Jim Porter

Jim Porter (President)

Jim Porter - NRA President
President of the National Rifle Association

James W. Porter II, a resident of Birmingham, Alabama, is the son of Irvine C. Porter, who served as the NRA President from 1959-1960. Porter received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama in 1971, and a law degree from the Cumberland School of Law. While in law school, Porter spent a summer working for John Wilson, who served as outside legal counsel for the NRA in Washington, D.C. Wilson also represented John Ehrlichman and Bob Haldeman during the Watergate hearings in the U.S. Congress. In 2009, Porter was elected as first vice president of the NRA Board of Directors. He had previously served as second vice president and president of the NRA Foundation Board of Trustees.

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Controversial Actions and Statements

Controversial Actions and Statements:


Jim Porter (President)

During an interview on NRA News on May 16, 2013, Porter suggested Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter held sweeping anti-gun views, stating, “You look at the so-called discussion that you’re having now, it’s the same discussion we were having in 1968, when that Congress and that President wanted to disarm the American citizenry. It’s the same arguments demonizing gun owners, demonizing law-abiding citizens who are going to work every day, paying their taxes, following the law and they’re still the ones where they’re concentrating their regulation on instead of dealing with the problems the criminal presents. President Nixon tried to take guns, President Carter [tried], so this conversation is certainly not new." Porter was making reference to the 1968 Gun Control Act, which established categories of prohibited firearms purchasers (i.e., convicted felons, substance abusers, those under active restraining orders, etc.), which the NRA supported. Neither Presidents Nixon nor Carter pursued any major gun violence prevention initiatives during their time in office.

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Jim Porter (President)

On May 4, 2013, in his first act as NRA president, Porter told attendees at the NRA’s annual convention that it was their responsibility to wage a new “culture war.” Porter’s words echoed Charlton Heston, the NRA’s President from 1998-2003, who stoked controversy with a series of culture war speeches that were described as “bigoted” and “homophobic” by critics.

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Jim Porter (First Vice President)

On June 9, 2012, in a speech at the Wallkill Rod and Gun Club in New York, Porter stated, “NRA was started 1871 right here in New York state. It was started by some Yankee generals who didn’t like the way my Southern boys had the ability to shoot in what we call the ‘War of Northern Aggression.’ Now y’all might call it the Civil War, but we call it the ‘War of Northern Aggression’ down south. But that was the very reason that they started the National Rifle Association, was to teach and train the civilian in the use of the standard military firearm and I am one who still feel very strongly that that is one of our greatest charges that we can have today, is to train the civilian in the use of the standard military firearm so when they have to fight for their country, they’re ready to do it. Also, when they’re ready to fight tyranny, they’re ready to do it. Also, when they’re ready to fight tyranny, they have the wherewithal and the weapons to do it. I charge you ladies and gentlemen that that is a very important charge for all of us to take up. It’s a sacred duty for all of us to maintain. We’ve received it from our ancestors. You think about the War of Independence. You think about Valley Forge … And they defeated the most powerful military force known to that time in civilization. Citizen soldiers, people who had a sense of freedom. People who were willing to fight and die for that sense and freedom. And it’s still true today.”

Tracing the history of the NRA, Porter added, “You know, the NRA was just a glorified shooting club up until about 1968. At that time, Thomas Dodd, father of Chris Dodd, was a Senator, and Stuart Symington, and some other Senators, got together and they tried to ban all firearm ownership. And we were able to craft a compromise.” The legislation to which Porter is referring to, the Gun Control Act of 1968, never included any provision to ban firearm ownership. Senator Dodd and other supporters did reach a compromise with the NRA prior to the bill’s passage, but provisions that were lost in that compromise included federal licensing of gun owners, federal registration of gun and ammunition sales, and a complete ban on mail-order and interstate gun and ammunition sales.

Addressing the administration of President Barack Obama, Porter stated, “I get so sick and tired of all these people with this fake president that we got who wants to say, ‘Well, you know he hadn’t done anything bad for gun owners.’ I say, let me tell you something bad that he’s done. His entire administration is anti-gun, anti-freedom, anti-Second Amendment.” Porter accused U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder of being “rabidly un-American” and involved with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in “trying to kill the Second Amendment at the United Nations.” He explained, “Right in the United Nations today, they have an initiative that would make it illegal for individuals all over the world to own firearms. And that’s what they’re passing. And that’s what this administration is supporting.” In truth, the U.N. Small Arms Treaty to which Porter is referring would set only international standards for the export of conventional weapons—leaving domestic laws regulating the possession of firearms untouched.

Finally, Porter warned, “The whole authority and the power of that administration is to disarm each and every one of us sitting here.” “The President of the United States—Let me tell you the danger of re-electing this man,” he told his audience, explaining that one vote at the Supreme Court “stood between freedom and tyranny” in the Second Amendment cases of District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. The Court, in Heller, held for the first time in U.S. history that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to firearm ownership for self defense in the home; striking down D.C.’s handgun ban. In McDonald, the Court held that the Second Amendment, as interpreted in Heller, applied to the States through the Due Process Clause.

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Jim Porter (First Vice President)

In a May 1, 2011 interview with NRA News at the NRA Convention in Pittsburgh, Porter told host Cam Edwards, “I get a little antsy when we’re in there at the actual meeting. I want to get out and go to the store and play with all the toys like everybody else,” referring to the firearms displays in the convention’s exhibit hall. When Edwards asked him to address some of the “threats facing gun owners” Porter replied, “We’re still being treated like second class citizens by the United States government. And we’re going to make a concerted effort to really put some teeth into these legal victories that we’ve had. We still get nickel and dimed on some of these legal issues, and there’s no excuse in it … Now the trend is, with our enemies when they go into court, and the United States government’s position is this, is that the right to keep and bear arms is merely to keep a pistol for self defense in your home. I mean, you know, how silly is that? But, each and every road block they throw up in front of us, we’re going to knock it down and we’re going to more aggressively go after these impediments put up in front of us … There’s a small minority of people who happen to be governing now that are not for anyone possessing or having firearms other than themselves and it’s really an elitist type of viewpoint. But, we’re going to be more aggressive in bringing home these legal victories in Heller and McDonald to the rank and file member and to the everyday citizen in this country.” The Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller, held for the first time in U.S. history that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to firearm ownership for self defense in the home. In McDonald v. Chicago, the Court held that the Second Amendment, as interpreted in Heller, applied to the States through the Due Process Clause.

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Jim Porter (First Vice President)

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Jim Porter (First Vice President)

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