President’s Column | My Take On NRA’s Leader, Wayne LaPierre

by
at President, NRA posted on August 20, 2019
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As president of the NRA and a long-time member of its Board of Directors, I’ve seen firsthand why NRA has been so successful in achieving the remarkable track record that honest, hard-working Americans rely on and that our political enemies fear. This unprecedented victory streak has expanded the right to carry to almost every state, expanded public hunting on federal lands and helped win legislative and courtroom victories from coast to coast. How did we come so far? What’s been integral to the NRA’s success?

More than any other reason, it’s been four decades of brilliant work from Wayne LaPierre. This man has dedicated his life to advancing the NRA’s critically important mission. No one knows the issues like he does, and no one has worked as hard or made all the personal sacrifices he has on behalf of our cause. There are a very small number of people who can pick up the phone and call President Donald Trump directly like he can. Put simply, Wayne is vital to our cause.

And yet, despite all Wayne has done to preserve American values, an unthinkable time has come when individuals who portray themselves as champions of the NRA and the Second Amendment are abetting the progressive-socialist campaign to destroy the NRA and strip away those freedoms we hold so dear. Spurred on by the anti-gun media, these destructive forces accuse Wayne of an ever-changing litany of baseless offenses and claim he is mismanaging the Association.

Spurred on by the anti-gun media, these destructive forces accuse Wayne of an ever-changing litany of baseless offenses and claim he is mismanaging the Association.

Don’t believe it! There’s not a shred of evidence to support those reckless and false rumors. I’ve seen the books, I’ve met with staff, donors and political supporters at all levels and, most importantly, with NRA members, and I reiterate: The NRA is on firm financial footing. We remain the strongest force for gun owners and for all Americans who value freedom. This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to sabotage our mission to help re-elect President Donald Trump and a Congress that will not yield on the Second Amendment.

Think about where America would be if Wayne LaPierre had not been our leader these past 40 years. How many states would have some form of concealed carry? Would all law-abiding American gun owners be permitted to buy affordable guns, and transport them freely for lawful purposes? Would Americans be trusted to own modern semi-automatic rifles, or to own the standard magazines for such rifles? Would commonsense measures like preemption statutes, Castle Doctrine, range protection and criminalizing hunter harassment be the law in so many states? Would firearm companies be able to conduct their time-honored business without the constant threat of lawsuits? 

Not without Wayne. Starting as a lobbyist, Wayne has excelled in every way. He has more than doubled the NRA membership today from the 2 million members it was when he assumed the role of executive vice president to the 5+ million it is today.

From my position as NRA President, I assure you Wayne is a highly skilled manager who makes full use of his resources. We talk often, and he is very hands-on in working with the officers and Board members. He keeps us up to date, digests our input and works with NRA’s various committees. All of us within the NRA leadership take our roles very seriously, but none more so than Wayne LaPierre.

When I look back on the people whom I have admired the most in my life—those who truly influenced me—honestly, it’s been a small group. My father; my longtime friend, Phyllis Schlafly; Lawrence “Larry” McDonald, a Democrat congressman from Georgia who died in an airplane shot down by the Soviets in 1983; and Wayne LaPierre of the NRA. What do they all have in common? They were and are honest and steadfast fighters for the Second Amendment and liberty.

Although some may think they have turned the political tide against the NRA, nothing is further from the truth. We are winning and are continuing to push back against those who would take away our rights. And you need only to look at all the Democrat presidential contenders to know that the fight is far from over. In fact, our fight is more critical today than ever before. And Wayne is the man at the tip of the spear.

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