When we last spoke to National Shooting Sports Foundation senior vice president and general counsel Larry Keane on Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, he teased an upcoming announcement about an effort to help gun owners support the firearms industry and protect their own individual right to keep and bear arms. The secret is now out and Keane is back on the show today, not as a spokesperson for the NSSF, but in his role as treasurer for a new super PAC that aims to play a major role in defending our freedoms in the 2024 election cycle.
The Protect Liberty PAC is needed, says Keane, because “we are in some challenging times.” The growing popularity of socialism, the rise in “woke culture”, and the incessant attacks on our individual freedoms that are ramping up across the country are all evidence of that, and Keane says that it’s absolutely critical to identify and support those candidates for federal office who will curb these abusive and authoritarian affronts to our liberty.
“Our way of life in America is under attack. Our freedoms, our liberties, things we took for granted growing up. You had a First Amendment right to say what you thought, and people didn’t have to agree with you but you had the right to speak your mind. That’s just not the case anymore,” Keane says, pointing to cancel culture on college campuses, the threats directed at activists like Riley Gaines, and the demonization of gun owners and Second Amendment supporters who are routinely accused of caring more about the guns they own than the children they’ve raised and love.
While industry veterans like Keane are spearheading the Protect Liberty PAC, gun owners and all those concerned about the direction of the country are welcome to contribute to its coffers, with the funds raised going to “strategically engaging highly targeted voters in key federal races that ultimately will have a critical impact on our freedoms.” As Keane notes, the vast majority of House seats (and to a lesser degree, Senate races) aren’t going to be all that competitive, so the PAC will be focused on those battleground states and swing districts that will determine control of the two chambers in 2025.
The stakes for gun owners have never been higher. Not only do we have the most anti-gun administration in history occupying the White House at the moment and opening up an office in the executive branch to fund and provide governmental support to the gun control lobby, but Democrats are coalescing around the idea of packing the Supreme Court full of anti-2A justices who’ll overrule the Heller, McDonald, and Bruen decisions at the first opportunity. If Democrats take control of the House while keeping the Senate and the White House in their hands, we can expect bans on modern sporting rifles, federal “red flag” laws, “universal” background checks that make it a crime to loan or sell your gun to a friend or neighbor without going through an FFL, waiting periods, age-based gun bans, gun rationing, and a host of other anti-2A measures to be swiftly enshrined into law and upheld by an activist Court intent on undoing the progress that’s been made in securing our right to keep and bear arms.
The most important thing we can do as gun owners to protect those rights is to get out and vote, but supporting efforts to target voters in these battleground elections is also extremely helpful. I live in a solidly red district in Virginia, and though I’d be happy to see a primary fight against my sitting congresscritter I’m not particularly concerned at the moment about the seat flipping to a Democrat. There are several other districts in the Old Dominion, however, where incumbents on both sides of the aisle are likely to face competitive races, and it’s those kinds of districts that Keane says Protect Liberty PAC will be focused on in 2024.
We’ll be talking more with Larry Keane about Protect Liberty’s election efforts in the months ahead, but I’m encouraged to see the industry is taking the threats to our 2A rights seriously. The 2024 election cycle is going to feature some bruising political fights given the stakes for both sides, and the more voices we have speaking out in defense of our individual liberties the more likely it is that our Second Amendment rights will survive and even thrive over the next few years.