From ORA President, Mark Vaughan


For this week’s update, I wanted to personally share my thoughts on the progress we are seeing at the ORA.  On the state front, our Bills have gone through the house and passed, and we appreciate those that have been involved. Next week our legislators are out for Spring Break, and then the Bills that we have been working on will be heard at the Senate. As always, we will continue to send weekly updates while our legislators are in session. I am particularly encouraged by the tireless work of the ORA and our lawmakers to ensure concerns are addressed with gun safety but not at the cost of individual liberty!

However, I wanted to take a moment to address something weighing heavily on me: President Biden’s 2024 State of the Union Address and his statement on the need to beat the NRA.

Although this is not new information that the current administration is anti-gun, his argument does not take in the full context of the NRA, our wonderful community of gun owners and enthusiasts, or the powerful work we are involved in through the mission of the NRA and its State Associations.

What President Biden failed to mention is that the NRA has 100,000 certified instructors that are instrumental in training a million-gun owners every year.  But stop for a second and think, because of 1 million informed people every year, how many lives are saved and accidents prevented? It is the NRA who has been at the forefront of responsible training for over 150 years with its programs, efforts, grants, and education. Should we really be fighting the NRA and in doing so are we proverbially shooting our nation in the foot?

On that note, I am incredibly proud that the ORA has been taking action on the importance of proactive gun security and working with lawmakers on tax incentives for gun safety devices. We can all agree this is an important step forward!

What President Biden also failed to mention was the opportunities that the NRA and State Associations like the ORA provide for youth.  This not only includes programs for hunting safety or skills building like you see in various youth organizations, but it is also in scholarship opportunities in higher education as youth can become active competitors and secure their future on a collegiate shooting team. This is happening right now in our state with a group of highly motivated parents and their youth setting state, national, and international records.

What President Biden failed to mention is the millions of good people that have found passion and community in our many gun clubs, matches, affiliates, gun ranges, programs, and sport. Instead what we hear is the anti-gun argument to demonize millions because of the actions of a few.

Finally, President Biden said all this doesn’t infringe on the Second Amendment.  What about the countless individuals who are passionate for their freedom and their communities and are part of NRA affiliated State Associations? They work at the grass roots level, and this is the heart of all our freedoms: to not prevent any people group in any way, shape, or form in making their communities a better, safer, and more connected place.

So my question is this, what is the benefit of punitive regulation for a majority group that brings so much good to our nation and community? Are we to be blinded by negative press to the true good that all of us are tirelessly working towards? Or is it easier to ignore the real numbers and instead scare people to the ballot box?

I am incredibly proud that here in Oklahoma we dig deeper to address core issues and uncover the true information about gun ownership. The work of the NRA and its State Associations are critical for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and it disheartens me that our Commander and Chief sees the need to attack this very thing.