The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s #GUNVOTE 2014 initiative has been the most comprehensive voter information and education initiative the firearms industry has ever undertaken. We would like to thank all of those companies and individuals who supported the effort and participated in sharing our information with customers, friends and family and went to the polls to #GUNVOTE.
In key races for the U.S. Senate, including those in Colorado, Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa, Georgia and Louisiana (runoff election pending), the results mean a change in party control and added protection against any likely passage of federal legislation that would further restrict our Second Amendment rights or the lawful commerce in firearms. In the U.S. House of Representatives, additional members were elected who will add to the Republican majority already supportive of America’s hunting and sports shooting traditions and our firearms freedoms. NSSF will, of course, reengage and provide leadership in a renewed coalition effort for passage of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act early in the 114th Congress.
In the elections for control of state governorships, the results were decidedly more mixed. Anti-gun Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and the hand-picked successor to anti-gun Governor Martin O’Malley were both defeated, while Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker prevailed for the third time in four years in a hard-fought challenge. Unfortunately, Colorado’s John Hickenlooper and Connecticut’s Dannel Malloy prevailed in hard-fought contests, urban areas in those states delivering the margins needed for their narrow victories. In Washington State, a ballot initiative calling for expansion of background checks to private firearms transactions passed.
On the other hand, there was extremely good news for hunters nationwide in the defeat of Maine’s Question #1 that would have restricted bear hunting in that state. Millions of dollars were poured into that effort by the radical anti-hunting Humane Society of the United States. In West Virginia, two additional counties approved Sunday hunting. Alabama and Mississippi both approved ballot initiatives further protecting hunting and firearms rights.
We are very pleased to announce that the NSSF Political Action Committee has exceeded its 2014 fundraising goal and has now raised more than $500,000. Reaching this record enables those involved in America’s shooting, hunting and outdoor trade industry to have an even bigger voice in helping to elect candidates supportive both of the hard-working mean and women who work in our member companies’ factories, distribution centers and retail outlets and of the customers who buy our products.
Promoting, protecting and preserving hunting and the shooting sports does not start and end with election cycles. We are work in Washington, D.C. and the state capitals year in and year speaking on behalf of our industry, both publicly and behind the scenes. With #GUNVOTE 2014 our industry raised the level of our game. We could never have enough influence to help win in very election, but we did make a difference in many of them and we spoke up in all of them where it was important to do so.
Thank you for support, your involvement and your continuing commitment to making a difference.