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From the NRA-ILA
Nov. 6, 2004

On Election Day, you made the difference across America by "Voting Freedom First!"

The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) earned a 95% success rate of endorsed congressional candidates winning their races! The Association also won two major battles over anti-hunting initiatives, as voters in Alaska and Maine rejected ballot issues banning bear hunting methods.

Of the 251 candidates endorsed by NRA for the U.S. House of Representatives, 241 candidates won! And 14 of the 18 NRA-PVF-endorsed U.S. Senate candidates won their races! For candidates and issues for which an NRA-ILA Grassroots Election Workshop was conducted, we enjoyed an 81% success rate!

"This election was crucial for the Second Amendment," said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. "The NRA stands for freedom; our members are defenders of freedom, and we are proud to see that gun owners across the country came out and voted for freedom.

"I really hope that national Democratic leaders stop taking this party off the cliff and look at the heartland and the wreckage this issue has caused. They have to start putting up candidates who support gun rights and have a voting record to match their photo-ops," added LaPierre.

The election outcome continues a strong winning streak for NRA-PVF-endorsed candidates. In 2000, NRA had an 85% success rate, followed by an 89% success rate in 2002. NRA's impressive numbers illustrate the strength of gun owners as a voting bloc each election cycle.

"We've seen a real political sea change in this country since Al Gore's defeat in 2000," added NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox. "A number of anti-gun candidates attempted to hide their gun-control agendas to get elected. Fortunately, savvy gun owners saw through misleading campaign tactics and voted for true pro-gun candidates on November 2," concluded Cox.

Top pro-gun Senate winners are: John Thune (S.D.); Mel Martinez (Fla.); Jim DeMint (S.C.); Johnny Isakson (Ga.); Richard Burr (N.C.); David Vitter (La.); Tom Coburn (Okla.); Lisa Murkowski (Alaska); Jim Bunning (Ky.) and Arlen Specter (Pa.).

Newly-elected pro-gun freshman in the House of Representatives include: John Salazar (CO-3); Connie Mack (FL-14); Tom Price (GA-8); Mike Sodrel (IN-9); Geoff Davis (KY-4); Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1); Virginia Foxx (NC-5); Patrick McHenry (NC-10); Dan Boren (OK-2); Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8); Charlie Dent (PA-15); Bob Inglis (SC-4); Louie Gohmert (TX-1); Ted Poe (TX-2); Mike McCaul (TX-10); Mike Conaway (TX-11); Kenny Marchant (TX-24); Henry Cuellar (TX-28); Thelma Drake (VA-2); and Cathy McMorris (WA-5).

Pro-gun incumbent Representatives re-elected include: Rick Renzi (AZ-1); John Porter (NV-3); Bob Beauprez (CO-7); Pete Sessions (TX-32); Sam Graves (MO-6); Mark Kennedy (MN-6); Lee Terry (NE-2); Jim Gerlach (PA-6); Katherine Harris (FL-13); Jim Marshall (GA-3); John Hostettler (IN-8); Cathy McMorris (WA-5); and Shelley Moore Capito (WV-2).

In state elections, 9 of 11 NRA-PVF-endorsed Gubernatorial candidates and 100% of NRA-PVF-endorsed Attorneys General prevailed on Election Day!

NRA-ILA would like to thank all of our members, volunteers, and supporters--especially our hundreds of dedicated Election Volunteer Coordinators--who worked so hard to make this year's elections such an overwhelming success. Without your time, energy, enthusiasm, and sacrifice, we would not have been able to accomplish all that we did. We look forward to continuing to work with you in the future, in defense of the Second Amendment.

Once again, congratulations on a job well done!


One of the biggest victories for gun owners in Tuesday's elections was the defeat of anti-gun Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.). It is virtually unheard of for a high-profile Senate leader to lose a re-election bid, but thanks to the efforts of NRA members, gun owners, and hunters in South Dakota, that's exactly what happened on November 2, for the first time in 52 years!

Daschle, as you will recall, was the architect of the defeat of S. 1805--NRA-backed legislation to end politically-motivated, reckless lawsuits against the firearm industry. Through parliamentary chicanery, Daschle secured enough anti-gun (and unrelated) amendments to the underlying measure to ensure it was voted down by an overwhelming majority. Daschle also led the campaign of obstruction to preclude many of President Bush's judicial nominees from ever getting a vote in the full Senate.

Aping the deceptive political strategy unsuccessfully utilized by the top of his party's ticket, Daschle campaigned back home in South Dakota as being pro-gun, trying to distance himself from his long anti-gun voting record in Washington. The strategy failed, just as it did for John Kerry. NRA's Political Victory Fund ran ads and distributed hundreds of thousands of pieces of literature in South Dakota demonstrating that Daschle's phony pro-gun campaign rhetoric was not matched by his votes in the Senate. And as happened to Senator Kerry, voters rightly judged that actions speak louder than words!

Replacing Senator Daschle is former U.S. Representative John Thune (R), who amassed a solid pro-gun voting record while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. Senator-elect Thune proudly campaigned as the true champion of our gun rights that he is, and will continue to be in the U.S. Senate.

Thanks to the efforts of South Dakota's Second Amendment supporters, Daschle's strings, that for too long were pulled by the likes of Senators Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), have now been finally cut!


In major victories for America's sporting heritage, voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment recognizing every citizen's fundamental right to hunt, fish and trap, and rejected ballot issues banning bear hunting methods.

"This is a sound victory for outdoorsmen," said NRA-ILA's Cox. "Most Americans understand that hunters, anglers and trappers have long led the nation in establishing effective conservation and wildlife management practices."

Anti-hunting groups claim to protect animals, but their policies are ill-conceived, poorly researched and potentially disastrous to wildlife," added Cox. "On Election Day, voters sent a clear message--that hunting practices should be managed by wildlife management professionals, not anti-hunting groups."

The two anti-bear hunting referendums in Maine and Alaska repudiated the efforts of anti-hunting extremists. NRA-ILA actively opposed both measures, encouraging members, gun owners, and hunters in both states to defeat these measures that would have banned hunting for thousands of sportsmen and women. In Maine, Question 2 was defeated by a 53-47% margin. In Alaska, Ballot Measure 3 was soundly defeated across the state.

Proposition 1, Louisiana's Right to Hunt, Fish & Trap constitutional amendment, passed by an overwhelming 81-19%! Seven states, the most recent being Wisconsin in April of 2003, have included language in their constitutions to preserve the freedom to hunt, fish, and trap. Similar proposals are pending in eight additional states.

A special thanks goes out to Louisiana voters who helped pass Proposition 1. Please also thank bill sponsor Senator Joe McPherson (D-Woodworth) and the Louisiana Wildlife Federation.

"This amendment protects Louisiana's strong hunting, fishing and trapping heritage," Cox stated. "Nearly twenty-five percent of Louisiana residents hunt or fish. Hunters and sportsmen play a pivotal role in the state's economy and society, and have been leaders in promoting wildlife management and conservation."

In Montana, voters passed Constitutional Amendment 41 that adds a provision to the Montana Constitution to recognize and preserve the heritage of Montana residents to harvest wild fish and game. The Amendment was passed by a 79 to 21% margin. Thank you to all voters who enshrined Montana's most precious heritage.


The Fall Veto Session starts next week, and the Illinois General Assembly will have the opportunity to override Governor Rod Blagojevich's (D) veto of SB 2165. This legislation sought to provide an affirmative defense for a gun owner if he uses a firearm prohibited by local ordinance in defense of himself or others. Fortunately, this fight is far from over. Please be sure to contact your lawmakers TODAY and urge them to vote to override the Governor's veto of SB 2165 during the Fall Veto Session. In addition, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D), State Senator John Cullerton (D), State Representative Karen May (D), and a collection of anti-gun extremists continue to promote a ban on semi-automatic firearms in Illinois. Although two studies of the recently expired federal ban found that the affected firearms were rarely used in crime, and even supporters of the federal ban admit that it was more symbolic than a tool for fighting crime, we expect an all-out assault on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms during the upcoming Fall Veto Session. Cullerton stated that his plan is to "strengthen the law in the next General Assembly," which should cause anyone who owns any semi-automatic firearm to expect their guns to be on the banned list eventually. Speaking in support of Madigan, Cullerton, May, et al., anti-gun Governor Blagojevich has "vowed to back their efforts," according to the Chicago Tribune. It is critical that the pro-gun community in Illinois respond to this absurd call for a ban that has already been proven worthless. NRA members can help defeat this anti-gun effort by contacting their State Representatives and Senators TODAY, and urging them to oppose any efforts to ban semi-automatic firearms during the Fall Veto Session, which is scheduled to run November 8, 9, 10, 16, 17, and 18. Ask them for a firm commitment to support law-abiding gun owners and a promise to oppose this Chicago-based campaign, and voting to override the veto of SB 2165. The Senate can be reached by calling (217) 782-4517, and the House can be reached at (217) 782-8223. For additional contact information, please use the "Write Your Representatives" feature located at

By a 2-to-1 measure, Colorado voters resoundingly defeated Amendment 36 which would have scrapped the winner-take-all system created by our Founding Fathers and distributed Colorado's nine electoral votes proportionally based on the popular vote. Thank you to all voters who stood up against out-of-state interests and defended Colorado's voice in Presidential elections!

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