With National Police Week in May, I want to highlight NRA’s steadfast support for the law enforcement community. During National Police Week 2023, the NRA will honor America’s heroic men and women of law enforcement. While some Americans will often take these heroes for granted, the bond between the NRA and our men and women in blue is strong, and so is our sincere gratitude for all that they do. In this same vein, NRA is a proud sponsor and supporter of the National Law Enforcement Hall of Fame in Toledo, Ohio, to honor law enforcement officers who have gone above and beyond in the line of duty.
In 1960, with the formation of its Law Enforcement Division, the NRA became a valuable resource providing law enforcement-specific training for instructors. After training, instructors go on to train law enforcement officers in their home districts. There are more than 59,000 instructors that have been trained by NRA Law Enforcement programs and, of those trained, 13,000 instructors are currently active. For Police Firearms Instructors, NRA produces continuously updated lesson plans and manuals for handgun, tactical shotgun, patrol rifle, select-fire, precision rifle and tactical shooting, as well as conducting Law Enforcement Instructor Development Schools. Additionally, each year, the NRA sanctions more than 800 Police Pistol Combat tournaments. Learn more at le.nra.org.
If you have a friend or loved one serving in law enforcement, encourage them to take advantage of a discounted rate for NRA membership by signing up at membership.nra.org/lead/join. The special discounted membership is just one benefit offered to the brave men and women of law enforcement. Another benefit is the NRA Law Enforcement Officer Line of Duty Death Benefit, which provides $35,000 to the next of kin of any officer killed in the line of duty who was an active NRA member at the time of passing. Since 2000, the NRA has paid out nearly $4 million in benefits to survivors of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
Since 1993, NRA has also recognized law enforcement officers for exceptional acts or services by awarding the NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. Nominations for this award are accepted by the NRA Law Enforcement Division and then presented to the NRA Law Enforcement Assistance Committee, a standing committee of the Board of Directors, who selects the award winner. The 2022 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year is Deputy Mark Johns of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office. In brief, while serving a court order last year, a suspect began firing at Deputy Johns and other Oklahoma County deputies. Despite being critically wounded, Deputy Johns continued to return fire to protect himself and others. His courage under fire is a credit to his department and keeps with the highest standards of law enforcement. For more information about the NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award, and to read more about Deputy Johns’ brave actions, visit awards.nra.org/awards/nra-officer-of-the-year-award.
Here at NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Va., we proudly fly the “Thin Blue Line” flag every day to showcase our unwavering support for law enforcement officers of every background. And I am proud to be a part of an association that unapologetically stands shoulder to shoulder with the brave public servants who keep our country, communities and streets safe.