Standing Guard | Farewell And Thank You

posted on February 20, 2024
Wayne LaPierre

Forty-five years ago, as a very young man, I accepted a position as a legislative assistant with the National Rifle Association of America. I had no idea that I would one day assume the leadership of the NRA, or that my involvement with this Association would span nearly half a century of American politics. But I believed then, as I do now, that there is no greater calling for an American citizen than to fight for the founding principles of this great nation.

From the day I joined the NRA, I always tried to work hard and let my performance speak for itself. I tried to do my best for our members and our Constitutional freedoms.

I can point with pride to the NRA’s many achievements over the years I’ve led this organization—not only winning legislative, regulatory and courtroom battles, but also changing the hearts and minds of tens of millions of Americans when it comes to guns and to crime issues.

But my greatest pride is in the relationship I’ve shared with you and millions of your fellow patriots across this great nation. One by one, there is little that any of us could have done to prevent the ultimate destruction of the Second Amendment and all it stands for. But standing together, we have not only saved and strengthened this right, but written an extraordinary chapter in our nation’s history books that will endure for generations to come.

Today marks my final communication with you in my official NRA role. After forty-five years, it is time for me to step aside and watch you write the next chapter for American freedom. And in saying this final goodbye to you and my other fellow warriors, I want to say to you that my life has truly been blessed.

There are simply no words that can adequately convey my gratitude to you—my brothers and sisters in arms—for your forty-five years of confidence in me and your commitment to carry the fight into the future. I’ve found my purpose and my strength in standing by your side these many years, in your never-ending commitment to freedom, and in your courage under fire in some of the toughest political battles of the 20th and 21st centuries.

I know I leave the NRA in good hands. I’ve always said that the NRA isn’t a building in Washington, D.C., or anywhere else. It’s an idea—and an ideal—that transcends who we are as individuals and stirs us to muster together under freedom’s banner.

From America’s seacoasts to our wheat fields, from tiny towns to big cities, from men and women in the military and law enforcement, from plinkers to Olympians, from every church and synagogue and mosque, from football stands and deer stands, from the halls of Congress and to the bounds of outer space, you will find NRA members standing tall and proud.

You will find Americans who know in their hearts that they were born into rights that are worth fighting for. Who know that freedom is precious beyond life itself. And who believe today—as I did when I first came to the NRA 45 years ago—that fighting for that freedom is the highest calling for any American.

I know you are up to this essential task. I know that you will carry the banner high. And I know that as I watch you continue the fight in the years to come, my heart will be filled with pride in your achievements.

I bid you farewell, and I thank you for the opportunity you’ve given me to play a role in defending American liberty. God bless you always, and God bless this great nation.



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