The National Rifle Association's political action committee announced on Thursday that it will back President Donald Trump for reelection in 2020.
The gun-rights group's Political Victory Fund praised the Republican incumbent in a letter, saying that he has "done more than any president" to safeguard the Second Amendment. NRA leader Wayne LaPierre and PAC chairman Jason Ouimet credited Trump for appointing conservative judges to federal courts, as well as for standing behind the gun industry throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The administration's decision to declare gun businesses "essential" led some states and localities to lift shutdown orders.
"On behalf of America’s five million NRA members, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is proud to endorse your reelection as president of the United States of America," the letter said. "You have done more than any president to protect the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The NRA stands behind you and your administration."
Presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden has advocated for aggressive gun-control measures for decades. Since starting his presidential campaign he has come out in favor of a national gun registry, a ban on the popular AR-15 rifle, and even a ban on all guns that do not employ "smart gun" technology—a concept that remains only theoretical at this point. One of the former vice president's surrogates also said he would not have labeled gun stores "essential businesses" like Trump did in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic which has seen Americans buying guns at a record pace.
Throughout his career, Biden has painted the NRA as his enemy and 2020 has been no different. Biden's campaign website declares he "will defeat the NRA."
Gun-rights voters and groups played a significant role in Trump's election. The NRA spent more than $30 million to boost the Republican in 2016. LaPierre and Ouimet said Trump has lived up to his promises to defend gun rights in "extraordinary ways."
"You promised to defend the Second Amendment and stand tall for the constitutional freedoms in which our members believe," the letter said. "You recognize the Second Amendment is about liberties that belong to all Americans."