Today, as president of the American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA), I announced our endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. Because the gun issue has recently become a factor in the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania, I want to share the remarks I made today:
As a gun rights organization we have not come to this decision lightly. We were formed two years ago because our research shows that millions of gun owners wanted a change. They not only wanted an organization that would protect their gun rights but an organization that was also committed to the protection of their communities as well as the protection of our lands.
We reached out to the Obama campaign several weeks ago to offer our support and approval as was reported by Paul Bedard of US News and World Report.
We believe recent attacks on Senator Obama's stand on the 2nd Amendment and his commitment to our hunting and shooting heritage are unfair and American Hunters and Shooters Association is stepping up to set the record straight.
Senator Obama has clearly demonstrated his commitment to the 2nd Amendment by his vote in support of the Vitter amendment to HR 5441, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill of 2007. This amendment prevents the Government from confiscating guns in a time of crisis or emergency.
Imagine how the citizens felt during Hurricane Katrina when government agents kicked in doors to confiscate law abiding citizens' guns at a time when they needed them the most. We know Senator Obama "gets it." To say that he is an elitist is patently ridiculous.
To hunters and shooters everywhere, Senator Obama's vote demonstrated a fundamental understanding of the meaning of the 2nd Amendment which means he recognizes the individual right of all citizens to keep and bear arms. Senator Clinton, on the hand, failed to grasp the importance of this critical issue to hunters and shooters and voted against this Amendment. She turned her back on America's gun owners.
In addition, Senator Obama's commitment to conservation and protection of our natural resources and access to public lands demonstrates to us his commitment to America's hunting and shooting heritage.
Senator Obama will be a strong and authentic voice for America's hunters and shooters and it is with great pleasure that we endorse his candidacy.