News

Press Releases


September 2000

A major challenge experienced by gun rights advocates is getting our side of the issue before the public. Several reputable studies have demonstrated the mainstream media are, in effect, a willing ally of the anti-self-defense lobby. Negative...

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August 2000

It’s less than 90 days to E-Day – Election Day. That may seem like a lot of time, but before you know it, the election will be on top of us. In many states there will be primary elections in August or September to narrow the field. The point...

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July 2000

We’re entering a critical period in the legislative cycle. The new fiscal year begins on October 1, and Congress must get more than a dozen appropriation bills to the President to keep the federal government running. The appropriation process is...

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June 2000

The Million Mom March has come and gone…all 100,000 of them (by photographic comparisons with earlier marches of known attendance). For all practical purposes, the MMM was a paid political event, orchestrated by the White House strictly for media...

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May 2000

Many state legislatures have adjourned for the rest of the year. Some states, such as Maryland, passed new restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. In others, most notably Colorado, new gun controls were effectively blocked. The state...

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Media


December 2014 Defender- Governor Greg Abbott

TEXAS GOVERNOR-ELECT MAKES IT CLEAR ON RKBA

Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott wasted no time in making it clear how he feels about the right to keep and bear arms when he affirmed that he would support and sign leg­islation legalizing the open carry of firearms by law-abiding gun owners following his landslide victory. The incoming governor, who replaces pro-gunner Rick Perry, noted at a news conference that if open carry is “good enough for Massachusetts, it’s good enough for the state of Texas.” The declaration may have ignited some political disagreement about who should be allowed to carry a sidearm openly, everyone or just those who have a license to carry concealed. But in an Amarillo Globe- News story quoting C.J. Grisham, president of Open Carry Texas, he expressed confidence that in 2015, Texas will allow the legal open carry of handguns. When it comes to understanding Texas law, perhaps nobody who has been in the governor’s office has a better feel for it than Abbot. He has served as a justice on the Texas State Supreme Court and also as the state’s attorney general. Cementing Abbott’s reputation as a defender of gun rights, no sooner had he promised to sign an open carry bill than did the anti-gun Moms Demand Action lobbying organization have a fit. The Michael Bloomberg-backed gun prohibition group has promised to fight open carry in Texas, but they may find that a difficult battle to win. Abbott is no stranger to the pro-gun spotlight. In 2013, as recalled by Newsmax, he purchased advertising in New York newspapers to encourage Empire State gun owners to move to the Lone Star State. He promised them “lower taxes and greater opportunity.” The incoming Republican has earned a reputation for something other than gun rights. He has sued the Obama administration repeatedly. Most recently, Abbott has targeted the president’s executive action on illegal immigration, suggesting that the new First Texan thinks there’s something illegal about the Obama plan. He has a lot of company, as many critics have asserted that the president may not have the constitutional authority to take such an action. Texas is a state that stands to be greatly impacted by the president’s policy. If Obama can make this kind of decision about illegal immigration, what’s to stop him from making executive decisions about Second Amendment rights? Perhaps it will be Greg Abbott. Abbott is the rare governor who uses a wheelchair, but that obvi­ously doesn’t interfere with his thinking about gun rights. Disabled in a 1984 accident when a tree fell on him following a storm, the new governor has earned his reputation as a staunch gun rights supporter, and the next four years will likely be pretty much the same as the previous eight where gun control extremists are concerned. His promise to sign an open carry bill if it lands on his desk is a pretty strong indication that anti-gunners will have their hands full trying to gain any traction with his adminis­tration.

November 2014 Defender- Lars Larson

BROADCASTER LARS LARSON DEFENDS GUN RIGHTS

When tragedy struck a western Washington high school just days before a volatile gun control initiative battle was to be decided at the polls, nationally-syndicated talk host, and Oregon native, Lars Larson weighed in with a commentary that blistered gun control advocates who tried to exploit the incident to push Initiative 594, an onerous “universal background check” measure.

Larson’s commentary revealed that he voted against the gun control scheme, and he explained why.

“When a teenager went crazy and shot his friends at Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington,” Larson explained, “a number of you wrote to me and said it would fuel the support for 594. In fact, the opposite is true.

“Jaylen Fryberg shot five of his classmates before shooting and killing himself,” the veteran broadcaster detailed. Police say Fryberg used a .40 caliber handgun belonging to his father. (Initiative) 594 would not have prevented Jaylen Fryberg from getting hold of that gun. Three months ago his parents gave him a hunting rifle for his birthday. Initiative 594 would not have prevented that because gifts among family members are exempt under 594. These so-called ‘expanded background checks’ are a favorite political hobby horse of folks who think rules will stop crimes.

“Fryberg broke one rule by bringing a pistol to school,” Larson concluded, “broke another by shooting it, broke more by murdering classmates, and even broke a law by killing himself. Rules didn’t stop him…and passing one more won’t make any difference at all. A teacher stopped the shooting but might have stopped it sooner if armed with a gun.”

Larson, a native of Tillamook, Oregon, has been in broadcasting since he was a teenager. He attended the University of Oregon.

A staunch Second Amendment advocate, Larson has become a Northwest icon and he has remained in the Pacific Northwest, from whence he broadcasts his national show. Today, he is considered to be among the top radio talk hosts, and in 2011, he was the recipient of the Oregon Association of Broadcasters’ “Oregon Personality of the Year” award.

Although he broadcasts from a studio in Portland, Larson is a Washington resident, so he has “a dog in the fight” when it comes to gun control issues in the Evergreen State. He is an enthusiastic hunter and gun owner, and he has thousands of followers on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

October 2014 Defender- Sheriff Mike Lewis

MARYLAND SHERIFF STANDS FIRM ON FIREARMS RIGHTS

Despite the juggernaut passage of increasingly restrictive gun laws in Maryland, at least one county sheriff there has taken a stand that has been getting a fair amount of attention, thanks to a YouTube video in which this lawman makes it clear he will not allow his citizens to be stripped of their right to bear arms.

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis was quoted by USA Today and the Delmarva Daily News, noting, “As long as I’m the sheriff in this county, I will not allow the federal government to come in here and strip my citizens of their right to bear arms. I can tell you this, if they attempt to do that, it would be an all-out civil war, no question about it.”

That statement came from a video that has gone viral, and Sheriff Lewis’ remarks are like a breath of fresh air for beleaguered Maryland gun owners.

The sheriff also appeared in another video, from WRDE, a Delaware television station, in which he blasted Maryland’s Firearms Safety Act of 2013. That statute was passed in response to the December 2012 Sandy Hook tragedy, which did not even happen in Maryland.

“Who am I to tell them what they should or should not protect their families with?” Lewis asked, according to the newspaper. “Who am I to tell them they shouldn’t have a magazine with 30 rounds behind the door when some thug is trying to break into their home? … If you start coming into people’s homes to disarm them solely because you believe they don’t have a Second Amendment right to bear arms, you better stand by. It will be, without a doubt, a civil war.”

Predictably, Sheriff Lewis has received hundreds of supporting messages.

Lewis opposed the law, which has been upheld by a federal judge. He testified against the measure, telling a Senate committee that the law would “do nothing to reduce, suppress or stem the flow of gun crimes on the streets.” At the time he said the legislation was a “feel good” effort.

The controversial interview in which Sheriff Lewis emerged as a stalwart defender of the Second Amendment was reportedly part of a Carnegie-Knight News 21 project called “Gun Wars: The Struggle Over Rights and Regulation in America.” It’s a program conducted by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

Sheriff Lewis has even been praised by other law enforcement professionals, including one retired Los Angeles County sheriff ’s deputy who was shot while on duty, the newspaper said.

He insisted in the News 21 interview that he is not in favor of letting criminals have access to firearms, but that stripping law-abiding citizens of their Second Amendment rights is not the answer to violent crime.

The sheriff ’s remarks have been widely circulated on social media, including Facebook, where the increasing exposure has garnered lots of fans.

September 2014 Defender- Rachel Lucas

VICTIM ADVOCATE SAYS GUNS ‘EMPOWER’ PEOPLE TO PROTECT THEMSELVES

Salem, Ore., resident Rachel Lucas, who grew up in a liberal, anti-gun household, seems on her way to becoming a gun rights advocate that gun prohibitionists could ever experience.

A survivor of a brutal attack several years ago – the kind of incident which she acknowledged “changes your life forever” – the mom, former music and voice teacher, is now a proud gun owner and an activist for gun rights and crime victims. She has an Oregon Concealed Handgun License (CHL) and carries.

She has testified before the Oregon Legislature against various gun control proposals. In the wake of the horrible attacks at the Clackamas Mall and Sandy Hook, she founded Safer Oregon – Oregon Crime Victims for Self Protection.

“At one point in my life,” Lucas told Point Blank, “I really was anti-gun. I bought the whole Brady thing hook, line and sinker. But when I went shooting; if we can get women to try out shooting, then we win them over.”

Following her violent attack, which she detailed in a riveting August Op-ed article that appeared in the Salem Statesman-Journal, Lucas went through “a lot of therapy.” She experienced panic attacks.

“You think you’re over it,” she said, “but then something hits out of the blue, some new challenge that you have to work through. You heal, but the scars are always there.”

Now something else is there as well: Confidence.

“When I shot a gun for the first time,” she recalled, “I realized a whole area where I had been scared. It empowered me…I know I can protect myself.”

She took a class, which is a requirement to obtain an Oregon CHL, and after buying her first handgun, she “went shooting every week.”

Lucas is hardly the only woman who has lived through a traumatic experience, and she has determined that by stepping forward and telling her story, others are inspired to do likewise.

“If they’re going to attack women,” she said, “then women can stand up and tell their stories. Women are stronger nowadays. I feel like women who have been victims of crime have powerful stories to tell and we have one of the strongest voices to protect our rights.”

The Lucas family moved and her fledgling grassroots organization went on something of a hiatus. But what rekindled her activism was a segment of “The View,” during which an advertisement supporting background checks was shown. This message was produced by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, and it depicts a woman on the telephone with police as her ex-husband kicks in the front door, grabs their son and then pulls a pistol out of his pocket and, of camera after the screen goes dramatically black, a shot is fired.

It was the reaction of three of the four female panelists that got Lucas’ attention. All three suggested that the video actually makes a case for owning a gun.

Lucas thinks the philosophy and message of her organization “needs to go nationwide.” The gun control battle is waged largely on an emotional level, she acknowledged, but there are two sides to the argument, with plenty of emotion on the side of victims who have armed themselves.

“We want to help people learn to testify,” she explained. “There’s a way to share…You want to help people aim and shoot and tell their stories to win hearts and minds. There is strength in numbers.”

But it takes someone like Rachel Lucas to inspire people, which she had been doing rather well in Oregon. That’s why she is being recognized as our Gun Rights Defender of the Month.

August 2014 Defender- Police Chief James Craig

DETROIT CHIEF HAS IT RIGHT ABOUT ARMED CITIZENS

When Detroit Police Chief James Craig said recently that armed citizens are a deterrent to crime, a spokesman for one leading gun prohibition lobbying group didn’t care for that at all.

“Our position is, more guns equal more crime,” said Josh Horwitz, director of the Coalition to Stop GunViolence.

But Chief Craig, whose views on citizens fighting back have gotten considerable attention in recent months, has been straightforward.

“Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon,” said Craig, in remarks quoted by the Detroit News. “I don’t want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed.

“I can’t say what specific percentage is caused by this, but there’s no question in my mind it has had an effect,” Craig insisted.

According to the newspaper, the Motor City has seen a 37 percent decline in robberies this year from the same period in 2013. There have also been 22 percent fewer commercial and residential burglaries and 30 percent fewer reports of carjackings. Chief Craig credited that decline to improved police work and the strong possibility that criminals are re-thinking the idea of trying to victimize a private citizen who may be armed.

Craig started his career in law enforcement in Detroit, rising through the ranks as he moved around the country. When he was forced to relocate due to department layoffs in Detroit, he went to Los Angeles in 1981 and spent the next 28 years with that agency, with experience as a patrol sergeant, lieutenant, captain and he was involved in various investigations. He earned a reputation for using innovative strategies to fight crime in some of the city’s toughest neighborhoods, according to one biography.

In 2009, he was hired as the police chief of Portland, Maine. It was during his time there that he reportedly came to the realization that legally armed citizens were not a threat to anyone, and may even be a deterrent to the criminal element.

From Portland, he moved on to head the Cincinnati Police Department in 2011, staying there for about two years before the position of chief opened up in his hometown of Detroit. At the time, he declared, “I’ve come home.”

He brought along a lifetime of experience from all those other agencies, obviously realizing that citizens exercising their right to bear arms is a fairly normal activity in most parts of the country.

Last year, when gangs of thugs were engaging in what became known as “the knockout game,” in which one perpetrator would walk up behind a stranger and sucker-punch the victim – man or woman – in an attempt to knock them out, Chief Craig told WJR radio, “I think folks, the people who would engage in that foolishness, probably know that there’s a number of CPL (Concealed Pistol License) holders running round the streets of in Detroit…Probably not a real good idea.”

What has been a good idea is giving criminals the impression that a new era has started in the Motor City, and that when citizens fight back, the police chief will not treat them like criminals.

Other metropolitan police executives just might take a lesson from that.

July 2014 Defender- John Daywalt

DEFENDING GUN RIGHTS AT THE UNIVERSITY LEVEL

Following two school shooting incidents—one at Reynolds High School in the Portland, Ore., suburb of Troutdale and the other at Seattle Pacific University—gun prohibitionists immediately ramped up the volume on their demands for more gun control laws.

But a student journalist at the University of Texas, Austin took the initiative and wrote an Op-ed piece in the campus newspaper, The Daily Texan, put the issue in perspective when he noted, “The media seems to spend so much time highlighting incidents like these, but news outlets routinely fail to mention a key factor of such shootings, namely that they often occur in gun-free zones.”

That student was John Daywalt, a senior majoring in government from Killeen, where the infamous Luby’s Cafeteria attack occurred several years ago.

Telling people about the false promises and failures of gun control is a process of education, and where better for that process to begin than at a university?

Daywalt’s short essay focused in large part on concealed carry on campus, an issue that has been simmering in the Lone Star State for a couple of years.

“It is apparent that gun-free zones do not work to effectively curb gun violence,” Daywalt wrote. “If you do not believe me, then take a look at the Virginia Tech massacre, the two Fort Hood mass shootings, the recent shooting at Seattle Pacific University, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the shooting in the Perry- Castaneda Library and many others. They each took place in a gun-free zone. The reality is that gun-free zones only do one thing: They disarm law-abiding citizens, specifically concealed handgun license holders.”

Harsh words to be written in a campus newspaper, but that is the reality that many opponents of self-defense seem determined to conceal from young adults. The article got a mixed reaction, with some disagreeing and others siding with Daywalt. But he had some recent history to shore up his contention that allowing concealed carry there by licensed adult students could save lives.

“Doubts about campus carry are valid considering firearms are nearly always portrayed as being used only by ‘bad guys’ and cops in movies,” he noted. “However, let’s take a look in our own backyard. Many of us are aware there was a shooting in West Campus in late April, at a construction site near the intersection of Rio Grande Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. After having been fired from the work site, a former employee returned to the site with a gun and began firing shots at the work site foreman. Luckily for the foreman, who has a CHL, this was not a gun-free zone. He was able to draw his handgun and return fire at the aggressor, thus saving his life when seconds counted. There was simply not enough time to call 911 to wait minutes for a response. If campus carry were allowed, CHL holders would be able to help prevent a gunman from taking innocent lives on campus just as one did in this incident.”

Daywalt’s article provided some interesting data. He reported that at the end of last year, there were more than 708,000 active Texas handgun licenses, and that the conviction rate for people in this category is far lower than for average citizens.

His piece also reported that another campus carry bill is in the works. He identified those who offer main support for the concept, and those who have vowed to fight it.

Daywalt reminded readers that, “When seconds count, the police are minutes away. This is just a stark reality.

“In 2010, after a gunman opened fire in the Perry-Castaneda Library,” he detailed, “the University and UTPD conducted an After Action review of the event. This report states that it took the first UTPD officer three minutes to arrive at the library once the department was first notified of a gunman who was carrying an AK-47, which is capable of firing approximately 600 rounds per minute. Additionally, it took more than 13 minutes before the campus sirens and loudspeaker sounded directing faculty, staff, and students into buildings for campus lockdown. By this time, the lone gunman had already committed suicide and, thankfully, had not injured anyone else.”

In making a compelling case for campus carry, Daywalt promoted the larger exercise of Second Amendment rights. Violent acts do not just happen on college campuses, and being prepared does not have a down side.

Daywalt’s defense demonstrated that battling for gun rights can happen in many different arenas, whether in front of a TV camera, a committee meeting at the Legislature, or even on a university campus. After all, where better could one set out to teach the value of gun rights than at an institution of higher learning?

June 2014 Defender- Martin Pot

U.S. RESIDENT HELPS SECOND AMENDMENT FIGHT

Recent history has shown us that in the fight to advance gun rights for all American, it sometimes falls to a resident non-citizen to do some heavy lifting on behalf of the Second Amendment, and so it was with Martin Pot (pronounced “Pote”).

Pot recently challenged an Arkansas law that only allowed concealed carry licenses to citizens. Supported by CCRKBA’s sister organization, the Second Amendment Foundation, and represented by attorney David Sigale, Pot took the state to federal court.

U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks, for the Western District of Arkansas, handed down the ruling in May.

This was a particularly speedy verdict, Gottlieb noted Pot filed his lawsuit only last November.

“This is yet another victory in our effort to expand Second Amendment protections in the United States,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb. “Mr. Pot is a law-abiding resident of Eureka Springs, and has been so since 1986. He came here almost 30 years ago, met and married his wife, and has many solid connections in his community.

“This case is not unique,” Gottlieb noted. “We have successfully challenged other state laws, in New Mexico, Washington, Nebraska and Massachusetts. Legal resident aliens should not be penalized at the expense of their self-defense rights. This case that should help a lot people.”

Arkansas statute allowed Pot to possess a firearm only in his home, on his property or – under certain circumstances – while on a “journey.” He was prohibited from obtaining a concealed carry permit because he is not a citizen.

Anytime a law-abiding person’s right of self-defense is impaired, gun owners should be alarmed.

With allies like Martin Pot, the fight to fully restore the Second Amendment is made just a tiny bit easier. That’s why Point Blank is recognizing him as our Gun Rights Defender of the Month.

May 2014 Defender- John Jackson

JOHN JACKSON TAKES STAND, WINS NEW MEXICO CCW CASE

When John W. Jackson, a New Mexico resident and Australian citizen, sought the ability to carry a concealed handgun for his personal protection and discovered that under the state law he was disallowed because of his citizenship status, he took the state to court and won.

For a lot of people.

In a ruling issued by U.S. District Judge M. Christina Armijo, Jackson was granted a permanent injunction against the state’s enforcement of the “citizen only” concealed carry law that unfairly discriminated against permanent legal resident aliens. Attorney David Sigale, who represented Jackson in the case, told him via e-mail, “You have done a true service.”

“This is a victory not only for Mr. Jackson, but for all permanent legal resident aliens who are otherwise qualified to obtain a concealed handgun license,” noted Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

CCRKBA’s sister organization, the Second Amendment Foundation, brought the lawsuit on his behalf.

Jackson, a resident of Rio Rancho, a community located just north of Albuquerque, “has demonstrated that he is a productive member of the community and certainly did not give up any right to personal protection by moving from his country to our country,” Gottlieb said.

The ruling does not declare the state’s concealed carry law unconstitutional, but it does conclude that the remedy for violating the equal protection clause is to sever the citizenship provision from the statute. This can be done, Judge Armijo said, “without impairing the remainder” of the state’s concealed carry law, which still requires an applicant to meet all of the state’s remaining requirements.

After the victory, Gottlieb noted that “One of the more significant notations in the ruling was that the court found New Mexico’s statute discriminates on the basis of alienage, and as a result, was subject to strict scrutiny.”

With the exception of his Australian citizenship, Jackson met all the criteria for obtaining a carry license. Even the state conceded that he could enjoy the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, they just didn’t think that included the right to carry concealed.

For stepping up to the plate, Jackson has earned recognition as CCRKBA’s Gun Rights Defender of the Month.

Shyanne Roberts

Grown-ups can learn a lot from

children, especially 9-year-old

Shyanne Roberts of Franklinville,

N.J., and that’s why we are

recognizing this courageous young

lady as the Gun Rights Defender of

the Month.

 

She earned it.

In an interview with Point Blank,

Miss Roberts, a student at Main Road

Elementary, became a standout for

her generation. She did that while

telling a room full of adults a lot of

things they should already know.

When Miss Roberts testified before

a legislative committee discussing

a new gun control measure in the

Garden State, there was only the

honesty of a child with a love for

the shooting sports.

 

She reminded lawmakers that

instituting a magazine capacity limit

“was punishing me instead of the

other people that did something

wrong.”

 

“I started shooting in my dad’s lap

when I was five,” she told Point Blank,

“and started competing when I was

seven.”

 

Miss Roberts has become an icon on

YouTube. She has her own Facebook

page that her dad, Dan, monitors

because some adults simply cannot

control their foul sentiments toward

even youngsters who support gun

rights.

 

Shyanne competes with a Ruger

10/22 semi-auto rifle, a Walther P22

pistol and a bolt-action single-shot

Cricket .22-caliber rifle. She is moving

up this year to an AR-15, a Remington

11-87 shotgun in 20-gauge, and a

Glock 19 pistol.

 

She was nervous, but was willing

to go for it after having seen 15-yearold

Sarah Merkle testify against

restrictive gun laws in Maryland last

year. As with Merkle’s case, the video

of Shyanne’s remarks went viral with

tens of thousands of views.

 

Her fellow students were “stunned,”

Shyanne recalled, that she had been

able to testify, and one of her teachers

told her, “Girl power rocks!”

Indeed it does. When she was

finished, the crowd broke out in

applause.

 

Miss Roberts told lawmakers that

if they adopt new magazine capacity

limits, it will seriously handicap her

ability to compete in some matches,

where speed and accuracy count.

Having to reload in the middle of a

relay will cut seconds off her time,

her father noted.

 

Shyanne has two older sisters and

one younger brother. She will turn 10

in August, and she is already thinking

about one day trying to earn a

national title in shooting competition.

Dan Roberts told Point Blank

that, because he owns firearms, he

wanted his children to learn to be

safe around them.

 

 

Shyanne appears

to have inherited his interest, but is

definitely developing her own knack

for defending not only her rights, but

everyone else’s in the process.

“I just walked right up and testified.

Rep. Jeff Thompson

Freshman Louisiana State Rep. Jeff Thompson founded the “Defend Louisiana” campaign and he held an “open conference” with almost 10,000 participants, along with U.S. Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).

That’s a success by anyone’s standard, and gun rights activists in other states ought to push their representatives to follow Thompson’s example. Earlier this year, he worked with other lawmakers in Baton Rouge to push through legislation that included lifetime concealed carry permits and penalizing the publication of concealed carry permit information and unlawfully sharing personal information about armed citizens. Jeff Thompson attended Northeast Louisiana University, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He worked in the private sector and was a reserve police officer with the Monroe Police Department before graduating with honors from Tulane University. He has served as president of the Bossier Parish Bar Association, and is a member of the Shreveport and Louisiana State Bar Associations.

With all of those accomplishments, he is now facing the new challenge of defending Second Amendment rights in Louisiana with the “Defend Louisiana” project. For his work, he is CCRKBA’s January 2014 Defender of the Month.

When he announced the effort, he issued a statement noting, “We fully intend to give residents a united and strong voice in the defense of their rights and the protection of their families. We’re showing our commitment to reform by doing more than just talking, we’re presenting bold solutions that increase safety while maintaining our fundamental rights. In the coming weeks and months there will be a lot of discussion regarding guns. We need to make certain our children realize guns can be dangerous and that we educate people about responsible ownership and use of firearms.”