HOUSTON, Sept. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA): The ISRA is pleased to announce that the Association has been selected "Affiliate of the Year" by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. The ISRA is equally pleased to announce that the Committee has also named ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson, as the Committee's "Gun Rights Defender of the Year." Both awards were announced during the 2013 Gun Rights Policy Conference in Houston, Texas. "On behalf of the officers, directors and members of the ISRA, I'd like to thank the Committee for honoring the Association with this distinguished award," said ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson. "As a matter of principle, the ISRA places the preservation and protection of the right to keep and bear arms above all else. We're very pleased that the Committee feels that the ISRA made a noteworthy contribution to the cause this past year." "On a personal note," continued Pearson. "I'm greatly humbled by my selection as Gun Rights Defender of the Year. I'll admit that I did put a lot of time and effort into the campaign for gun rights this past year. But I don't think that I did any more than millions of other Americans would have done had they been in my position. Our entire Constitution is under vicious attack from the current administration. Millions of Americans are standing up for what they believe. First and foremost, Americans believe in the individual right to keep and bear arms. I'm pleased that I'm sitting in a position where I can help fellow Americans mount a defense against those who would gladly take our guns away from us."