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By Chris Cox, Executive Director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, republished from

It’s an encouraging sign of progress that when it comes to the issue of firearms in America, the pro-freedom viewpoint establishes the terms of the debate.

You’d be hard-pressed these days to find a gun control advocate who would admit to wanting to repeal the Second Amendment and ban private gun ownership. Yet gun control proponents have the same goals as they always have.

At best, they look to Australia and Europe as their guide. Gun ownership might still be possible for a dedicated or privileged few, but only at the discretion of a designated official—and even then subject to such intrusive, expensive and burdensome bureaucracy so as to scare off all but the most dogged or well-heeled.

At worst, they embody the Hillary Clinton view that the Supreme Court was “wrong” on the Second Amendment’s individual right and that taxpayer-financed surrender programs should be undertaken at the national level.

Too many Americans already live under some version of the first scenario. Lawfully owing a gun in Boston, Los Angeles, Newark, New York City, San Francisco or Washington, D.C., is not much easier than in the European capitals that are the subject of hero worship among these cities’ ruling classes. Lawfully carrying a gun for self-defense is wholly out of reach for the common man or woman.

But the modern gun control movement insists that it “supports” the Second Amendment and merely wants “reasonable regulation” aimed at reducing “gun violence.”

Again and again, they speak of wanting a “conversation” and finding “middle ground.” But the only thing they want to talk about is where to start with further restrictions on the Second Amendment-protected rights of law-abiding Americans. And their idea of “middle ground” is phasing in their gun control schemes by increments.

And here’s where I begin the conversation. Guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are a force for good. We should encourage that. We should make responsible gun ownership as straightforward and accessible as possible.

Self-defense is an inalienable human right. Hunting contributes to the sound management of natural resources, strengthens ties within families and between friends, and instills a love of nature and the outdoors. The shooting sports build character, awareness and the competency necessary for responsible gun ownership.

Guns should be available to rich people, poor people and everybody in between. They should be available to residents of cities, suburbs, rural areas and small towns.

The only valid basis of discrimination in determining who should be entitled to own a gun is distinguishing between those who would use them for lawful purposes and those who would use them to commit crime.

In making this determination, we should always respect the presumption of innocence and make the government justify curtailment of rights with due process and solid evidence. Americans should never have to justify the exercise of their constitutional rights.

We should always sternly punish those who use guns illegally to harm others. But we should never punish someone simply for wanting to exercise their birthright to keep and bear arms.

These are the principles on which the NRA’s legislative agenda is based. They’re not difficult to understand. For most people, they’re practically second nature.

It’s no wonder, then, that we continue to make great progress on that agenda.

As I write this, at least 50 pro-gun bills have been signed into law at the state level in 2017, with eight more awaiting action by governors. Iowa enacted one of the most significant pro-gun legislative packages in the state’s history, and recently New Hampshire and North Dakota joined the growing list of states that recognize the right of law-abiding residents to carry concealed handguns without a permit.

And pro-gun bills are proliferating in Congress, with your NRA working day and night to ensure that this historic opportunity to move federal legislation does not pass us by.

National reciprocity is still our top legislative priority. Every state now has some legal mechanism for its own residents to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense in public. Some 15 million Americans have concealed-carry permits, with perhaps tens of thousands more lawfully carrying without permits in the 12 “constitutional carry” states that don’t require them.

Opponents of the law say dangerous people will be authorized to carry. But federally “prohibited persons” (including felons, drug addicts, domestic violence misdemeanants and those with prior mental health adjudications) are excluded under the legislation.

And when the opponents claim that some states have higher permitting standards than others, what they really mean is that some states routinely deny permits to most law-abiding applicants who cannot demonstrate an extraordinary “need” to have one.

What sort of need qualifies? That’s up to the officials who issue the permits. But in practice, this means celebrities like actor Robert DeNiro (who has said publicly he’d like to punch the president in the face) can get a carry permit in New York City, but a mild-mannered tailor or grocer cannot.

It also leads to the sort of corruption that has arisen repeatedly in New York City, where licensing officials were recently charged with accepting bribes to expedite or issue permits.

That’s not how we typically handle civil rights in America. And it will be among my proudest professional accomplishments to consign that elitist, discriminatory and corrupting double standard to the dustbin of history.

In addition to the national reciprocity legislation, we are supporting a number of other game-changing bills this session:

The Hearing Protection Act would free suppressor sales from expensive taxes and bureaucratic red tape, greatly enhancing the accessibility of technology that protects the health of shooters and results in a substantially better shooting experience.

Lawful suppressor ownership has nearly doubled just in the last three years, with no perceptible increase in their use in violent crime.

There’s simply no justification for making eligible Americans wait nine months or more—as is the case under the current regime—to purchase suppressors and to enforce taxes originally designed to put the purchase of these items out of reach.

The Lawful Purpose and Self-Defense Act would reform the outdated “sporting purposes test” that currently muddies federal gun control law. Among other things, this test governs the importation of rifles and shotguns, the type of ammunition exempted from the federal “armor-piercing ammunition” ban, and whether big-bore rifles and shotguns are considered “destructive devices” under the National Firearms Act.

It has been abused by anti-gun administrations since the days of Bill Clinton, and it ignores the fact that defensive uses, not “sports,” lie at the heart of the Second Amendment. This act would ensure that all lawful uses of firearms and ammunition would have to be considered in making these legal determinations.

The Recreational Lands Self-Defense Act would finally allow for the carrying of firearms for defensive purposes on Army Corps of Engineers water resource development projects, consistent with the law of the surrounding state.

And other bills would make critical reforms to the interstate transportation provisions of the Firearm Owner’s Protection Act (FOPA). That law was originally supposed to protect the interstate transport of unloaded, inaccessible firearms for lawful purposes, but it has been defied by anti-gun jurisdictions and all but nullified by activist courts.

NRA-supported legislation would reverse this case law, restore FOPA’s original intent and provide remedies for persons whose rights under the law are violated so anti-gun jurisdictions could no longer violate the federal protections with impunity.

I’m asked all the time whether any of this legislation will actually become law.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but I can say that your NRA has never been stronger or more determined. We have higher approval ratings than the national media or either major political party and a broad base of support across the country.

Before 2008’s Heller decision, some had dismissed the Second Amendment as a relic. But now even mainstream gun control proponents mouth support for the right to keep and bear arms.

Then there’s you, the American gun owner. Your passion, your commitment to your rights and your responsible, proactive behavior regularly sways the opinions of lawmakers.

I go to work every day believing in our chances for success. When it comes to the “conversation” about guns in America, I believe now more than ever the pro-freedom viewpoint will have the last word.

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  1. “Patient” ?

    What the F do they call this?

    This ain’t the Old Testament, you don’t get 6.5K years b1t<H.

    • We need trump to have an attention span greater than a 3 year old, we haven’t seen that yet. He’s non stop fighting these petty personal battles instead of getting things into law or repealing laws.

      It gets aggravating.

      • Trump isn’t a legislator, he is chipping away at regulations. If we can train government into thinking they’ll just have to take all their stupid sh_t back every year, maybe we won’t get so much of it.


        • POTUS leadership is necessary to pass a lot of legislation. Trump is missing A LOT of opportunities thus far because he’s distracted by dumb personal spats with people. His new comm director hire is HORRIBLE. The guy is a clown and has ZERO comm experience.

      • What the hell is prez supposed to do exactly to get this stuff passed?

        GOP is full-on autistic about taxes and healthcare.

        Paul Ryan is a grade-A autistic spaz who can’t keep his lies straight; from marathon times to being an acolyte of Ayn Rand to having a six-pack, he’s too self-absorbed to realize most people see how crazy he is about his neo-Randian policies.

        Mitch McConnell is a master of senate affairs, but has gotten lazy because all he had to do was unite his caucus behind ‘no’ as opposed to cracking the whip for giveaways to get things passed.

        Further, healthcare reform isn’t going to give ANYONE brownie points.

        It’s like a horror movie; I’m watching the GOP investigate the noise outside at the haunted summer camp; despite my screams at the screens I see them on, they keep walking outside to where a possible hockey mask is waiting.

        Trump is stuck with a bunch of useless bastards in congress who don’t understand or care about generational, messaging wins so much as they care about getting their insane hobby horse/dark money contributor’s agendas passed.

        If Trump WAS trying to message harder, he’d face a united Republican, Democrat, and Media blitz about how he was trying to arm Russian sleeper agents and we need a new PATRIOT act that mandates anal cavity searches of all citizens at any time to keep us safe from Chechen Isis terrorists who hacked the election and gave us the Dagestan Candidate.

        Trump has to push back on the elements trying to destroy him first; but he’s providing suppressive fire for congress to do whatever it wants.

        Congress is to blame for being so weak they can’t do anyhting without Trump stepping up. Historic unification of government and largest majority since the ’30s, and Trump still needs to do more for the party?

        At some point Trump can’t be responsible for everything wrong in people’s lives.

    • Thankfully Senator McCuck will be dying a slow and painful death from his brain cancer, befitting a traitor and enemy collaborator.

      He is the soon to be dead embodiment of why conservatism was always doomed to fail.

      • McCain was never a conservative. He is just slightly more conservative than Susan Collins of Mane who is essentially a Yellow Dog Democrat pretending to be a Republican.

    • The joke used to be that democrats couldn’t govern, even when they had majorities in every arm of government. Now, a bitter a$$hat like McCain, even with terminal cancer, deliberately sabotages the governance of his own party, simply out of spite.

    • Maybe I should be more patient….with my donations. I’ll give on a per-victory basis. Be patient NRA!

      • Yep. I made a donation after Trump beat Hillary. That was a job well done. I’ll pay again when something else gets accomplished.

  2. Patient?? Im get pissed at all involved already. A bunch of do nothings on both sides. If the other side has no intention of doing anything but stall everything, The hell with them.
    Bring all these bills up that can be for a simple majority vote and get on with it.
    Patient my ass,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • What I want to know is why is national reciprocity the first priority, not national constitutional carry?

      Because I bet you dollars to donuts that part of national reciprocity will be manditory concealed carry insurance…that the NRA just HAPPENS to be in that business is purely coincidence.
      Talk about wolves in sheepsuits….

        • YET.
          When basically everyone involved in this entire process is a lawyer (congress members, NRA board ect.) You know the short end of the stick is going to end up with we the people, yet again.
          Jefferson was right, we should have absolutly overthrown and reset the goverment every 7 years.

        • True. They want $1 Million liability policies to pay for the massive damages caused by “gun violence”, little knowing or caring that intentionally shooting someone in a drive-by or domestic dispute is not a covered occurrence, and therefore the policies will pay out only for the pitifully small number of accidental woundings and killings each year. (There are about 14,000-19,000 nonfatal injuries stemming from accidental shootings per year in the U.S., though only about 600 people killed in such shootings.)

  3. There is no debate or discussion when it comes to inalienable, Constitutional rights. If it becomes necessary to exercise violence to secure those rights, so be it. Count me among the willing.

  4. Patient? I don’t think it means what you think it means. Years ago I called then NRA to ask why aren’t they doing anything in New Jersey? The rep was honest, I’ll give him that, and said that NJ is hopeless so the NRA basically decided to pack up and leave. So what am I supposed to be waiting for? That’s one reason why I hesitate each time my membership is up for renewal. It’s easy for the NRA to be vocal and active in pro-gun states. But since they hardly get involved in the blue states, our patience is running out.

    • The only hope for blue states (and I live in one) is federal enforcement of the Constitution. I don’t blame the NRA for being unwilling to dump money into liberal cesspools.

      It was a Federal court of appeals that forced Illinois into enacting a concealed carry law. It was SCOTUS that ruled on Heller and McDonald. It was Congress that passed the PLCAA.

      The rightful place for the NRA-ILA is in Washington. The red states don’t need them and the blue states won’t recognize the Constitution without a federal gun to their heads.

      While we can be justifiably skeptical about our President and the current batch of Congressmen, our chances of getting results out of this batch is certainly better than at any time in recent history. We need to make hay in Washington while the sun shines.

  5. Now you print verbatim from the NRA rag?!? I expect nothing so when something good happens it’s a nice surprise…you CAN’T put all your eggs in one basket whether it’s a President or organization.

  6. Seriously….who in the NRA or even the Republican party thinks people will actually swallow this BS anymore?

    Patient? Kinda like we were “patient” waiting to get Obamacare repealed when all along they had no intention of doing it? Just like they(Republicans and Trump) have no real intentions of doing anything major on the gun front but will surely drag it along to get our votes and money!

    These guys remind of Baghdad Bob

    They get in front of cameras etc and say this garbage and don’t know that their audience is just laughing and saying “Yeah..right!”

  7. And now we see the truth.

    The republicans currently sitting in congress were elected with one single purpose: repeal Obamacare. A fact that could not be more clear if it were tattooed onto the eyelids of every single one of them.

    When democrats had a majority liked this, they rammed everything they wanted through as a majority. Republicans now have a majority and can’t even do this one thing.

    If the situations were reversed right now, we would have single payer, an assault weapons ban, and mandatory tax payer funded sex change clinics in middle schools by now.

    We know their names now. Collins. Murkowsky. McCain. Put them out of a job.

    We were told elections have consequences. Apparently that’s only true for our side. Fix that.

    • Are you forgetting? The democrats were in the same position at the beginning of Obama’s presidency and did none of those things for the same reason the GOP can’t do everything it wants in an ideological pure fashion now.

    • The Senate is closely divided. And three Republicans voted against the GOP plan–including McCain. Had McCain voted the other way, it would have been a tie that Pence would have broken. Both parties are in internal disarray, and cannot unify behind any plan, proposal or program. It seems to me that the only unity in either party is in stopping anything the other party wants to do.

  8. Hilarious. Be patient while we remain a wealthy, powerful lobbying org and sell “insurance”. But some of you won’t admit they’re fudd/judases holding us back.

    • What is it you would do that the NRA is “preventing” you from doing? Litigation from a trial court all the way up the U.S. Supreme court takes years and years–it is the nature of the beast. And lobbying–well, what can you say about lobbying? The expenditures are high, the results elusive because there is another party voting against everything you are trying to do. What do you suggest as a solution to the delays and logjams?

  9. “the type of ammunition exempted from the federal “armor-piercing ammunition” ban […] It has been abused by anti-gun administrations since the days of Bill Clinton,”

    So literally within a decade of the NRA creating and burdening us with this law for no particular reason during a Republican presidency? It’s like there’s a reason gun owners don’t trust them so much right now…

    Introduce NFA repeal and force a vote on it. We want to find all the McCains before 2018 primaries.

  10. It took 100 years for the left to get Obamacare, a variation of the universal health care Wilson pushed. If it takes 100 years to ban the citizens possession of firearms, for them, it’s worth the wait. Remember, it all started in 1934. They will NEVER give up.

  11. “Lawful suppressor ownership has nearly doubled just in the last three years, with no perceptible increase in their use in violent crime.”

    Right there is the proof the ‘Hughes Amendment’ must be struck and the registry re-opened…

  12. “You’d be hard-pressed these days to find a gun control advocate who would admit to wanting to repeal the Second Amendment and ban private gun ownership. Yet gun control proponents have the same goals as they always have.”

    So, the people advocating for banning the second Amendment, banning private gun ownership, and confiscation (You missed one.) aren’t gun control advocates? Good to know.

  13. Loath as I am to wade into this, especially based on a lot of the comments here, I’m waiting on UPS so…

    Look, this shit takes time whether you or I like it or not. Crying on a blog doesn’t help and getting angry only raises your blood pressure.

    Let’s look at a piece of legislation that most of us don’t like: the ACA. It was “rammed through” on a straight party line vote which makes it sound fast but it wasn’t. The ACA was “unveiled” in early July 2009 and the Senate version didn’t pass until 24 December of the same year. That’s six months, almost seven actually. To reconcile with the House took until 21 March, 2010. Obama signed that monstrosity on the 24th of March.

    The ACA, wildly popular with Democrats across the country, passed the House and the Senate which were both controlled by Democrats. That took nine months (nearly 10 actually) even with the prodding that Obama gave the whole thing. Yet here we are with people complaining that seven months into a the Trump administration we don’t have significant movement on gun rights legislation… *facepalm*

    Yeah, well here’s the thing. The ACA was the flagship piece of legislation for the Democrats and it was all they did for quite a while. It took nine months. We’re NOT the flagship of the Republican Party. We’re middle to back-burner. Taxes, health care and a ton of other shit are in line before us.

    Further, for any bill to become law the average time for it to pass through the various committees, markup, the floor of both houses and get to the desk of whoever is POTUS is 263 days. 8.5 months. On top of that 96.7% of introduced bills don’t make it out of Congress.

    So yeah, calm down. Congress generally works very, very slowly (especially with all those days off that they get!) and we’re not a top priority at this point. If you want things like the HPA to advance and be signed into law then you actually need this other stuff to get done first. Joe Sixpack doesn’t give a fuck about silencers or national reciprocity. He does give a fuck about paying through the nose for “insurance”, the failing “marketplaces” and how much money Uncle Sam grifts out of his wallet. Make Joe Sixpack happy about those things and he’ll ignore silencers and other 2A issues because he’s fat and sassy. Prioritize the 2A stuff too much and you’ll piss off Joe Sixpack who will then want to know why a bunch of people like you and I get silencers but Congress can’t find the time to unfuck the ACA to the point that he doesn’t have to pay 1/4 of each paycheck for “insurance” with a $10,000 deductible.

    Big fish get the pan first because they feed the most people at once. Those people then are not hungry and don’t give a shit if you take some time to spice up a smaller fish for the folks at the end of the banquet table who happen to have more esoteric tastes.

    So, prod you Congresscritters to get the big shit done so it’s out of the way, or if you have a high profile Congresscritter with a leadership position, prod them to add some of this gun rights legislation to “must pass” legislation where they can get away with it.

    • Of course! Why shouldn’t we wait half a lifetime to have a chance to do something then allow these RINOs to drag their feet and fuck it all up for us in the four years we have. Bullshit. The dems passed Osamacare within a matter of DAYS….WITHOUT reading it, even. Yet, we have to sit here like good little sheep and wait for some of these fuckers with their RINO Soros money to die out of office. Graham, McCain, Collins all took Soros cash last election cycle. What a scam.

      • “The dems passed Osamacare within a matter of DAYS….WITHOUT reading it, even.”

        Yeah, about 270 of them (which makes not reading it even worse IMHO) and that’s after they took five months to roll out the bill. I’ve provided an accurate history of the ACA’s trip from Congress to Obama’s desk in terms of the timeline. You can look this shit up online. It ain’t hard. Your fantasy that the ACA was done in “days” is nothing more than your own imagination.

        I get that people are miffed about the whole thing but all I’ve done is lay out the actual truth of the situation. You don’t have to like it. I certainly don’t like it. That doesn’t change the reality.

        The difference is that I don’t wind myself up over it and I don’t lie to myself. I don’t tell myself that the Dems passed things in a matter of days when they didn’t and then compare that false statement to current reality and get even more bent out of shape over the bullshit I’ve fed myself. Rather, I go do something productive.

        Again, the timeline I laid out is accurate. On top of that I’ve given you options for moving forward on 2A related issues. If you’re lucky enough to have a Critter in a leadership position (even on an important committee), which I am not, lean on them to attach these things as riders to must pass legislation.

        • The sad fact of the matter is that the current swamp filled system eventually will cost alot of lives on both sides….because statist self rightious peices of shit can’t grasp common sense.

  14. You correctly understand that your charge is to protect and secure the rights of gun owners, so why are you wasting our money to play culture war games with progressive asshats?

  15. Patience is a great virtue. While all 5 million of us NRA members pray for the long lives and good health of all 9 SCOTUS Justices, we accept that – through the Grace of God – each of them will inevitably meet her/his maker. Most likely, one within the next 3.5 – 7.5 – 11.5 – 15.5 years. Thereafter, SCOTUS should start to enforce the 2A.

    Congress is a great disappointment. Even so, the House is up for elections every 2 years as is 1/3 of the Senate. Here, patience is NO virtue. We must persuade the leadership of each chamber that we have no need for RINOs when we could have full-fledged Democrats to deprive us of our rights. The leadership depends upon RINOs to keep federal lard flowing. Each RINO they lose, the closer they are to losing the majority of their chamber to the Democrats. We must have the courage of our convictions to threaten to vote against RINOs and FOR Democrats. Absent OUR courage in this respect, Ryan and Mcconnell have NO reason to pay any attention to gun-rights.

    Finally, we must impress upon the President that he must put his pen where his mouth is. There are a number of issues he could address by either an Executive Order or through guidance to his cabinet; particularly DoJ. E.g., repatriating Garands; investigating malfeasance in ATF; enforcing the 14A on May-Issue.

    Apparently, DoJ has the power to investigate States or municipalities for depriving citizens of their 4’th and 14’th Amendment rights to equal protection. E.g., if police use excessive force on minorities; or, if employers deny equal access to employment by worthy minority applicants. Certainly, if these rights of minority citizens are worthy of DoJ investigation then the right to due-process under May-Issue regimes are likewise worthy of investigation. How many minorities can afford a $15,000 bribe to obtain a NYC carry permit? How many politicians are able to secure NJ carry permits while bail-bondsmen, rent-collectors, and women with orders-of-protection are denied?
    Would May-Issue survive under the bright-light of a DoJ investigation? These jurisdictions believe that they can defend their May-Issue laws – so long as they are not scrutinized by either Federal investigators or the public. Why should we, the PotG, allow them a “free-ride”? Why not pressure the President to order his DoJ to investigate and report their findings?

  16. Been patient in Florida since 2011. Every year NRA ‘A’ rated Republicans kill Open Carry and Campus Carry.

  17. “Every state now has some legal mechanism for its own residents to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense in public”. I wish they stop repeating this bullshit line! It’s obvious that in the “may issue” states a fart in a windstorm has more chance than an average Joe getting a CCW. If National Reciprocity doesn’t force “shall issue” on the eight anti-gun states then it’s a waste of our time and proves the NRA is useless for anything but collecting $$$.

  18. The reason they are telling you to be patient is because the Senate will be screwing around with the Obamacare mess for the next two months and after that they will be yelling at each other about the budget for the rest of the year. Always remember that the Senate is the biggest bunch of do nothings you can imagine, and that is when they aren’t on vacation (they call it recess and go back to their home states to dodge their constituents).

    Call me cynical if you like, but after decades of observation it is clear to me that I should always expect less of them. This is not the fault of the NRA, but the way things work when you have to depend on politicians to do anything.

    Would you buy a used car from one of those clowns? A Democrat would tell you that it doesn’t damage the ozone and it will pay you $2500 a year just to drive it. A Republican would tell you it would make you safe from the gang bangers who want to infest your driveway. Both are lying (the Democrat more than the Republican), it is just a way overpriced Toyota that needs new tires, and an oil change.

  19. The comments to this piece has confirmed my suspicion that the majority of TTAG posters are spoiled children that believe they are manly-man operators, but in reality are girly-man snowflakes

  20. Hey whining snowflakes. The progtards in this country have been at it since the 1880s. Or perhaps date their crap to 21 February 1848.

    You doing anything? or just whining? Out in the “arena of ideas”?

  21. Where in that statement is a call to patience? I read that statement as “we’re winning, but don’t rest because the fight ain’t over.”

  22. I notice he’s in error on one point: the Second Amendment was not about self-defense. The right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self and others was seen as so obvious that it didn’t need enumerated protection.

    That we have to import self-defense into the Second shows just how far we have fallen.

  23. If the NRA put in even half the effort to promote the HPA/SHUSH act and national reciprocity as they do making videos bashing the news media…..

  24. I didn’t read the comments. All of those laws are way too little way too late. We need to start with a complete reset. Repeal all gun laws at the federal level and then for any state that takes an action that could even slightly inconvenience a peaceful gun owner (shall not be infringed), the fed should charge them with a civil rights violation.

  25. Im still glad I voted for Trump. I know there are republicans and libertarians and democrats out to get him. Those people are just as bad as Tammany Hall.


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