After a decade-long effort, law-abiding citizens of Ohio will now be able to legally carry a firearm for protection of themselves and their loved ones. On January 8, Governor Bob Taft (R) signed legislation making Ohio the 37th Right-to-Carry (RTC) state.
The Right-to-Carry issue had long been debated in the Ohio Legislature, and many past attempts had been stalled or killed. HB 12, the RTC legislation, had languished for weeks while Governor Taft threatened a veto. But on January 7, the bill was passed in the House and Senate by overwhelming majorities and with virtually no debate, setting the stage for the Governor`s historic signing.
"The Right-to-Carry is a proven crime deterrent and will benefit all law-abiding Ohioans," said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox. "On behalf of NRA`s four million members, I would like to thank Governor Taft for signing Right-to-Carry into law. I would also like to recognize the support of Representative Jim Aslanides (R-94), the sponsor of the legislation, Speaker Larry Householder (R-91), Senate President Doug White (R-14), and all who voted for this important self-defense right. As always, the grassroots activism of thousands of NRA members was fundamental in achieving victory."
Nearly two-thirds of Americans live in Right-to-Carry states. Despite ominous predictions by gun-ban groups, statistics show that states with Right-to-Carry laws have significantly less violent crime. According to the FBI, on average, Right-to-Carry states have a 24% lower violent crime rate than states without the self-protection law. In 2003, Right-to-Carry laws were enacted in New Mexico, Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri.
Ohio members should contact Governor Taft and their state legislators and thank them for their support. You can find contact information for the Governor and your state lawmakers by using the "Write your Representatives" feature at www.NRAILA.org.
RTC VICTORY IN NEW MEXICO
In a tremendous victory for New Mexico`s law-abiding citizens, the State Supreme Court ruled this week that the Right-to-Carry law is valid under the state constitution. The Court denied gun control advocates` petition to have the Act declared unconstitutional, and refused to issue a stay preventing the Department of Public Safety from implementing the law and issuing permits. The Court will provide a written opinion at a later date. Special thanks go out to bill sponsors Sen. Shannon Robinson (D-Albuquerque) and John Heaton (D-Carlsbad) for their efforts to make Right-to-Carry a reality in New Mexico, as well as to Governor Bill Richardson (D) for signing this important bill into law. For information on applying for a Right- to-Carry license, please visit www.dps.nm.org.
NRA-ILA GRASSROOTS ELECTION WORKSHOPS
In preparation for the 2004 elections, NRA-ILA is hosting FREE Grassroots-Election Workshops across the country. These Workshops provide NRA members with training on what they can do locally to ensure pro-gun candidates are elected to office in 2004. The meetings also provide a venue for lawmakers, candidates, and their staffs to reach out to NRA members and explain their positions on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Upcoming Workshops are slated for:
Folsom, Cal.- 1/15/04
Frederick, Md.- 1/24/04
NRA members who are interested in attending should contact the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-VOTE (8683) for details and to reserve their spots. NRA members who have access to the Internet can also go to www.nraila.org/workshops/ to reserve their spots on-line.
TWO NRA STATE Y.E.S. EVENTS TO BE HELD IN PENNSYLVANIA & VIRGINIA
Two of NRA`s State Youth Education Summits (Y.E.S.) will be held this April, the first in Harrisburg, Penn. (April 1-4), and the second in Richmond, Va. (April 22-25).
State Y.E.S. events consist of a four-day scholastic leadership program in the host state`s capital, where students have the opportunity to learn about their state`s history, tour the Capitol building, meet with state legislators, receive an introduction to public speaking and debating, and spend some time at a local range, among other activities.
One student will be selected from each state Y.E.S program for an all-expenses-paid trip to the national Y.E.S. program in Washington D.C., this June, where he will tour the Nation`s capital, meet other students from across the country who share a common background in the shooting sports, make friendships that last a lifetime, and have the opportunity to compete for $20,000 in college scholarships!
We are currently looking for 20 high school sophomores and juniors from Pennsylvania and Virginia, with a minimum GPA of 3.0, to participate. If you know of students who would be qualified for this exciting program, please help us by telling them about this great opportunity. For more details and an application packet, please contact Lauren Eden at NRA Headquarters at (800) NRA-3888, ext. 1342, or via email, at email@example.com.
Please call or e-mail today! Applications MUST be received by February 6 for the Pennsylvania Summit, and by February 27 for the Virginia Summit!
STAY INFORMED & HELP SAVE ILA FUNDS
If you have an e-mail address, but you still receive the NRA-ILA Grassroots Alert every Friday via fax, we encourage you to switch over to our e-mail system. We can send e-mail at virtually no cost, while each fax incurs the cost of a long distance call, not to mention your cost in paper. E-mail also allows you more flexibility in relaying our information to others. If you would like to switch to e-mail delivery, just go to www.NRAILA.org, then follow the instructions through the link called "Sign Up For Email." Once you start receiving our alerts via e-mail, please call the Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683, and let us know so we can take you off the fax system.
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