The National Rifle Association stepped up this week to defend speaker Virginia House Speaker Todd Gilbert from attacks levied against him by a “fake” Second Amendment advocacy group.

In a statement posted to their website, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) issued the following about Gilbert’s record on Second Amendment issues and the attacks against him:

“This desperate group has released multiple smear campaigns against pro-2A lawmakers while asking for donations. With no lobbying presence in Richmond or at the grassroots level, these groups instead focus on attacking pro-2A legislators, such as Speaker Gilbert, rather than fighting to restore Second Amendment freedoms in Virginia.

To set the record straight on the disingenuous ads, Speaker Gilbert has been a staunch supporter of 2A rights for Virginians since being elected to the House of Delegates in 2006. In 2017, he was the winner of NRA’s exclusive Defender of Freedom award. Under Del. Gilbert’s leadership, the House restored a pro-2A majority, including his election as Speaker of the House, and guided efforts to repeal much of the Northam gun scheme, including restoring preemption, and passing the first “red flag” repeal in the country. While these bills fell short in the anti-gun State Senate, his pro-2A qualifications are unquestionable.”

The attacks against Gilbert originally came from Chris Anders who  “regularly sends emails attacking the Speaker … accusing him of not being on the side of gun owners” per the Brandon Jarvis of the VAGovernor Substack. Anders is the leader of a group called the “Virginia Constitutional Conservatives”