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FIRST ON FOX – The National Rifle Association (NRA) has thrown its full support behind North Carolina Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson’s “fervent patriot” as he seeks to expand his meteoric political rise and become governor of the Tar Heel State, it has learned. FoxNewsDigital.

“It is with immense pride and unwavering support that I, on behalf of the members of the National Rifle Association in North Carolina, extend to you the NRA-PVF’s highest award, the ‘A+’ rating, and our full endorsement of his candidacy for governor in the 2024 North Carolina Primary Election,” NRA-ILA Executive Director Randy Kozuch wrote in a letter to Robinson on Tuesday.

Robinson took office as lieutenant governor of North Carolina in 2021, becoming the state’s first Black American to serve in the position. He announced last April that he would run for governor.

Kozuch detailed in his endorsement letter that Robinson’s fight to protect the Second Amendment has resonated not only with NRA members in North Carolina, but also with law-abiding gun owners across the country.

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Mark Robinson speaking

The NRA endorsed North Carolina Republican Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson in his bid for governor. (ANR)

“His determined defense of the Second Amendment and the principles of liberty has resonated deeply with our members, not only in North Carolina but across the country. His assertion that protecting the right of citizens to keep and bear arms is not “Just a political stance. But a fundamental cornerstone of freedom, it echoes the very spirit of the NRA,” Kozuch said in his letter.

Robinson went viral in 2018 when he gave an impassioned speech about gun laws during a city council meeting in Greensboro, before being elected to political office. His speech came in response to local leaders debating whether to cancel a gun show following the Parkland school shooting in Florida that same year.

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“I’m a law-abiding citizen who has never shot anyone,” Robinson said at the rally, which was viewed 200 million times. “Every time we have one of these shootings, no one wants to put the blame where it goes, which is at the feet of the shooter. You want to put it at my feet. You want to turn around and restrict my right.”

The viral speech catapulted Robinson into politics, including an NRA speech in 2018 before he landed the lieutenant governor’s job. Robinson previously worked as a furniture factory employee in North Carolina and is an Army veteran.

Mark Robinson at NRA event

North Carolina Republican Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson during an NRA event. (ANR)

“On April 3, 2018, you stood as a beacon of freedom before the Greensboro City Council, promising to be the unwavering voice for the rights of law-abiding citizens. Just one month later, you boldly took the national stage, addressing national media and fellow NRA members and Second Amendment advocates at the 2018 NRA Leadership Forum,” Kozuch said in his letter.

Kozuch said Robinson’s rise in politics has been “nothing short of remarkable,” while noting that the North Carolina Republican has remained dedicated to protecting the Second Amendment while in political office.

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“His rise over the past six years has been nothing short of remarkable. As a fervent patriot and defender of freedom, he took the brave step of running for office, emerged victorious, and has since ceaselessly upheld his solemn promise to defend the rights of law-abiding gun owners,” he said.

RNA event

People walk past signs in the hallways outside the exhibit halls at the NRA Annual Meeting held at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Thursday, May 26, 2022 in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

Robinson’s ideology is rooted in “common sense conservatism,” according to his official biography as lieutenant governor, and focuses on “protecting the lives of the unborn, defending the Second Amendment, returning control over children’s education to parents, uphold the law, enforce the law, address veterans’ care, and enact election reform.

The state’s Republican gubernatorial primary will take place on March 5, when Robinson will face off against state Treasurer Dale Folwell and veteran trial attorney Bill Graham.

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“This endorsement is a testament to your steadfast commitment to the Second Amendment and your tireless efforts to safeguard the right of North Carolinians to defend themselves and their loved ones,” Kozuch said in his letter.

By Sam