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State Legislatures Aim To Remove NRA As Training Entity

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As a member of the National Rifle Association of America, you know exactly how hard this organization works to maintain high firearms instruction and safety-education standards. Now, anti-gun lawmakers in some state legislatures around the country are redoubling their efforts to dismantle the Second Amendment by sponsoring legislation that removes NRA from state statutes as a recognized group to certify instructors to teach firearms safety courses.

The removal of NRA as a training entity is a disservice to all law-abiding gun owners. NRA’s firearms instruction curriculum—with a history going back to the 19th century—is known worldwide as the gold standard to which all others aspire. And with a network of 125,000 certified instructors, which is arguably the largest in the world, any legislator championing an effort to remove NRA from state law is an enemy of safety and the Second Amendment.

Declaring that the National Rifle Association “has a monopoly on firearm training in New York,” State Sen. Sean M. Ryan (D) spearheaded Senate Bill No. 138 for the 2023-24 legislative session. S138 removes the NRA from the list of entities authorized to grant certificates as firearm instructors in the state. Rather than placing trust in the many NRA-certified instructors living in New York, if S138 passes, the law will be amended to remove NRA from the credential pipeline and give the power to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. To deny state residents the time-honored tradition of receiving NRA instruction—in the state of New York, where our founders began their study of the science of marksmanship in 1871—is truly atrocious.

Introduced this past January to the Virginia House of Delegates by Del. Don L. Scott (D), HB No. 2164 not only removes references to the National Rifle Association from the Code of Virginia, but even repeals the authority to issue special Virginia license plates in support of the NRA. HB 2164 goes further with the elimination of the award-winning Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program offered by the National Rifle Association to public school firearm-safety education programs. Instead of a legal requirement to incorporate Eddie Eagle gun-safety rules in curriculum guidelines for elementary school grades, the Board of Education would establish its own under the proposed legislation. (See Virginia Code, § 22.1-204.1. Firearm safety education program.) Thankfully, HB 2164 is not expected to pass the Virginia House of Delegates.

Make no mistake, lawmakers across the nation who are hostile to gun rights are salivating at the thought of implementing similar legislation in their own states. With such odious anti-NRA bills being paraded around state legislatures, it’s more important than ever to be active in your state’s political and legislative process, and to support your National Rifle Association and the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. For the latest legislative updates in your state and at the Federal level, go to nra-ila.org.

Article by JOSEPH P. DEBERGALIS JR.

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