Rev. Jonathan Wilkins

CCRKBA this month names Rev. Jonathan Wilkins, minister of the Baptist Tabernacle of Thomaston, Georgia as the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month.
John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, nominated the clergyman for the award.
“Rev. Wilkins,” said Snyder, “has stood up in a most forthright, determined and articulate manner for the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms. He has argued explicitly and convincingly that there is an intrinsic connection between the right of self-defense and traditional religious values. He has done this and is doing this in a challenge to an anti-gun state law. He truly deserves to receive the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award.”
Rev. Wilkins and currently are involved in an effort to allow law-abiding citizens in Georgia who are licensed to carry guns into churches.
The issue arose earlier this year when the state legislature enacted and the governor signed into law a prohibition on guns and churches.
Rev. Wilkins wants to arm himself while working alone at the church and during services “for the protection of his flock, his family and himself,” according to a lawsuit filed for the minister and by attorney John Monroe.
The lawsuit was filed against the state in July in Upson County Superior Court and then later moved to the U.S. District Court in Macon. In August, U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal set deadlines for each side in the lawsuit to submit written arguments on which he will base his decision.
Rev. Wilkins, “frequently the only occupant of the building while working in his office in the church, would also like to keep a firearm there for self-defense,” reports Bob Allen, a senior writer for Associated Baptist Press.
In a church notice, the Baptist Tabernacle proclaims that, “One of the sacred rights given to man by Almighty God is the right of self-defense. In March of 2009, after the shooting of Pastor Winters in Maryville, Illinois while preaching at church, we resolved to always have a responsible and trained individual armed for protective purposes. However we were astonished that state law considers this a ‘criminal’ act. As citizens of the state we were ashamed that our state:
-Forbids our sacred right to carry weapons to defend our families from lawless renegades while at church. Especially in light of the recent trend of church shootings.
-Serves notice to criminals that we are unarmed leaving us defenseless and vulnerable to attack.
– Rends from us our corporate rights. As a body of believers, on our own property, it should be our decision and not the state’s as to whether we will allow armed people on that property, and
– Discriminates against the church by criminalizing conduct that is otherwise permitted state-wide.
“We sought resolution of this deplorable situation by legislative means which proved unsuccessful; we are therefore compelled to appeal to the process of litigation. May God vindicate our cause!”
Rev. Wilkins noted that critics ask why anyone would want to have a gun at church. “Folks are genuinely astonished that a pastor and his congregation would want to exercise such a right,” he wrote.
“Theologically,” he continued, “the critic objects by echoing the words of Christ in Matthew 5, ‘blessed are the peacemakers.’
“And yet Christ told us in Luke 11:21 the way to maintain peace was to arm oneself. ‘When a strong man armed kept his palace, his goods are in peace.’ It is the armed man who deters those who wish to disturb the peace.’
“On another occasion, the Lord stopped in the middle of a sermon and said to his congregation, ‘he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.’”
Rev. Wilkins stated also that, “If the Second Amendment is indeed ‘the law of the land,’ then neither Georgia not the federal government has any right ‘infringing’ upon my right to ‘bear arms,’ even in church.
“Practically, this is a self-defense issue. People believe the illusion that churches are somehow ‘safety zones’ where bad people will ‘supernaturally’ respect a prohibition of guns in churches. But in 2007 Bob Unruh published an article titled ‘Church Shootings in the Rise in U.S.’ in which he listed 10 church shootings since 1999. After 2007, I have noted six additional churches that have fallen prey to gun violence.”
Rev. Wilkins concluded that, “Theologically, historically, legally and in all practicality the church should be free to allow its members the right to bear arms.”

Associate Justice Samuel Alito

United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito is the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for August.
In nominating Justice Alito for the CCRKBA Award, John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, noted that the jurist “wrote the Supreme Court’s 5-4 June decision in the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago. In his rendering of the Supreme Court’s position, Justice Alito presented a comprehensive discussion of the historical, legal and practical reasons for maintaining that the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution incorporates to state and local governments for individuals the protection of the individual right to keep and bear arms stipulated to the national government for individuals in the Second Amendment. This is a monumental achievement. Justice Alito is most deserving of this CCRKBA recognition and approbation.”
When the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller two years ago that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms and declared the handgun ban in the District, a federal city, unconstitutional, the question remained as to whether or not states and local governments also were prevented from banning handguns.
Otis McDonald, several other individuals, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the Illinois State Rifle Association maintained that the Heller decision, if properly interpreted, meant that the Chicago handgun ban was unconstitutional. Chicago challenged that position. When the case got to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, that court agreed with the Chicago position. Then, McDonald and the others, represented by attorney Alan Gura, took the case up to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear it, and came down in late June in favor of McDonald and the others.
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Seventh Circuit, and remanded the case to the lower court.
Joining Justice Alito in that decision were Chief Justice John Roberts, and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.
Siding with the lower court were Associate Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.
After discussing at length the legal history of the right to keep and bear arms and why the Supreme Court recognized it as an individual right in District of Columbia v. Heller, Justice Alito wrote that the City of Chicago “arguments are at war with our central holding in Heller: that the Second Amendment protects a personal right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes, most notably for self-defense within the home. Municipal respondents, in effect, ask us to treat the right recognized in Heller as a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees that we have held to be incorporated into the Due Process Clause.
“Municipal respondents’ main argument is nothing less than a plea to disregard 50 years of incorporation precedent and return (presumably for this case only) to a bygone era. Municipal respondents submit that the Due Process Clause protects only those rights ‘recognized by all temperate and civilized governments, from a deep and universal sense of (their) justice. According to municipal respondents, if it is possible to imagine any civilized legal system that does not recognize a particular right, then the Due Process Clause does not make that binding on the States. Therefore, the municipal respondents continue, because such countries as England, Canada, Australia, Japan, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, and New Zealand either ban or severely limit handgun ownership, it must follow that no right to possess such weapons is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.”
Justice Alito stated that, “This line of argument is, of course, inconsistent with the long-established standard we apply in incorporation cases. And the present-day implications of municipal respondents’ argument are stunning. For example, many of the rights that our Bill of Rights provides for persons accused of criminal offenses are virtually unique in our country. If our understanding of the right to a jury trial, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to counsel were necessary attributes of any civilized country, it would follow that the United States is the only civilized Nation in the world.”
Born in 1950, Justice Alito was nominated to the Supreme Court by President George W. Bush and has served on the court since 2006.
Raised in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, and educated at Princeton University and Yale Law School, Alito served as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey and a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit before joining the Supreme Court.

Brian Anse Patrick

One of the main reasons the rightto carry concealed firearms movementhas become so popular andprevalent throughout the UnitedStates is because the gun communityhas learned and become adept atusing new forms of communication,maintains Brian Anse Patrick, theCCRKBA Gun Rights Defender ofthe Month for July.“In developing his ideas, Brianhas shown people in the gun rightsmovement how we have overcomeelitist media opposition to some ofour legislative objectives and, byimplication, how we can expandand increase this effectiveness,” saidJohn M. Snyder, CCRKBA PublicRelations Director. “He also warnsthe Second Amendment communityabout possible future pitfallswhich may befall our movementfrom elitist forces. He certainly ismost deserving of the Gun RightsDefender of the Month Award.”Patrick is Associate Professor inthe Department of Communicationat the University of Toledo inToledo, Ohio. He holds a Ph.D. inCommunications Research from theUniversity of Michigan. He teachesundergraduate and graduatecourses in research methods, groupcommunication, propaganda andpersuasion. His honors seminarson “Propaganda and Social Science”and “American Gun Policy” rankas the most popular courses in theUniversity’s Honors Program.Dr. Patrick is the author of “Riseof the Anti-Media: In-Forming theAmerican Concealed WeaponsMovement.”In this study Dr. Patrick explainshis thesis regarding the developmentof communications strengthby the pro-gun movement, particularlythe right to carry concealedmovement.For years, the general distribution ofinformation and opinion on firearms,gun control and related matters hasdepended on a top-down, or verticaltransmission by classes of interpretativeexperts, or persons in control ofmass media operations, most of whomhave been part of or loyal to an elite,an anti-gun elite.In more recent years, though, withthe development of new forms ofcommunication not dominated by theanti-gun elite, such as that availablethrough the internet and throughspecial interest publications like newsletters,there have arisen a numberof horizontal interpretative communities,or special interest groups, orpro-gun communities. These communitiesare able to communicateamongst themselves and throughoutthe general public and able to displaceto a certain extent the dominance ofthe information dispersal system bythe classes of interpretative expertsoperating in the vertical manner.It is this change which has madepossible the transformation of gunrights interests from being generallyfrowned upon to being generally accepted,appreciated and even extolled.As Patrick wrote, “concealed carrysucceeded because its proponentshave largely bypassed traditionalmass media news systems. Althoughthey may employ traditional massmedia to complement their informationalstrategies, they by no means relyon them. Their victories have comeabout because they have developedtheir own formal and informal communicationsnetworks and alternativemedia, especially, more lately,computer-mediated communication.These anti-media have, in the longrun, as demonstrated by current politicalreality, proved more effectivethan the more loosely-targeted massmediated,top-down informationalstrategies of their opponents.”He warns, though, that anti-gunmedia elites “may well react withtheir own version of the College ofPropaganda. Entertainment, educationand news media may symbolicallyintertwine as never beforein vertical communications. Alreadyone can see how news media, massentertainment, and large organizationspseudomorph horizontal computer-mediated communications,creating chat rooms and web pageswith comment options and otherforms of participation that are builtto stimulate or siphon off the true associationaland conversational urge.Overorganization may indeed win;human laziness, stupidity, and cupidityall weigh in on its behalf. Elites areelites usually for good reasons, beingsmart and adaptable. But when massdemocracy relies on interpretativeelites to inform the populace, it isthese interpretive elites who reallycontrol, not the people, but alwaysin the name of the people.”Brian is a Civilian MarksmanshipProgram (CMP) distinguished pistolshot. “I just love those hardball1911s,” he says.He recalled that his father “ownedand operated a small machine shop.My father was quite the sportsman,loved to deer hunt. We spent muchtime in northern Michigan, andbuilt a house for a hunting lodge.I still hunt there and also still haveand use his rifles, and have someof my own to boot.”

Gov. Janice K. Brewer

Governor Janice K. Brewer ofArizona is the CCRKBA GunRights Defender on the Monthfor June.In nominating the Grand CanyonState chief executive for the Award,John M. Snyder, CCRKBA PublicAffairs Director, said that, “Gov. JanBrewer, since she became governorin January, 2009, has demonstratedgenuine support of the individualright to keep and bear arms. Shehas manifested this by dramaticaction as well as by articulate word.She most certainly deserves thisCCRKBA Gun Rights Defender ofthe Month Award.”In mid-April, Governor Brewersigned into a law a measure allowingadults in her state to carry a concealedfirearm without a permit,thus putting her in the forefrontof those supporting what is beingcharacterized as constitutionalcarry.Arizona joined Alaska and Vermontin allowing concealed carrywithout permits. The Arizona lawstill enables law-abiding citizens toobtain concealed carry permits ifdesired.“The State of Arizona has longbeen the home to defenders ofpersonal liberty and the freedomsenshrined and protected by theConstitution of the United Statesand our State Constitution,” saidGov. Brewer.“I believe strongly in the individualrights and responsibilitiesof a free society, and as GovernorI have pledged a solemn and importantoath to protect and defendthe Constitution,” she continued.“Today I signed Senate Bill 1108,the constitutional carry bill. I believethis legislation not only protectsthe Second Amendment rights ofArizona citizens, but restores thoserights as well. I am joined in supportof this legislation by both Republicanand Democratic members of the Arizonalegislature, and I laud the strongnumber of bipartisan supporters whojoin with me to defend the rights ofour citizens.”Brewer was Arizona Secretary ofState from 2002 through 2009. She accededto the governorship when herpredecessor, Janet Napolitano, wasappointed Secretary of the federalDepartment of Homeland Security(DHS) by President Barack Obama.Brewer has been quite a contrastto Napolitano on gun rights issues.As governor, Napolitano vetoed ameasure which would have alloweda person without a concealed carrypermit to carry a firearm by meansof any transportation other thanpublic transportation. Napolitanoalso vetoed a measure which wouldhave lowered the penalty for carryinga firearm without a permit to apetty offense, as well as a bill whichwould have provided for a lifetimeconcealed carry permit.As an Obama administration official,Napolitano was in charge lastyear when DHS issued a message tolaw enforcement officials alleging “acorrelation may exist between thepotential passage of gun control legislationand increased hoarding ofammunition, weapons stockpiling,and paramilitary training activitiesamong right wing extremists.”Since Brewer took over from Napolitano,she has signed into law ameasure which prohibits cities fromhaving restrictions on firearms morestringent than anything in state law,as well as a bill stating that federallaws do not apply to guns and ammunitionmanufactured wholly inArizona.Born in California, Brewer receivedradiological education fromValley College in Burbank, California.A Lutheran, she is married toDr. John Brewer.Prior to her service as Arizona’sSecretary of State, Gov. Brewerserved as Maricopa County Supervisor.She spent 14 years in the ArizonaState Legislature, first as a staterepresentative from 1983 to 1986,and then as a state senator from1987 to 1996. As senator, she heldthe leadership position of MajorityWhip, and worked successfully fortax relief and budget reform; truth insentencing; open enrollment, schoolreport cards, and charter schools;clean air and water legislation andstate trust land preservation.She is a member of the ArizonaRifle and Pistol Association.

Curt A. Levey

CCRKBA announces that CurtA. Levey, Executive Director of theCommittee for Justice (CFJ), is theCCRKBA Gun Rights Defender ofthe Month for May.In nominating Levey for theAward, John M. Snyder, CCRKBAPublic Affairs Director, noted that,“as issues involving the individualSecond Amendment civil right oflaw-abiding Americans to keep andbear arms more and more come beforethe courts, it is most importantthat the pro-gun community havewithin its ranks legal experts whounderstand the intrinsic connectionbetween the political and legalmanifestation of our gun rights.Levey is such an individual. Withinthis context, he has demonstratedin an articulate and forceful mannerthis understanding and the waysin which gun rights activists canproceed in a positive manner. Hemost certainly deserves a CCRKBAGun Rights Defender of the MonthAward.”Levey was a speaker at the nationalGun Rights Policy Conference(GRPC), co-sponsored by CCRKBAand the Second Amendment Foundationlast fall in St. Louis, Missouri.In an article written around thattime from CFJ in the Washington,D.C. area, Levey stated that, “Withan estimated 90 million firearmsowners in America and a hugemargin of popular support for aright to keep and bear arms, the gunrights community is a potent politicalforce. But until recently, it hadlittle reason to care about judges.That’s all changed with the arrivalof a new Supreme Court justice andthe Obama administration.”In referring to the McDonald v.City of Chicago case, Levey wrote in regardto it that the U.S. Supreme Court“Justices agreed to decide whetherthe Second Amendment gives Americansa constitutional right to keep andbear arms that is enforceable againststate and local gun laws. Coming onthe heels of the High Court’s landmarkgun rights decision last year,and at a time when the retirement oftwo Supreme Court Justices appearsimminent, the Chicago case remindsgun owners that their battlefield hasshifted to the courts and hastens theprofound change in the politics ofjudicial confirmations that began thissummer.”Levey indicated that the nominationand confirmation of Justice SoniaSotomayor to the Supreme Court wasa development that stimulated gunowners into action on the judicialconfirmation front. He recalled thatin the District of Columbia v. Hellercase, which took place before theSotomayor event, the Justices, withregard to the fight over gun rights,“transferred the theater of war fromlegislatures to the judiciary. However,Heller left two huge questionsunaddressed – the all-importantstandard for evaluating the constitutionalityof gun regulations, and theSecond Amendment’s application tostate and local laws. Moreover, theSupreme Court’s 5-4 split means thatif President Obama replaces one ofthe five center-right Justices, Helleritself could be gutted or even overturned.“As with other ideologically chargedissues in the hands of the courts, thefuture of gun rights depends as muchon the composition of the federalbench as on the strength of the legalarguments. That’s why I and otherspredicted that gun owners – theirfate tied to the selection of judges inthe wake of Heller – would emergeas a potent part of the coalitionadvocating against liberal judicialactivism and for judges who strictlyinterpret the Constitution.”Levey stated that the confirmationbattle over Sotomayor, whoserecord is not acceptable from a gunrights perspective, even though shewas confirmed, galvanized the gunrights movement over a court nominationin a way which heretoforehad not been the case.“The political dynamics of nominatingand confirming judges hasbeen forever altered,” Levey wrote.“Abortion rears its head in virtuallyevery Supreme Court or hotlycontested lower court confirmationcontest. Gun rights will now do thesame, especially as the explosionof Second Amendment litigationguarantees that more and more judicialnominees will have relevantrulings, briefs, articles and speechesto scrutinize. Abortion opponentshave been the most influential partof the coalition opposing judicialactivism. But the new, gun-owninggorilla in the room matches thepro-life movement in numbers andsurpasses it in ability to influencemoderate Republican and Democraticsenators.”After graduating from HarvardLaw School with honors and clerkingfor the U.S. Court of Appealsfor the Sixth Circuit, Curt served asDirector of Legal and Public Affairsat the Center for Individual Rights,a public interest law firm in Washington,D.C. Curt also has an M.S.and B.A. in computer science fromBrown University.

Otis McDonald

CCRKBA for April is namingOtis McDonald of Chicago theCCRKBA Gun Rights Defenderof the Month.McDonald is the lead plaintiff inthe McDonald v. City of Chicago casechallenging the constitutionalityof the Windy City’s handgun ban.The United States Supreme Courtheard oral arguments in the caseon March 2. Observers expect adecision within months.In nominating McDonald for theAward, John M. Snyder, CCRKBAPublic Affairs Director, noted that“Otis has been sticking up for ourprinciples in a most articulate andstraight forward manner in theface of much criticism for doing so.He’s gutsy as well as principled,and quite gentlemanly besides.He certainly deserves a CCRKBAGun Rights Defender of the MonthAward.”In 2008, in its landmark Districtof Columbia v. Heller decision, theSupreme Court ruled that theSecond Amendment recognizes anindividual right to keep and beararms and that the Washington,D.C. ban on the private possessionof handguns was unconstitutional.Since the District of Columbia isa federal city, the decision left openthe question of whether or notthe Second Amendment preventsstates and localities from denyinggun rights to individuals.McDonald and his co-plaintiffs,including the Second AmendmentFoundation and the IllinoisState Rifle Association, want theSupreme Court to incorporatethe Second Amendment throughthe Fourteenth Amendment as aguarantee to individuals againststate and local governments, andtherefore declare the Chicago bannull.Otis’ other co-plaintiffs includeAdam Orlov, David Lawson, andColleen Lawson.Otis is becoming a “public face ofgun rights,” according to the ChicagoTribune.The Midwestern daily newspaperwrote that, “from behind the wheelof his hulking GMC Suburban,76-year-old Otis McDonald leads acrime-themed tour of his MorganPark Neighborhood. He points tothe yellow brick bungalow he saysis a haven for drug dealers. Downthe street is the alley where fiveyears ago he saw a teenager pull outa gun and take aim at a passing car.“Around the corner, he gestures tothe weed-bitten roadside where hesays three thugs once threatened hislife. ‘I know every day that I comeout in the streets, the youngsters willshoot me as quick as they will a policeman,’says McDonald, a trim manwith a neat mustache and closelycropped gray hair. ‘They’ll shoot apoliceman as quick as they will anyof their young gangbangers.’”Otis, who keeps two shotguns athome, says he needs a handgun todefend himself.In April 2008, Otis, who is a retiredmaintenance engineer, agreed toserve as lead plaintiff in a lawsuitchallenging Chicago’s handgun banof nearly three decades. He walkedinto the Chicago Police Departmentand applied for permission to obtaina .22-caliber Beretta pistol. That wasan initial step setting the lawsuit inmotion.McDonald is a Democrat, longtimehunter, and African-American. Hebelieves that being allowed to carrya pistol would eliminate what hesays is the advantage bad guys havehad over him for too long.“I am a man of my convictions,”he proclaims. “My mother was likethat.”Otis grew up near Fort Necessity,Louisiana, which he says was a verysmall town, just “two stores and acotton gin.”He was one of 12 children bornto sharecropper parents and sayshe liked to hike into the backwoodsand hunt with his Marlin singleshotrifle. “I wasn’t but seven. Outthere by myself, I’d get some rabbits,squirrels, ‘coons, opossums.”When Otis was 17, his motheremptied her savings of $18 and paida stranger to drive Otis to Chicagoso he might make a better life forhimself. He worked first filletingfish at State Fishery and worked atother jobs before joining the U.S.Army, serving three years as anartillery officer.After his Army service, Otislooked around for jobs and finallygot steady work as a janitor at theUniversity of Chicago nearly 50years ago. He retired after 32 years.Over the years, says McDonald,local punks broke into his modestframe house three times. He saysthey got away with TVs, electronicequipment, hunting rifles, and“anything they could sell for a quickbuck.”Otis wants to be allowed to havea pistol in his house to protect hisfamily if necessary. He lives withhis wife of 52 years, Laura and hisdaughter and grandchildren areregular guests.

Richard D. Smigiel Jr.

Delegate Richard D. Smigiel, Jr.of Maryland is the CCRKBA GunRights Defender of the Month forMarch.In nominating this member ofthe Maryland House of Delegatesfor the Award, John M. Snyder,CCRKBA Public Affairs Director,stated that, “Delegate Smigiel isa forthright, articulate and determinedadvocate of law-abidingcitizens’ gun rights in the midst ofa state and in that state’s legislatureat a time when opposition to gunrights is and for some time has beenin the ascendency. However, thishas not and does not stop MikeSmigiel in his promotion of theindividual, Second Amendmentcivil right to keep and bear arms.In fact, he is an advocate withinthe legislature of the so-called FreeState for a policy of shall issue onthe concealed carry controversy.He certainly deserves this CCRKBAaward for recognition of his serviceto the gun rights movement.”While the vast majority of statesrequire that permits to carry concealedfirearms be issued to qualifiedapplicants, a number, includingMaryland, allow such permits tobe issued only at the discretion ofa government authority.In an effort to, among other things,highlight the inanity of this policy inthis day and age, Delegate Smigielhas introduced legislation in Annapolis,the State Capital, to providethat, “A license issued by Delaware,Pennsylvania, or Virginia to an individualto carry a regulated firearm,including a concealed regulatedfirearm, is valid in this state.”The proposed legislation, HouseBill 52, has been assigned to theJudiciary Committee.If passed, it would underscorethe ridiculous nature of Maryland’spolicy by making it easier from alegal standpoint for individuals withCCW permits from contiguous statesto carry legally in Maryland than it isfor individuals in Maryland withoutCCW permits from contiguous states.HB 52 would define regulated firearmto mean a handgun.It also would include in the definitionof firearm a list of specific “assaultweapons” or their copies, regardlessof which company produced andmanufactured the “assault weapon.”Included in the list are AmericanArms Spectre da Semiautomaticcarbine; AK-47 in all forms; AlgimecAGM-1 type semi-auto; AR 100 typesemi-auto; AR 180 type semi-auto; ArgentineL.S.R. semi-auto; AustralianAutomatic Arms SAR type semi-auto;Auto-Ordnance Thompson M1 and1927 semi-automatics; Barrett light.50 cal. semi-auto; Beretta AR 70 typesemi-auto; Bushmaster semi-autorifle; Calico models M-100 and M-900;CIS SR 88 type semi-auto; ClaridgeHI TEC C-9 carbines; Colt AR-15,CAR-15, and all imitations except ColtAR-15 Sporter H-BAR rifle; DaewooMAX 1 and MAX 2, aka AR 100, 110C,K-1, and K-2; Drugunov Chinesemade semi-auto; Famas semi-auto(.223 caliber); Feather AT-9 semi-auto;FN LAR and FN FAL assault-rifle;FNC semi-auto type carbine; F.I.E./Franchi LAW 12 and SPAS 12 assaultshotgun; Steyr-AUG-SA semi-auto;Galil models AR and ARM semi-auto;Heckler and Koch HK-91 A3, HK-93A2, HK-94 A2 and A3; Holmes model88 shotgun; Avtomat Kalashnikovsemiautomatic rifle in any format;Manchester Arms “Commando”MK-45, MK-9; Mandell TAC-1 semiautocarbine; Mossberg model 500Bullpup assault shotgun; SterlingMark 6; P.A.W.S. carbine; Rugermini-14 folding stock model (.223caliber); SIG 550/551 assault rifle(.223 caliber); SKS with detachablemagazine; AP-74 Commando typesemi-auto; Springfield ArmoryBM-59, SAR-48, G3, SAR-3, M-21sniper rifle, M1A, excluding the M1Garand; Street sweeper assault typeshotgun; Striker 12 assault shotgunin all formats; Unique F11 semi-autotype; Daewoo USAS 12 semi-autoshotgun; UZI 9mm carbine or rifle;Valmet M-76 and M-78 semi-auto;Weaver Arms “Nighthawk” semiautocarbine; and Wilkinson Arms9mm semi-auto “Terry.”Smigiel has been in the House ofDelegates for 10 years, and has beenMinority Parliamentarian for threeyears. He represents Caroline, Cecil,Kent and Queen Anne Counties. Amember of the Judiciary Committee,he serves on the Juvenile Law andCriminal Justice Subcommittees.He has been a member of the MarylandLegislative Sportsmen’s Caucussince 2003.Born in Baltimore, Maryland onJune 18, 1958, Smigiel served inthe U.S. Marine Corps 1975-79. Heearned a Bachelor of Arts degree inpolitical science from Northern IllinoisUniversity in 1985 and a JurisDoctor degree from Northern IllinoisUniversity College of Law in 1989.He was admitted to the MarylandBar the same year. He is a member ofthe Cecil County Bar Association, theMaryland Trial Lawyers Association,the Family Services Association, andthe Leadership Maryland Forum forPolicy Change

John L. Cushman

CCRKBA for February names JohnL. Cushman of Patchogue, New Yorkthe CCRKBA Gun Rights Defenderof the Month.In nominating Cushman for theaward, John M. Snyder, CCRKBAPublic Affairs Director, said that,“John is a real trooper in the ongoingbattle to preserve the individual SecondAmendment civil right of lawabidingAmerican citizens to keepand bear arms. He’s been waging thefight in New York State, a real hotbed of gun-grabbing propagandaand activity, with indefatigable zeal.He truly deserves recognition asCCRKBA Gun Rights Defender ofthe Month.”Among the many ways in whichCushman promotes gun rightsis through the Sportsmen’s Associationfor Firearms Education,Inc. (SAFE), a Long Island-basednot-for-profit corporation formedunder New York State law, whichhe founded in 1993 and which heserves as President.SAFE is a CCRKBA affiliate.Working in the midst of anti-gunactivity in New York, John Cushmanset up SAFE to educate and informthe general public, the media, andelected officials concerning variousaspects of lawful firearms ownershipin the United States.This includes the disseminationof information as to mattersconcerning firearms, the SecondAmendment, the shooting sportsand related activities.It includes also the distributionand publication of articles, newsletters,letters to the editor, amicuscuriae (friend of the court) legalbriefs, and reports regarding firearmsissues.Through SAFE, John leads in theorganization, presentation, andpublic forums, meetings and debatesconcerning firearms issues. Recently,the group sponsored its regular seminaron firearms civil rights, at whichCCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottliebwas a featured speaker.As part of its regular activities, SAFEcompiles a comprehensive review of,and commentary on, pending federal,New York State, and local legislationand regulations involving firearmsownership. John Cushman says SAFEprovides the review and commentaryto all dues paying members and alsoto appropriate state and federal legislatorsalong with a SAFE pro-gunposition statementSAFE provides in a timely fashionthe names, addresses and phonenumbers of people necessary for progunindividuals to contact regardingpending legislation or regulations. Italso organizes support for or oppositionto pending gun legislation.John has spent over 35 years inthe right to keep and bear arms civilrights battle. He holds the popularSecond Amendment and firearm civilrights conference mentioned aboveannually in the heart of New York.He’s a familiar face to many in theNew York legislature because he hasworked there tirelessly against antigunlegislation.John spent many summers in upstateNew York working on dairyfarms where he was introduced tohunting. He says his firearm educationwas greatly enhanced at age 17when he joined the United StatesMarine Corps at Parris Island, SouthCarolina. His new-found friendsbegan including him on hunts.John earned a degree in industriallabor relations/labor law fromCornell University. He embarkedon a 39-year career in the truckingindustry, working with its powerfulunions. Cushman discoveredthat while some union leaders maybe anti-gun this was not true of themembers. He says the rank-and-fileclearly understand the importanceof the Second Amendment.Now, through SAFE, Cushmanand fellow instructors teach firearmsafety and gun handling. His grouphas conducted NRA Women on Targetclinics for the last six years andhas trained more than 500 womenin the safe handling of firearms.An NRA Benefactor Member,John has served on the NRA Boardof Directors for 16 years and on theNRA Whittington Center board for15 years. One of his proudest momentscame, he says, in 1998, whenhe was inducted in the New YorkState Outdoorsman Hall of Fame forhis volunteer work.Recently, John led SAFE in thepresentation and co-sponsorshipof the first CCW conference in theEmpire State, “The Long Island Rightto Carry Conference,” featuringprominent speakers on right to carry,state and local license restrictions,civil rights, victims’ rights, and thehistory of state gun control.As SAFE President, Cushmanrequested and received an opinionfrom the state Division of CriminalJustice Services stating that fingerprintingand new application areunnecessary when firearms licenseesare moving from one New York Statecounty to a another.John Cushman says: “We willkeep our rights only as long as weare willing to fight for them.”

Jake McGuigan

CCRKBA is naming Jake Mc-Guigan, Director of GovernmentRelations for the National ShootingSports Foundation, Inc. (NSSF),as its Gun Rights Defender of theMonth for January.“Last fall, while participatingin a panel on federal affairs withJake during the Gun Rights PolicyConference (GRPC), I realized thathe had significant and comprehensiveinsight into and appreciationof the problems confronting themaintenance of Americans’ gunrights these days,” explained JohnM. Snyder, CCRKBA Public AffairsDirector. “Jake has a backgroundof professional experience in dealingwith various issues that serveshim and the Second Amendmentmovement well in addressing thedifficulties we face in the early 21stcentury. He’s putting that experienceto work for the preservationof gun rights and certainly deservesnomination for the Award.”At GRPC, Jake indicated thatNSSF looks forward to workingwith the different elements of thegun rights movement and outlinedsome of the ways NSSF is workingwith respect to the firearms industryat the federal level.“There is a major issue thatplagues our firearm and ammunitionmanufacturers that we currentlyare trying to rectify. This issueis the excise tax and the schedule bywhich our manufacturers have tomake payments. Currently, manymajor U.S. manufacturers are forcedto borrow money in order to maketimely biweekly excise tax payments.Typically, manufacturersmake the excise tax payments longbefore being paid by their customers.Our goal and that of the industryis to make changes to the schedule sothat the excise tax is paid quarterlysimilar to many other industries. Wehave been working very closely withour friends in Washington and currentlythere are two bills pending tomake the changes to the tax schedule.They are S. 632 and H.R. 510. Rep.Ron Kind (D-WI), the immediate pastco-chairman of the CongressionalSportsmen’s Caucus, introduced H.R.510 in the U.S. House of Representativesin 2009. The legislation wasco-sponsored by fellow immediatepast co-chair of the CongressionalSportsmen’s Caucus, Rep. Paul Ryan(R-WI).“Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chairmanof the Senate Finance Committee,introduced a companion bill inthe U.S. Senate. Joining Sen. Baucusin introducing the bipartisan legislationwas Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), thecurrent co-chair of the CongressionalSportsmen’s Caucus. We continueto add co-sponsors to H.R. 510 andS. 632. Hopefully, with the supportthis legislation is getting we finallywill be able to get this accomplished.”Born 1978 in Rochester, New York,Jake grew up in Massachusetts. He isa 2000 graduate of the University ofNotre Dame with a degree in finance.After his undergraduate educationhe moved to the suburbs of Philadelphiato work as a financial analystfor nearly four years. Following hisfinance career, McGuigan earned hisMBA from the University of Florida.Before joining NSSF in 2007, Jakeworked as a consultant to the packagingindustry on federal regulatorymatters and served as senior policyadvisor for Rhode Island’s GovernorDonald Carcieri, whom he describesas “a political conservative.”In discussing microstamping, Jakedescribes it as “a patented processthat laser engraves the firearm’smake, model and serial number onthe tip of the gun’s firing pin so that,in theory, it imprints the informationon discharged cartridge cases, but itdoes not work.“California now is faced withtrying to implement this patentedsole-sourced technology this monthin a very difficult budgetary environment.Law enforcement budgetsalready are under intense scrutinyand pressure, and this only willcause a greater negative impact withlittle affect on crime solving abilities.Since passage in California, there hasbeen even more evidence to supportexamining microstamping beforeany mandate. Publicly available,peer-reviewed studies conductedby independent research organizationsconclude that the technologydoes not function reliably and thatcriminals can remove the markingseasily in mere seconds.”McGuigan states that, “Not onlyare law enforcement organizationsstatewide questioning microstamping,but also the National ResourceCouncil, an arm of the national academies,published a report on ballisticsimaging which also touched on microstampingand recommended furtherin-depth study. The NRC said‘further studies are needed on thedurability of microstamping marksunder various firing conditions andtheir susceptibility to tampering,as well as on their cost impact formanufacturers and consumers.’“We believe that an in-depth federallyfunded study of microstampingis in order.”

Gary Mauser

When the Obama administration announced it was reversing U.S. policy and would back launching talks on a treaty to regulate arms sales as long as the talks operated by consensus, the scholarly work of Gary Mauser took on increased significance. The Obama decision overturns the Bush administration opposition to such a treaty because it felt national controls were better and obviated the possibility of international interference with Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Professor Mauser has written extensively on the inadvisability of certain international restrictions on gun ownership. “When I heard Gary speak at our recent Gun Rights Policy Conference, I knew that this was the time to nominate him for the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award,” said John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Director of Public Affairs. Mauser speaks out publicly against the United Nations Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. He and others know the Program is a scam for an international body to curtail citizens’ gun rights by declaring certain of their activities “illicit.” He attacks the phony rationale used to advance the Program. “It is a myth that more civilian guns mean more murders,” writes Mauser, Professor Emeritus at Simon Fraser University in Canada. “My analysis of a United Nations survey of 33 nations found no meaningful relationship between homicide rates and gun ownership. It is utterly false that most murderers are ordinary people who went wrong because they had guns. The overwhelming majority of murderers have life histories of violence, restraining orders, substance abuse problems, or psychopathology. It is generally illegal for such people to have guns, but unlike good people, they ignore gun laws – just as they ignore laws against violence. “In Europe, there are very few instances of nations with high gun ownership having higher murder rates than neighboring nations with lower gun ownership. If anything, the reverse seems to be true. For example, though Norway has one of the highest rates of firearm ownership per capita in Western Europe, it nevertheless has the lowest murder rate. And Luxembourg, despite its total handgun ban, has a higher murder rate than Norway or Austria.” Mauser, who has dual American and Canadian citizenship and earned his doctorate from the University of California at Irvine, declares “bans are rarely effective. In nations where guns are less available, criminals get them anyway. After decades of everstricter controls, Great Britain banned nearly all handguns in 1997 and forced permit holders to turn them in. Yet from 1997 to 2005, both total homicides and gun homicides had increased by more than 25 percent. Despite the enforced collection and destruction of almost all legally owned handguns, the Metropolitan Police are reported as saying, ‘Gun crime is out of control.’ “Even if gun bans did work, many alternative weapons are available to would-be murderers. Eight decades of police state enforcement of handgun prohibition have kept Russian gun ownership low, resulting in few gun murders. Yet Russia’s murder rates have long been four times higher than those in the United States and 20 times higher than rates in countries such as Norway.” Married to Edelina Mauser-Wong, M.D., Gary declares “the ‘more guns mean more murders’ mythology flies in the face of history. Europe had low murder rates before World War I despite high gun ownership and virtually no controls. Severe European gun laws appeared for
political reasons in the tumultuous post-World War I era. Despite ever stricter gun laws, both political and apolitical violence has increased apace in Europe. “A review of the European experience demonstrates more guns correlating with less murder. Nine European nations, including Germany, Austria, Denmark and Norway, have high rates of civilian firearm ownership. Nine others, including Luxembourg, Russia and Hungary, have virtually disarmed their civilians. But the aggregate murder rates of those nine low-gun-ownership nations are three times higher than those of the nine high-gun-ownership nations.” Mauser states flat-out “the reason that nations or regions with more guns tend toward lower violence is political rather than criminological. Gun ownership generally has no effect on how much violence a society has. Politicians often think that banning
guns will be a quick fix. But gun bans don’t work; if anything, they make matters worse. They disarm the law-abiding, yet are ignored by the violent and the criminal. Nations with severe violence problems tend to have severe gun laws.”