Hoover Chamber luncheon speaker promotes gun ownership, NRA

By STEPHEN DAWKINS

Staff Writer

HOOVER – Birmingham attorney James W. Porter II, former president of the National Rifle Association, spoke to attendees of the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Aug. 17 in support of gun ownership.

“Crime is at an all-time low, and gun ownership is at an all-time high,” Porter said.

PORTER

PORTER

Porter, who was president of the NRA from 2013-15, was speaking at the invitation of luncheon sponsor David Jackson and his Chick-fil-A restaurants in Hoover.

Porter talked about the importance of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, which guarantees “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”

The speaker also educated the audience about the NRA, which is the oldest civil rights organization in the country and has a membership of more than 5 million people.

“Our strength is in our grassroots,” Porter said.

NRA was founded in 1871 to train civilians in marksmanship and continues to teach firearm safety and competency.

The organization has become an influential lobby group, promoting or opposing legislation, participating in or initiating lawsuits, and endorsing candidates for public office.

Porter’s presentation turned political when discussing deadly shootings that often spark demand for gun control measures. He said perpetrators in these incidents are “not registered with the NRA.”

“If they’re registered for anything, they’re registered Democrats,” Porter said, and after murmurs from the crowd added, “Look it up.”

Porter said proposed bans on assault rifles are simply an effort to curtail the freedom of gun owners because the guns have only cosmetic differences from other semi-automatic weapons.

Porter is the son of former NRA president Irvine C. Porter, a Birmingham native and graduate of the University of Alabama and Cumberland School of Law, and served as law clerk for Chief Judge Virgil Pittman, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.

He is a member of Birmingham and American Bar Associations, Alabama State Bar, Alabama Defense Lawyers, International Municipal Lawyers Association, Governor’s Conservation Advisory Board, Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust, NRA Foundation, NRA Legal Affairs Committee, American Firearms and Shooting Foundation, Alabama Rifle and Pistol Association and Oak Hill Memorial Cemetery Association.