I wanted to do a recap of the year, give everyone some information, and keep my promise of posting this update!
We had a wildly successful annual meeting, which I raved about here.The plans for 2020 are being finalized now, stay tuned for a save the date. It will be our tenth anniversary meeting, so its going to be something special!
On to the update!
Eric Meyers tells me its been another great year! Membership, which means donations, is, up 23% from 2018. Your member dollars pay for the upkeep of the website, help subsidize training programs and the annual meeting, get us into the likes of SHOT show and the GRPC, and pay for things like our supreme court adventures. We want to do more more more in 2020, so, tell your friends and get them in here!
A membership makes a great gifts, and certain levels get you “free memberships” to gift to friends or family. Every member counts, and we can’t do this without you!
Instruction also saw a generous increase in participation, another 15% above last year. That number would be higher if the instructor candidates from our annual meeting would turn in their homework! And of course, as we announced at our Annual Meeting, we have welcomed a new Director of training, Alessandro Padovani who took over from Daniel Postilnik, who moved on to other endeavors. Alessandro is going to bring great things to 2020 and the LGC instructor program!
Lara has been busy, but so have the chapters. We are getting ready to go to SHOT in Vegas, where she will be showing the other side of the aisle that not only do some liberals own guns, we care about the entire Constitution. GRPC last year was momentous, and if you haven’t seen her speech, you should watch it now!
As part of these endeavors, we did finally decide to join the NSSF officially. We look forward to cooperating with industry in productive ways in 2020!
We also hope to increase cooperation with folks like Walk The Talk America. Some 40 thousand Americans commit suicide every year. About half of them choose a firearm. We can make a difference here. We need to make a difference here.
Lobbying and Legal Matters
This year we officially started talking to lawmakers in more than just Op-Eds.
Our Oregon chapter spent an AWFUL lot of time at their state capitol, during some pretty silly debates on new laws there. We think we had an impact. Showing lawmakers that real citizens own guns, that their poorly thought out laws affect real people in a negative way, and suggesting that there are better wars to address the problems of violence and suicide in this country is a cornerstone of our approach to defeating these bad laws. Next up? Virginia!
If you are interested in helping us lobby, please let us know. We are working on reaching out in more states. We know that places like Arizona, Illinois, Washington and others have a need. Look for more from us later in the year but if you have ideas, please let us know.
Oh yeah, and we did a thing at the Supreme Court, hopefully helping the New Yorkers out. We shall see. There are more cases coming, and we will be there as well. That’s two branches of government…
Merch, oh my the merch. John has been very busy, adding new items to the shirts, patches, cleaning mats and chamber flags. We got HATS! And the wildly popular and now sold out competition jerseys. We sold out of trauma kits. Its been a good year for merch!
We appreciate folks having patience, our volunteers usually take a week or two to ship items and we know that can be frustrating. If anyone wants to help out and is local to John in California, send us a note!
Last but not least, as many of you will remember, I want to repeat the announcement from the Annual Meeting:
We lost our friend, podcast guru and Florida chapter president, Keith Ellis. The chapter has rebounded and back in action and healing, but we mourn him every day.
January 15, 1980 – August 11, 2019
Keith Alan Ellis passed away at the age of 39 on Sunday, August 11, 2019. Keith is survived by his wife, Amanda Ellis; Mother, Margaret Greenblatt; Sister, Sara (Patrick) O’Connor; Grandmother, Kathryn Thompson, and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father, Joel Ellis. Keith was born in January of 1980 in Fort Myers, FL. He graduated from University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and a Master in Geotechnical Engineering and worked for the Florida Department of Transportation. He married his “everything,” Amanda, in April of 2010.
Keith was extremely committed to community service. To that end, we are happy to announce the Keith Ellis Community Service Award.
The inaugural award was presented in person to Keith’s widow by the Florida chapter.
This award will be given to members who have demonstrated the same commitment to community service and will be accompanied by a donation to a relevant charity. Keith spent time with Habitat for Humanity and the Boys and Girls clubs. Stay tuned as the year progresses for opportunities!
From the board of directors, a hearty thanks all around, see you next year.