HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Supporters of the Second Amendment are declaring the 2016 the most critical to their rights because it is likely that the next president will appoint four new U.S. Supreme Court justices, warned the president of the National Rifle Association.
"In my view, all the chips are on the table in this election because the impact is who gets the Supreme Court," said the NRA's chief, Allan D. Cors.
Cors, in an interview with Secrets on the opening day of the annual Great American Outdoor Show here, the nation's biggest, described Democratic frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton as passionately anti-gun and ready to change the makeup of the court and unleash the Justice Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on gun owners and limit imports through State Department rules.
"All of these things fall with whoever is president," said Cors.
Cors has worked on Capitol Hill and in a government relations firm in the Washington area for decades and recalled how deeply involved Clinton was during her husband's successful bid to ban assault weapons in the 1990s.
"Hillary was heavily engaged on that issue. She was calling wives of members of Congress to get them to work on their husbands to vote the right way, Bill Clinton's way, on gun control. I view that as serious passion for the issue," said Cors.
His concerns were reinforced by NASCAR team owner and NRA board member Richard Childress, who told Secrets, "What goes along with our Second Amendment is our freedom and if we lost that we lose our freedom. We cannot lose our freedom. And this probably will be the most critical election in our time for our freedom and the Second Amendment."
Also, the head of Kahr Firearms Group, Justin Moon, a sponsor of the week-long NRA outdoor show, said Clinton is a threat to gun owners.
"We need to make sure Hillary Clinton doesn't become president. We need to elect a pro-gun president, otherwise we might not have any Constitutional rights left," he told Secrets.
Cors makes the case to NRA supporters that four of the Supreme Court's nine justices are over 77 years old. Two are liberals, two are conservatives.
And, he said, major donors are responding. He told of how one wealthy life member who had never make a big contribution has opened his checkbook to the NRA. Cors said the member told him, "I really want to make significant contribution because of what we are up against. We can't have somebody in the White House who is going to nominate people to the Supreme Court who don't support the Second Amendment."
The NRA is building a big campaign budget that will surpass the $20 million spent in the last election. Cors said that the group will spend every cent contributors give it.
"We're going spend more, significantly more," pledged Cors.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.