Editor’s note: This article originally ran on The Daily Caller.

I recently returned from the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) 153rd annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, an event at which hundreds of retailers and manufacturers of firearms, firearms accessories, archery equipment and camping gear set up shop and attracted more than 72,000 visitors, including many families with children of all ages. As was the case at every NRA annual meeting I have attended since becoming a Board member in 1998, the overarching theme was safe and responsible use and ownership of firearms.

On Monday, May 20th, immediately following the annual meeting and exhibit hall, I was elected by the 76-member Board of Directors to serve as NRA President for the 2024-25 year. I accepted this honor at a time of great challenge and opportunity for the NRA and its more than four million dues-paying members — also recognizing that every year is one of challenge and opportunity for the NRA.

The fact is, when it comes to defending the Second Amendment (and indeed, all the rights guaranteed to us by our Bill of Rights), our opponents never sleep, and a win one day is guaranteed to be followed by another challenge the next. Thus it has been since the founding of our great nation. 

Thankfully for freedom-loving and law-abiding citizens, just as our adversaries never sleep, neither does the NRA in confronting challenges in the legislative, legal and regulatory arenas. And, since the turn of this century, those challenges have come also from the United Nations and other international organizations.

Here at home, the recent prosecution of former President Trump by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg illustrates the manner by which our heretofore “blind” criminal justice system has been employed as a cudgel to attack political opponents. The NRA was similarly targeted by New York’s state Attorney General Letitia James, who promised as a candidate in 2018 to go after the NRA, which she considered a “terrorist organization.” Ever since then, she has used the power of her office to wage a multi-year war against the NRA. 

With the support of millions of NRA members and a team of crack lawyers, the Association has proactively and successfully withstood such legal challenges, even as we have managed to advance gun rights, self-defense laws and hunting opportunities in states across the country.  

The NRA has led the way for passage of constitutional carry – the gold standard in self-defense laws outside the home — in 29 states. Perhaps surprising to some observers, most of those states passed constitutional carry since 2018, when the organized campaign to put the NRA out of business began in earnest in the New York courts.

Whether through landmark Supreme Court cases or strategic litigation at the state level, the NRA has consistently demonstrated its commitment to upholding the Second Amendment as a fundamental civil liberty. The NRA shepherded two major Supreme Court cases just in the last three years: the consequential 2022 Bruen decision and the very recent, seminal NRA v. Vullo First Amendment decision that showed clearly New York’s attacks against the NRA were indeed politically motivated.

The Vullo decision, by a unanimous Court, assures that organizations of whatever political stripe or mission are shielded from government officials abusing their regulatory powers to silence those it regulates because it disagrees with their viewpoint.

As I assume the presidency of America’s oldest civil liberties champion, I am reminded that the right to keep and bear arms remains always under threat by those in power seeking more of it by depriving the citizenry of vital individual freedoms. 

When I was first sworn into the 104th Congress in January 1995, our Second Amendment rights were under direct assault by then-President Bill Clinton’s gun-control agenda, which had been supported by the previous Congress under Democrat rule. Now, one generation later, another Democrat president is using the power of that office to weaken those same rights through executive actions wielded both directly and indirectly.

When it comes to the Second Amendment, the more things change, the more they remain the same. 

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s. He now practices law in Atlanta, Georgia and serves as head of Liberty Guard. This article originally ran on The Daily Caller.


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