After more than four decades of dedicated Second Amendment advocacy work, Marion P. Hammer is retiring from her position as Florida state lobbyist for the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA).
Hammer began working with the NRA in September of 1978 and served as the NRA’s first woman president from 1996 to 1998.
“Marion Hammer’s name has become synonymous with the Second Amendment and with the NRA,” said Wayne LaPierre, NRA’s executive vice president and CEO. “She is a dynamic and legendary advocate who has led the way with many laws that started in Florida and then served as a blueprint across the country.”
Hammer has tirelessly and very effectively pursued legislation favorable to responsible gun ownership, particularly in Florida but also affecting all Americans. She fought for the nation’s first shall-issue law, ensuring law-abiding gun owners were not subject to unelected officials’ whims when exercising their Second Amendment rights. Another very significant win was the passage of stand-your-ground, or castle-doctrine, law in Florida, helping ensure citizens have the ability to defend themselves against intruders in their homes.
Hammer has also fought for and won pre-emption protection and penalties (to help prevent the patchwork of gun-control restrictions many cities have sought to implement), reciprocity so concealed-carriers could carry in other states, church carry, protection against confiscation in declared state-of-emergency situations, gun-registration prohibitions, right to carry in national forests and numerous additional protections for hunters, shooting ranges and manufacturers. Many of the laws she shepherded through became model legislation used to help protect law-abiding gun ownership in other states as well.
Critical as every one of these wins is, Hammer often points out that the free Eddie Eagle Gun Safe program she spearheaded during her time as president is perhaps even more important, as it teaches millions of children nationwide what to do should they encounter a gun (stop, don’t touch, run away, tell a grown-up). Besides the catchy video with lessons and examples, the eddieeagle.com page offers children activities, sing-alongs, coloring pages and storybooks that all emphasize safety.
Though handing the official lobbying role to others, Hammer intends to continue to serve as an advisor and NRA board member.
“The fight for freedom continues,” Hammer said. “That’s NRA’s mission. That’s my mission. That’s your mission. I have dedicated over four decades of my life to protecting the Second Amendment and freedom. It may no longer be my job, but it certainly is my responsibility—as well as yours.”
“I am grateful that Marion will stay on as an advisor to the Association,” added LaPierre, “so our members can continue to benefit from her expertise and defense of their freedoms.”