed laws arming airline pilots/retired police officers and Castle Doctrine laws.
Together, we saved the American firearm industry by passing federal legislation to stop predatory, anti-gun lawsuits that would have driven gun manufacturers out of business.
We passed right-to-carry laws in more than 40 states so that Americans never have to face evil with empty hands. When we first started this mission, there were only about three states with decent carry laws—working together, we changed that!
Through the landmark Heller and McDonald Supreme Court decisions, we affirmed what our Founding Fathers wrote plainly in the Second Amendment, and what we all know to be true: Our right to keep and bear arms is a guaranteed, natural and individual right that no government can take away from us!
And there’s no other member organization more directly responsible for the election of two recent U.S. presidents, thousands of U.S. senators, representatives and state legislators—not to mention the hundreds of pro-freedom judges that came from those victories!
As NRA celebrates the 150th anniversary of our founding this year, we can say indisputably: We are the oldest, strongest and most successful civil-rights organization in American history.
However, because of our strength and record of success, we are now under attack in a way that should horrify every American.
NRA is fighting a politically weaponized concentration of government power at the New York state level, and increasingly at the federal level—fueled by the bottomless coffers of government and anti-gun billionaires—like no political organization has ever seen before.
Our adversaries have not been able to defeat us on a fair, legal and democratic playing field. So now, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Letitia James have resorted to weaponizing government and regulatory power to destroy and eliminate the NRA. They want to literally snuff out our voice and our existence. Their assault is unconstitutional, tyrannical and in complete defiance of the rule of law.
The real question to be answered here is this: Can a United States citizen or organization take a position, or have a political viewpoint different from government officials, and not be unjustly persecuted and targeted for destruction? The fact is, crushing free speech is the same evil deed whether it takes place in Cuba, China, Russia or our own country.
This cuts to the very core of what has always separated America from so much of the world.
I believe this attack ranks right up there with the shots fired at Concord Bridge. And right now, we find ourselves at a moment in history that will be remembered for the next 150 years or more.
If our government leaders so lose their way that they abuse power to annihilate organizations or individuals who have a different point of view, then the promise of our Founding Fathers will be lost. Our God-given right to speak freely, bear arms, practice our faith, own property—every sacred freedom enumerated in the Bill of Rights—is at risk.
NRA members are a special breed—freedom warriors who always stand up and never back down when our sacred rights are threatened. Because our cause is just.
When future generations look back at this crucial moment in history, let them record that NRA members once again wielded the sword of freedom, stared down overwhelming odds and saved this great nation from those who would destroy it!