[1/31/17]  For eight long years the National Rifle Association (NRA) has, along with similar groups such as the Gun Owners of America (GOA), the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), largely been playing defense. The anti-gun executive orders spewing from the pen of former President Barack Obama, the anti-gun media seizing upon opportunities to promote its agenda thanks to crazed killers committing atrocities, the push to ratify the UN small arms treaty, and more have kept pro-Second Amendment groups such as these back on their heels.

No longer. Jennifer Baker, the NRA’s national spokeswoman, told The Hill on Monday: “For the first time in almost a decade, the NRA is shifting from a defensive stance to a pro-active stance. Now, we have a pro-Second Amendment Congress and a pro-Second Amendment president who will sign pro-Second Amendment legislation. That’s a huge shift.”

Even former Arizona Democrat Representative Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords, head of the anti-Second Amendment group Americans for Responsible Solutions, sees what’s coming. In speaking to her supporters on Monday, Giffords said, “The gun lobby was one of the first to support Donald Trump, and now that he won and their friends control Congress, they are going to expect a return on that investment.”

The NRA’s investment was $30 million in the last election, and their expectations are substantial. Near the top of the list is the repeal of the Gun-Free Zones Act of 1996, which prohibits possession of firearms within 1,000 feet of schools.

They seek passage of the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, which would protect veterans from having their Second Amendment-protected rights removed by the VA arbitrarily deeming them “mentally defective” without a court hearing and putting their names into the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System). The NRA will work to repeal similar administrative law changes that the Social Security Administration just finalized in December.

It will work for passage of the Hearing Protection Act to allow hunters to use silencers. That act was proposed by Representative Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), who explained, “The hunter needs to be able to hear a deer walking in the woods, or a turkey gobbling. You can’t always wear headphones or earplugs when you’re hunting.”

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