NRA endorses John McCain and Sarah Palin for President and Vice-President

The Associated Press is reporting that the National Rifle Association's Political Victory Fund PAC is endorsing Republican presidential nominee John McCain and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President.

Buckeye Firearms Association Northeast Ohio Chair Rick Kaleda attended the Pittsburg, PA rally Thursday morning where this announcement was first made.

According to the AP, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said that despite differences with McCain on gun show rules and campaign finance restrictions, the two agree on many more issues important to the group. LaPierre is quoted by FOXNews as saying that the NRA would "be foolish to overlook the vast areas of agreement" it has with John McCain.

"He's cast more than 60 votes in the Senate in support of the Second Amendment," LaPierre said.

LaPierre also explained to the media that McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was "a tremendous asset to the ticket."

From the story:

The NRA's Political Victory Fund has spent more than $2.3 million opposing Democratic nominee Barack Obama. The chairman of the political action committee, Chris W. Cox, says its spending in the presidential race will grow to "eight figures" by Election Day. Besides ads, encouraging battleground-state gun owners to vote will be a key focus, he said.

The PAC was running an ad Thursday in USA Today accusing Obama of waffling on gun-rights issues and challenging his statements that he supports the right to bear arms. Obama has said he respects the Second Amendment but doesn't think it precludes "some commonsense gun laws so that we don't have kids being shot on the streets of cities like Chicago."

The NRA PAC's future spending will target Obama on gun issues and start publicizing the records of McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, LaPierre said. McCain's selection of Palin was a plus, LaPierre said.

"She's a hunter, she's a Second Amendment supporter and she's a tremendous asset to the ticket," he said.

Palin, an NRA member, received an A-plus rating from the group when she ran for governor in 2006. That compares to an NRA grade in the average range for McCain in his last Senate race. McCain isn't an NRA member.

Palin has been an NRA booster, particularly for its education and safety programs, during her career in government. As mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, she used $750 from her city campaign fund to upgrade her NRA membership.

On September 23, Buckeye Firearms Association endorsed endorsed Sarah Palin for Vice President, noting that she is more familiar with the Second Amendment issues important to average American gun owners than any Vice Presidential (or Presidential) candidate in decades.

The NRA-PVF press release follows, in its entirety:

NRA-PVF Endorses John McCain and Sarah Palin for President and Vice-President

Fairfax, VA. - The National Rifle Association's (NRA) Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre, and NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) Chairman Chris W. Cox are traveling to Pittsburgh, Pa., Springfield, Mo., Colorado Springs, Colo. and Reno, Nev. today for a series of press conferences endorsing Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin for President and Vice President respectively in the November 4 election.

"John McCain has more than two decades of pro-gun and pro-hunting votes in Congress. He has stood time and again to preserve our Second Amendment freedom and our rich hunting heritage," said LaPierre. "Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin have earned the NRA-PVF's endorsement and we will encourage gun owners, hunters and anyone who values freedom to vote McCain-Palin on November 4."

"NRA members and gun owners will not allow Barack Obama to hide his radical record of opposition to our constitutional rights," said Cox. "Obama has voted to make self-defense with a firearm in the home illegal, has voted to ban the most commonly owned hunting shotguns, has voted to ban commonly owned hunting ammunition, and has supported a 500% tax increase on guns and ammunition. We will remind voters every single time he pretends that his anti-gun record doesn't exist."

John McCain voted for the landmark Firearms Owners Protection Act and the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, opposed the failed Clinton Gun Ban, and voted against mandatory waiting periods, national gun registration, and bans on hunting ammunition. He also signed the historic congressional amicus brief in the case of Heller v. District of Columbia, holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms -- a brief that Senator Obama refused to sign.

Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin is a hunter, gun owner and NRA Life Member. Gov. Palin has been a consistent and outspoken supporter of the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen.

And in a separate release:

NRA Political Victory Fund Endorses McCain-Palin in the 2008 Presidential Election

Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and ILA Executive Director Chris Cox today announced NRA-PVF s endorsement of John McCain and Sarah Palin for U.S. president and vice-president - - the one ticket that will uphold our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Sen. John McCain has a decades-long record of opposing gun bans, ammunition bans, waiting periods, predatory lawsuits against firearm manufacturers, and restrictions on our hunting heritage. And Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is an NRA Life member, life-long gun owner, hunter, and staunch Second Amendment supporter.

In this election, we must remember that the historic Heller decision this summer, affirming our individual right to own firearms, was decided by only a 5-4 majority. A one-vote swing could have eliminated our individual right to keep and bear arms. With the next president expected to nominate three or more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, the stakes could not be higher. While we have disagreed in the past with Sen. McCain on a few specific issues, those differences do not cancel out his long pro-Second Amendment record, and they pale in comparison to what the future would be like for gun owners if an Obama-Biden administration were to control every agency of the federal government.

Barack Obama's radical gun-ban record would make him the most anti-gun president in American history. As you've no doubt followed in the media, the Obama-Biden campaign has tried to deny nearly every aspect of Obama's record of opposition to our Second Amendment freedom and hunting heritage. And Joe Biden has spent 35 years in the U.S. Senate trying to destroy our Second Amendment rights. In fact, there are few others in Congress who have as much experience as Joe Biden opposing our firearms freedom. The facts speak for themselves.

The campaign's fawning allies in the media have attacked our ad campaign, and the Obama campaign has tried to pressure television and radio networks to reject our advertising. We've swung back hard with documentation of every fact we've put forth and not one station has denied our ads.

The ad campaign is only part of an overall plan that includes voter registration, direct mail, internet ads, phone contacts, our publications, e-mail, our website at, and field representatives in key areas.

Our message is straight-forward: Defend Freedom. Defeat Obama. If Obama and Biden win, you lose.

Your vote is a remarkable power that you must wield to preserve the Second Amendment. Get your friends, family, and co-workers to vote. And vote for the only ticket that will uphold our Freedom. Vote for the Second Amendment. Vote for the McCain-Palin ticket!

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Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots organization dedicated to defending and advancing the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. Read more.