Broward County Sheriff’s Office Training Materials Say First One or Two Officers on Scene should ‘Confront the Shooter’

‘Remember, every time you hear a gunshot in an active shooter incident; you have to believe that is another victim being killed.’ 

Four Officers on Scene at February 14 Parkland Shooting Did Not Enter School Building 

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released Broward County Sheriff’s Office training and operation materials that specifically dictate that the first one or two officers on the scene of an active shooter incident “will immediately go to confront the shooter.”

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office’s Standard Operating Procedure and lesson plans for an active shooter incident were obtained by Judicial Watch via a Florida Sunshine Act records request.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that armed school resource officer Deputy Scot Peterson was first on the scene of the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, but he did not enter the school to confront shooter Nikolas Cruz.

Three other deputies also arrived on the scene but did not enter, the sheriff’s office said. The Broward County materials direct that if four officers are on the scene of an active shooter incident they are to form a “Quad” formation and enter the building.

The lesson plan instructs officers to immediately confront a shooter:

History shows when a suspect is confronted by any armed individual (police, security, concealed carry person) they either shoot it out with that person or kill themselves. Either way, the shooting of innocent bystanders must stop. Now, the first officer or two officers on scene will immediately go to confront the shooter. Military tactics work well in this situation. The two man “bounding overwatch” is our response.

Using lessons learned from Columbine (the 1999 high school massacre where officers waited for a SWAT team and allowed two shooters to continue) the first four responding officers are directed to form a “Quad” and approach from all directions:

During Columbine, the response to an ongoing shooting situation was to contain the suspect. After Columbine the International Chiefs of Police addressed the problem with the response and came up with the “Quad” or diamond formation. With the quad, the first four officers to respond entered the building with coverage in all directions. This was critical to address the concerns of officers who previously would not enter and just wait for SWAT.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said during a news conference that “What I saw was a deputy [Peterson] arrive … take up a position and he never went in.” Israel said Peterson should have “went in. Addressed the killer. Killed the killer.”

The lesson plan clearly states: “If you are on scene or in the area and hear gunshots, you should immediately access what you have and prepare to respond. Remember, every time you hear a gunshot in an active shooter incident; you have to believe that is another victim being killed.”

The training materials also state that the first officers on the scene will “engage the suspect,” which Peterson did not do. “There are now three teams during Active Shooter Incident [Contact, Extraction and Rescue Task Force]: Contact Team: Is first on scene, 1-4 deputies, they will be actively engaging/searching for suspect (HOT ZONE).”

The lesson plan lists “priorities of life” as: 1) Hostages/victims; 2) Innocent Bystanders; 3) Police/deputies; and 4) Suspects. “If in doubt about going through the door after a suspect, think about the victims and where they stand on the list.”

The importance of a fast and effective response is emphasized: “Time is critical in each of these incidents. This is like no other crime. The motive is to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. Why? Because the bad guy knows ‘we’ are coming.”

An exercise designed for a lone deputy on the scene of an active shooting is intended to “get the deputy moving towards the gunfire, passing dead students and others running by him.” However, “there is no reason to give up a good position of cover” if the shooting has stopped. “Remember the cavalry is on their way, so it’s better to hold, than to expose yourself to unknown threats.”

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office Standard Operating Procedure states:

“If real time intelligence exists the sole deputy or a team of deputies may enter the area and/or structure to preserve life. A supervisor’s approval or on-site observation is not required for this decision…. If the situation turns to a barricade or hostage situation the response team will contain, isolate, communicate and wait for SWAT.”

Records obtained by Judicial Watch also show that Sheriff Israel is the second highest paid of Florida’s 67 sheriffs at $186,631 for Fiscal Year 2017/18. The sheriff was eligible for $2,000 in supplemental pay for completion of a 20-hour training course. In 2016, Israel received a warning letter that he had not successfully completed the course and his supplemental pay was being withheld.

“These Broward County Sheriff’s Office documents obtained by Judicial Watch show that the law enforcement agency failed the victims of the Parkland shooting,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Lives were lost in Parkland because the Sheriff’s Office personnel were either poorly trained or failed to follow training protocols.”

Andrew Cuomo’s Fatwa Against the NRA [and Gun Owners Like You]

fatwa (proclamation) has been issued by the State of New York against the National Rifle Association (and gun owners like you): “I urge companies in New York State to revisit any ties they may have to the NRA and consider their reputations, and responsibility to the public,” tweeted the Ayatollah Andrew Cuomo, aka the Governor of New York State. Conservative firearm advocates “have no place in the State of New York,” declared Ayatollah Cuomo.

After you have bowed and faced Albany, you are instructed to read NYS’ holy website: Anti-gun sharia is imposed upon insurers and banks.

Defy NYS’ sharia law, a company could pay Jizya, a tax: Just review the press release on the Lockton Consent Order; and press release on the Chubb Consent Order. The risk is too great for Lloyd’s of London.

Roll-up the anti-gun prayer rugs: the NRA has filed a lawsuit to stop NYS’ establishment of an implicit censorship regime; retaliating against the NRA based on its speech; conspiracy; and violations of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection and Due Process, as well as Article 1, section 8 of the New York Constitution.

Blame the bogeyman

Who do you blame when things aren’t going well?

Blame the Jews, according to MuhammadHitler, and current regimes of IranHAMAS and its counterpart in the United States: CAIR.

Blame the Christians, according to Nero, President Obama, and Pope Francis.

Blame the NRA and gun owners, according to Michael Ian BlackDebbie Wasserman-Schultz, and Alyssa Milano.


Without weapons for self-protection:

Live as slaves: Jews in Egypt; Blacks in Southern United States; or Women for sex and children for labor throughout the world today.

Live as second-class citizens: Jews in Nazi ghettos; or Christians in Muslim-majority countries; indeed, any Kafir (unbeliever) must live in Dhimmitude.

Make it difficult to have or use a firearm

What part of the Second Amendment’s “…shall not be infringed” did legislators not understand?

You think you need a gun for self-defense, but in some jurisdictions, you must get approval first from a local sheriff.

Limit the size of gun magazines, despite that it takes seconds to reload a magazine; and criminals use several firearms.

The Catch-22: Liberals want gun-owners to have insurance, but NYS bans it.

Liberals want a national tax on sales of guns and ammunition. California now requires citizens to buy ammo in-state.

Liberals seek to take your guns

Gun registries will lead to gun confiscation, as illustrated by AustraliaCanada, and Germany; as well as the United States: CaliforniaIllinois, and the heart of liberalism: New York City.

National gun confiscation has been proposed by liberals including Rep. Eric Swalwell (2018); the NAACP (2018); and Hillary Clinton, presidential candidate (2016).

Admit it, liberals, you really do want a total ban on firearms.

While liberals keep their armed security

Celebrities had 500 police officers at the Oscars.

At anti-gun marches, armed guards protected Sen. Bernie Sanders; and Alyssa Milano.

Armed guards surrounded Ayatollah Cuomo at a “die-in” protest.


“[I]t … seems wrong for [a government] agency to put “pressure on an industry … to achieve policy results the administration has not been able to achieve through normal legislation or regulation,” wrote the Washington Post’s editorial board in response to the HUD Gun Suit by Andrew Cuomo, then Secretary of the federal Housing and Urban Development in 1999. That sentiment anticipates “themes that would continue to characterize Cuomo’s gun-control efforts over the next nineteen years” through today. [See the NRA Complaint’s ¶15, fn.7]

Attention Islamic Jihadis: I will NEVER submit to Sharia law. You want 72 virgins? Fine. I’m “locked and loaded.”

Gerald Lostutter is a Florida licensed attorney, college professor, journalist, and Life Member of the National Rifle Association.

EDITORS NOTE: This  column originally appeared in The Geller Report. Pamela Geller’s shocking new book, “FATWA: HUNTED IN AMERICA” is now available on Amazon. It’s Geller’s tell all, her story – and it’s every story – it’s what happens when you stand for freedom today. Buy it. Now. Here.

VIDEO: Fighting the ‘Violence of Lies’ with the ‘Belt of Truth’

In April of 2018 the National Rifle Association (NRA) released the below video titled “Violence of Lies.” The video features Dana Loesch who is a gun owner and member of the NRA. Those opposed to the Second Amendment took issue with Ms. Loesch’s use of the phrase “fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.”

David Hogg, leader of the anti-Second Amendment “We Call BS” movement.

The clenched fist has been used as a symbol by various groups including: the Black Panthers, The New Black Panthers, the Resistance, ANTIFA, Occupy Wall Street, the anti-Second Amendment We Call BS and Black Lives Matter movements.

It appears using the “clenched fist” metaphor is only permissible for those who actually do violence.

Perhaps the NRA should redo this ad and use the words found in Ephesians 6: 10-17:

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

You see with belt of truth buckled around your waist you cannot lose.

We are fighting against “the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

It is time to pick up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Oops, we just like Ms. Loesch committed a thought crime.


They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-president to endorse the resistance.

All to make them march, make them protest, make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia. To smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding — until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.

And when that happens, they’ll use it as an excuse for their outrage. The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth. I’m the National Rifle Association of America, and I’m freedom’s safest place.


The Top 20 Uncontested Absurdities of Today

So They’re Not Coming for Our Guns, Eh? We call BS.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Dan Carlson. Twitter: @dan_carl5on.

FBI Acknowledges Life-Saving Potential of Armed Citizens

“Armed and unarmed citizens engaged the shooter in 10 incidents. They safely and successfully ended the shootings in eight of those incidents. Their selfless actions likely saved many lives. The enhanced threat posed by active shooters and the swiftness with which active shooter incidents unfold support the importance of preparation by law enforcement officers and citizens alike.”

Those are the final lines in the conclusion of the FBI’s Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2016 and 2017. The FBI defines an active shooter as one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. Gang and drug-related shootings are excluded. “The active aspect of the definition inherently implies that both law enforcement personnel and citizens have the potential to affect the outcome of the event based upon their responses to the situation.”

Ten active shooters were confronted by citizens. In four incidents, the responding citizens were unarmed; these heroes include school staff, the shooter’s girlfriend, and a man who intentionally struck the shooter with his car. Six shooters were confronted by armed citizens. Four shooters were stopped by lawfully armed citizens. One citizen was wounded as he confronted the shooter. “In one incident, a citizen possessing a valid firearms permit exchanged gunfire with the shooter, causing the shooter to flee to another scene and continue shooting.” Unsurprisingly, it seems that these criminal cowards preferred targets incapable of defending themselves.  “Armed and unarmed citizens engaged the shooter in 10 incidents. They safely and successfully ended the shootings in eight of those incidents. Their selfless actions likely saved many lives. The enhanced threat posed by active shooters and the swiftness with which active shooter incidents unfold support the importance of preparation by law enforcement officers and citizens alike.”

Anti-gun politicians, celebrities, and organizations deride the idea that citizens can successfully defend themselves, their families, or those around them. They prefer that law-abiding gun owners be disarmed – a position they advocate from behind the safety of armed security. We’re fortunate to have real leaders who understand that Americans should be trusted to take responsibility for themselves, their families, and their communities, and that the quickest way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

The FBI’s latest report affirms that ability.

RELATED VIDEO: Violence of Lies.

Hard Times for Dick’s as Second Amendment Supporters Respond to Company’s Anti-Gun Bent

We have recently been reporting on the bizarre anti-gun activism of one of the nation’s larger firearm retailers, Dick’s Sporting Goods and its affiliated Field & Stream stores. First, the company announced it would stop selling most centerfire semi-automatic rifles at its stores, carry only limited capacity magazines for semi-automatic guns, and ban firearm sales to certain legally eligible adults. It then took the further step of declaring it would destroy its inventory of the newly-restricted firearms at company expense. And if that weren’t enough, the news also recently broke that the company had hired expensive D.C. lobbyists to push for gun control measures on Capitol Hill.  

Dick’s, in other words, was positioning itself as a rising star in the field of corporate gun control activism, in obvious contradiction of its own financial interests. 

Now, however, the pro-gun community is parrying Dick’s gun control thrust with their own countermeasures, while customers appear to be eschewing Dick’s to search for bargains elsewhere.

Last week, the Board of Governors of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) – the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industries – voted unanimously to expel Dick’s Sporting Goods from membership in the organization. While the NSSF noted it supports the rights of its members to make individual business decisions, it determined that Dick’s new polices do not “reflect the reality of the vast majority of law-abiding gun owners” and constitute “conduct detrimental to the best interests of the Foundation.” Law-abiding gun owners, the company added, “should not be penalized for the actions of criminals.”

Meanwhile, members of the firearms industry have also begun withdrawing their products from Dick’s and Field & Stream outlets. 

First, Illinois-based Springfield Armory – maker of several lines of highly-popular rifles and pistols — announced early this month that was “severing ties” with the two retailers. In announcing the decision, Springfield Armory stated, “we believe in the rights and principles fought for and secured by American patriots and our founding forefathers, without question.” It concluded, “We will not accept Dick’s Sporting Goods’ continued attempts to deny Second Amendment freedoms to our fellow Americans.”   What is becoming increasingly clear, however, is that Dick’s has inserted itself into a tight spot from which it might not emerge unscathed, if it manages to survive at all. Its business with Second Amendment supporters in particular may well grind to a halt.

Iconic shotgun maker O.F. Mossberg & Sons followed up this week with its own announcement that it will “not accept any future orders from Dick’s Sporting Goods or Field & Stream” and is “in the process of evaluating current contractual agreements.” Mossberg’s press release on the decision cited its own “staunch support[] of the U.S. Constitution and our Second Amendment right” and its disagreement with “Dick’s Sporting Goods’ recent anti-Second Amendment actions.” 

MKS Supply, marketer of Hi-Point Firearms and Inland Manufacturing, LLC, has now become the latest supplier to cut off Dick’s and Field & Stream. Its president, Charles Brown, justified the decision on the basis that “Dick’s Sporting Goods and its subsidiary, Field & Stream, have shown themselves, in our opinion, to be no friend of Americans’ Second Amendment.” He went on to cite several “wrong” moves by Dick’s in recent months, including “villainizing modern sporting rifles in response to pressure from uninformed, anti-gun voices” and “hiring lobbyists to oppose American citizens’ freedoms secured by the Second Amendment.”  

This industry pressure on Dick’s comes at a sensitive time for the company. Its shares took a steep 6.3% dive in March, amid what analysts described as a “downbeat outlook.” Indeed, its own CEO Edward Stack admitted his new investment in gun control “is not going to be positive from a traffic standpoint and a sales standpoint.”

How that assessment squares with his own obligations to the company and its shareholders is unclear. Profits, after all, are where the rubber meets the road in any business enterprise. 

What is becoming increasingly clear, however, is that Dick’s has inserted itself into a tight spot from which it might not emerge unscathed, if it manages to survive at all. Its business with Second Amendment supporters in particular may well grind to a halt.

Should that happen, Dick’s will have no one to blame but itself, and especially Mr. Stack. Dick’s example should serve as a warning for other businesses in the firearm sector that would hope to find common cause with activists who are seeking nothing so much as to put gun sellers out of business for good.

The Left’s War On Guns Becomes A War On Women

New York City and other leftist cities and states are making it almost impossible for a woman to purchase even the most minimal of defensive measures — leaving them exposed and at the mercy of violent, stronger male criminals with no way to even the odds.

This may not be the intent, but the recoiling of leftists at allowing Americans to own anything that might resemble a weapon is creating the perverse result that women have a hard time finding any defensive tools.

This is where the nonsense notion of keeping all “weaponry” out of the hands of law-abiding citizens has gone — and it is led there by the overwrought reactions to guns.

A friend whose daughter recently graduated from college in New York and moved into the City, realized she was not in a very good neighborhood. She wanted to find some way of protecting herself, so she tried to order online some mace or pepper spray — anything of that nature — and was told they cannot deliver to New York City. Mace is illegal period. Pepper spray is not totally illegal, but New York makes such items very difficult to get through myriad regulations.

There are few things as inherently defensive in nature as pepper spray. Yet it turns out there are several states that have the same types of laws in place, including Illinois, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and New Jersey. This list also includes cities such as Baltimore, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia — all of which have high rates of violent crimes being committed by men and yet leave their women in challenging situations to protect themselves.

Because again, pepper spray is not only inherently defensive, it is largely purchased and carried by women for self-defense. And yet the loudest paragons of the #MeToo movement put up major roadblocks for women to obtain such basic self-defense.

So this talented, pretty young woman moving to NYC is completely at the mercy of men (armed or not) bent on evil, and on the response time of police — once they are called. Like so many other women in all these cities and states, she too easily can find herself at the mercy of powerful criminals, and her own government deprives her of the reasonable ability to defend herself.

There are many examples of vulnerable women in these cities turning to wasp spray and other items for defense, despite the bulky size of those canisters. That’s how desperate they are to be able to defend themselves. Of course by reporting this, places like New York may decide that only licensed pest control professionals can buy and operate wasp spray.

Even if you grant the best of intentions by the Democratic lawmakers running these states and cities, it’s almost as though they purposely ignore the most obvious weapon most men have on women: superior size and strength. If every weapon of every kind were magically removed from planet, most men would still have the ability to physically take advantage of most women at any time.

The leftist retort to this is the police. Well that thin blue line that stands between the bad guys and the rest of us is imperative and most of them do yeoman’s work. But they are definitionally not for individual self-defense unless there is a cop for each person. They are by necessity reactive. It’s what 911 is for. You call, they respond.

So the police cannot be the self-defense that women need, meaning most women are left defenseless in these cities and states.

The equalizers for women have always been weapons, from guns to mace to pepper spray. Yet these equalizers are either banned or made very difficult to obtain.

These items are not protected by the Second Amendment, so they can be — constitutionally, if foolishly — banned or made very difficult to obtain. Guns cannot be banned. But they can be made so difficult to obtain that they are practically speaking banned — for law-abiding residents.

That will be Part II: One man’s ultimately fruitless journey into the endless bowels of obtaining a gun permit in New York City.

PLEASE READ: The Left’s War On Guns Becomes A War On Women (Part II)

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act. The featured image is of  Corelle Owens posing for a portrait in Decatur, Ga., while holding a Glock 40. Owens is a 45-year-old resident of Mableton, Ga., and flight attendant. She’s among the ranks of the nation’s black women who are learning how to use a firearm, deciding to go to the range and learn how to shoot after her car, phone, tablet and wallet were stolen in March. She’s thinking of purchasing a revolver, considering it an ideal firearm for home protection. Thieves, she said, “they’re armed too so what are you going to do if you don’t have a gun?” She’s intent on perfecting her skills and learning as much as she can on the safest ways to handle a firearm. “I work in a job where safety is paramount and I want to do it the right way.” (AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane). Please subscribe to The Revolutionary Act’s YouTube channel.

Same Policies That Failed to Stop Florida Shooter Exist in School Districts Nationwide

Critics of President Donald Trump said his response to the Florida school shooting earlier this year was ill-conceived and a failure.

Yet a new startling revelation from school district officials in Broward County, Florida, shows the White House’s response was indeed appropriate—more than even the Trump administration knew.

On Feb. 14, Nikolas Cruz, a student with a long history of problems in and out of school, allegedly opened fire and claimed the lives of 17 students and adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Following the shooting, the Trump administration created a new school safety commission. One of the commission’s assignments is to consider the repeal of student discipline guidelines that the Obama administration issued in 2014.

Cue the negative spin: “Yet again, the Trump administration, faced with a domestic crisis, has responded by creating a commission to study an unrelated issue,” the NAACP told The New York Times.

Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie also dismissed the move, telling Politico, “It goes with the whole narrative that anything under the Obama administration is no good and we have to get rid of it.”

Critics denied that there was a connection between the Parkland shooting, the district’s student discipline policies (called the “PROMISE” program), and federal student discipline guidelines. Cruz was never referred to PROMISE, officials said, so PROMISE couldn’t be to blame.

Runcie said at a press conference, “[Cruz] was never a participant in the PROMISE program” and “[there’s] no connection between Cruz and the district’s PROMISE program.”

As recently as a few weeks ago, Runcie said, “Let me reiterate this point: Nikolas Cruz, the shooter that was involved in this horrific accident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, had no connection to the PROMISE program.”

But last Sunday, Broward officials admitted Cruz had in fact been referred to PROMISE. To make matters worse, school officials cannot say whether Cruz actually attended the required sessions or if anyone tried to account for his absence.

The school district should clarify whether officials referred Cruz again to PROMISE based on his behavior in high school, and if not, why.

Cruz’s first referral was for vandalizing a bathroom in middle school, but The Washington Post reports that Cruz continued to display troubling behavior in high school. He made a threat and committed assault while a student at Stoneman Douglas—both offenses that would make him eligible for PROMISE.

The news that Cruz had been referred to PROMISE is critical because the PROMISE program and the Obama administration’s 2014 federal guidelines were announced with much fanfare and take similar approaches to dealing with student behavior.

At the PROMISE launch, Education Week reports, “Community members lauded the board and Runcie for their work, and its passage received a standing ovation.” NPR said, “Civil rights and education activists say the policy can be a model for the nation.”

Central to both documents is the idea that school personnel and law enforcement should limit student interaction with the justice system. Both documents also say school personnel and law enforcement should use exclusionary discipline such as suspensions and expulsions as a last resort.

Earlier this year, my research documented these and other philosophical and practical similarities between the 2014 federal guidelines and PROMISE.

Runcie went as far as to say that PROMISE inspired the federal guidelines in the first place. In a 2014 interview, he said, “Some of my staff joke that the Obama administration might have taken our policies and framework and developed them into national guidelines.”

Runcie was later featured at a 2015 White House event on school discipline.

Broward County officials must now explain to grieving families that the school discipline strategy they called “the most comprehensive thinking available to address socially unacceptable or illegal behavior” failed to stop a school shooting.

Meanwhile, dozens of school systems around the country are following the federal guidelines. This widespread adoption and the terrifying failure of PROMISE makes the White House’s call to rescind federal guidelines that mirror PROMISE a timely and fitting response to Parkland.


Portrait of Jonathan Butcher

Jonathan Butcher is a senior policy analyst in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy and a senior fellow for the Goldwater Institute and the Beacon Center of Tennessee. Twitter: .


Parkland Shooter Was Assigned To Obama-Era Program, Superintendent Lied, Report

Reports Show Obama-Era Policies May Have Eroded School Safety in Broward County

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.


EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Broward County Sheriff Steve Israel speaking before the start of a CNN town hall meeting on Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo: Michael Laughlin/TNS/Newscom)

I Didn’t Grow Up Around Guns. Here Are My 4 Observations From the NRA Convention.

I am a conservative. I did not grow up around guns. I can’t recall hearing my parents talk about guns in our home. My dad didn’t hunt and I never lived in an area prone to high crime or gun violence. Guns were never on my radar until I witnessed firsthand the debate over gun control in the U.S. Senate in 2013.

Since then I have come to understand the importance of the Second Amendment and that understanding grew even stronger this past weekend at the National Rifle Association convention in Dallas. Here a few of my observations and takeaways from the gathering that drew more than 87,000 people.

1. The NRA convention was a family affair.

The NRA convention was a place for families. Observing the thousands of families that attended the convention made me wish I had grown up around guns.

The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>

It was impressive to walk the floor of the exhibit hall and see dads and moms teaching their daughters and sons how to properly hold a gun. I overheard explanations of what different guns were used for and why this ammo was better than that ammo. For many of these kids, guns aren’t toys or just hobbies. Instead, gun ownership is a way of life.

2. The NRA convention was full of well-informed individuals.

As an exhibitor, I had the opportunity of shaking hands with and talking with many individuals. One of the biggest takeaways that I came back to Washington, D.C., with is that gun owners are well-informed. Gun owners even seem to have their own language, one that I need to learn. Some of these folks hunt to feed their families. Some shoot guns for fun. Others are members of gun clubs or belong to professional shooting teams.

These gun owners know exactly what they shoot and why they shoot. They are well-versed in the Constitution and the politics surrounding the debate over gun rights. They are also very interested in school safety and took over 3,000 school safety products from The Heritage Foundation’s booth. Anyone who claims that NRA members are uninformed or “sheep” needs to attend next year’s convention.

3. The NRA convention was a place of diversity.

Individuals and families came to Dallas from all corners of the nation. I personally met folks from Washington, Idaho, New York, California, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, and Missouri. The NRA convention attracted people of all races, religions, social classes, and ages.

The NRA moms and women of the NRA were out in full force. After attending the convention, I was not surprised at all to find out that women are one of the fastest-growing segments of the shooting sports business. These women and moms are passionate about protecting themselves and their families.

4. The NRA convention attracted the salt of the Earth.

The NRA convention was a peaceful place that attracted people who simply love freedom. I saw many a T-shirt that said: “Family, Faith, Friends, Flag, and Firearms: The 5 Things You Don’t Mess With.” These T-shirts paint a great picture of the type of people I interacted with for four days.

When the national anthem came over the loud speaker, every person in sight stopped, put their hand over their heart, and sang along. These are people who love their country, love the military, and love the sacrifices made by those who have fought to preserve freedom and liberty from the days of the Revolution down to today.

It’s true, many of these attendees fear for the future of the country and that is why they are involved in protecting their rights. I am grateful that so many of our neighbors, teachers, doctors, law enforcement, and family members are part of the NRA.


Portrait of Jordan Hess

Jordan Hess is director of coalition relations at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .


They Lost Meadow in Parkland. Now Her Family Hopes to Prevent More School Massacres.

The Case for the AR-15

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.


EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of a convention attendee inspecting a virtual reality gun on the floor of the exhibition hall at the National Rifle Association meeting. (Photo: Sergio Flores/UPI/Newscom)

Trump Is Right: Gun Free Zones Make Schools More Deadly

In the wake of the shooting in Florida and now another in Maryland, President Trump has triggered a healthy debate about so-called “gun-free zones” in schools – schools which more and more appear to be anything but gun-free.

Trump argued after Parkland a gun-free zone “is like target practice” for school shooters such as the alleged Florida killer, Nikolas Cruz.

“They see that and that’s what they want,” he opined. “Gun-free zones are very dangerous. The bad guys love gun-free zones.”

The next day, Trump pointed out to a room full of Governors at the White House, “You have a gun-free zone, it’s like an invitation for these very sick people to go there.”

Critics pounced.

“He is just utterly missing the point of the law,” said a former staffer for then-Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., who led the charge on gun-free-school zones in 1990.

Leaving mass shootings entirely to one side, she said, communities confronted “the very serious danger posed by a variety of criminal actors around schools and involving guns.”

Let’s rewind.

On May 16, 1986, a shooting in Wyoming’s Cokeville Elementary School left two dead and a towering 74 injured.

Then, on January 17, 1989, another shooting at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, Calif. left six dead and 32 injured.

Around this time, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 135,000 guns were brought to school each day.

An alarming one in five urban high school students reported having a gun fired at them at school, and a 1993 survey found 40% of students in central cities said they knew someone personally who had been killed or injured by gunfire.

Democrats’ response? Why, gun control, of course.

Sen. Kohl introduced the Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) in February, 1990. The measure was rolled into the Crime Control Act of 1990 and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush – granted, a Republican president – on November 29, 1990.

What happened?

First, between 1992 (note: not 1990 or 1991) and 2015, the percentage of students who reported carrying a weapon on school property during the previous 30 days decreased from 12% to 4%.

Second, GFSZA advocates argue students at least felt safer at school: “From 1995 (note: not 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, or 1994) to 2015, the percentage of students who reported being ‘afraid of attack or harm’ at school dropped substantially, from 12% to 3%.”

Third, the law’s cheerleaders argueCDC statistics show school-associated violent deaths dropped from 57 in the 1992-93 school year (note: neither 1990-1991 nor 1991-92) to 33 in 2009-10. However, the figure actually peaked in 2006-2007 at 63, and is up substantially since 2009-2010.

Fourth, another rah-rah data point: a 2017 report found the number of crimes against students has plummeted more than 80% since 1992 (note: not 1990 or 1991). Problem solved!

Unfortunately, while it’s true the crime victimization rate at school declined 82%, the rate away from school declined 88%.

Worse, the serious violent victimization rate at school declined only 50%, while the rate away from school plunged 91%.

So after the GFSZA, schools actually got safer more slowly than the rest of the community, which during the period was exiting the crack wave.

Regardless, none of these statistics compares the period before Bush signed the GFSZA to after it.

So I crunched the numbers on school shootings per year, number killed per year, and number wounded per year before the GFSZA (1968-1990) and after it was put in place (1991-2018).

Get ready.

In the period after enactment of the Gun-Free School Zones Act, school shootings more than doubled from 2.7 per year to 6.9 per year, an increase of 155% from the period before enactment.

Those wounded in school shootings nearly doubled from 8.8 to 13.9 per year, an increase of 58%.

And killings in school shootings nearly tripled, from 2.7 per year to 7.9 per year, an increase of 192%.

Figure 1: Number of school shootings per year, number killed in schools per year, and number wounded in schools per year before the GFSZA (1968-1990) and after it was put in place (1991-2018). Data source:

A closer look at the data bears out that the number of school shootings has increased over time, and generally accelerated after the GFSZA was signed into law in 1990. That said, there is an exception that may prove the rule: The Supreme Court declared the GFSZA law unconstitutional in United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995). Only later did then-Attorney General Janet Reno for Bill Clinton propose changes that conformed it to the Constitution. Those changes were signed into law in 1996, but doubts remained at least until 2000 about the measure’s ability to withstand a court challenge. During that period, school shootings declined, then rose again afterwards.

Figure 2: Number of School Shootings By Year, 1968-2018. Data source:

*Note: 2018 figure only through February 14, 2018.

An obvious question this raises is whether homicide rates increased more generally at the same pace and with the same timing. Does the spike in school shootings just track a spike in killings?

The answer? No. The homicide rate actually dropped steeply in this period. The crack wave was ending, sending murder rates back to levels not seen since the early 1960s.

Figure 3: U.S. Homicide Rates, 1885-2010. Source:

More specifically, the firearm-related deaths for youths ages 15-19 in particular followed an almost identical pattern, spiking from 1970 to the early 1990s, then plunging back to prior levels – nearly the opposite of the school shooting pattern.

Figure 4: Firearm-Related Death Rate Among Youth Ages 15-19, 1970-2014. Source:

Thus the increase in number and lethality of school shootings can be explained neither by homicide rates in general nor firearm-related death rates among youth.

Another counter-argument would be that mass shootings have increased more generally over that period, which is true. Is the increase in school shootings before and after the US declared them off limits to law-abiding gun owners merely an artifact of an increase in mass shootings more generally?

The answer again is no.

Now, according to data compiled by the far-left Mother Jones, it’s true the percentage of those wounded in mass shootings who were shot in schools was cut in half after the Gun-Free School Zones Act passed, from 32% of mass shooting injuries between 1982 and 1990 to 14% from 1991 to today.

Also, this drop took place despite the percentage of mass shootings that took place in schools growing from 11% to 17% of all mass shootings at the same time.

But the apparently positive change appears to be because schools shootings became so much more lethal. The percentage of mass shooting fatalities that took place in schools tripled, from 7% before the Gun-Free School Zones Act to 21% afterwards.

So: Half as many injuries in schools among mass shootings, but only because three times as many died in a greater number of mass shootings there.

Figure 5: Percentage of mass shooting injuries, attacks, and fatalities that took place in schools before the GFSZA (1968-1990) and after it was put in place (1991-2018). Data source:

This is a problem.

It is true that the largest spikes in school shootings followed far on the heels of the GFSZA’s enactment.

To explain that, Second Amendment opponents might point to the expiration of the assault weapons ban in 2004.

In response, Second Amendment supporters might point instead to the bonkers Obama Administration’s Promotion of Random Offenses and Misdemeanors by Insane Students Escaping justice (PROMISE) program which paid schools to persuade law enforcement agencies to let youth get away with criminal activity, especially if they were “of color,” which may (or may notexplain why the Broward County Sheriff’s office deliberately ignored what they admit was 23 and may have been 45 warnings of Cruz’ criminal insanity.

Regardless, the numbers bear out the horrific impression to which Trump is giving voice: After America declared schools gun free zones, school shootings increased and became more deadly.

By these measures at least, Trump is right, and his critics are wrong.

RELATED ARTICLE: Student Journalist Digs Up Bombshell that Exposes Broward County Officials in Parkland Shooting

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence Make History in Dallas

For the first time in the organization’s history, a sitting president and vice president both addressed NRA members at the 147th Annual Meetings in Dallas on Friday during the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum.  This makes the second year in a row that President Trump’s visit is one for the history books.   Last year, he became the first sitting president to attend the Annual Meetings in more than three decades when he spoke at the 2017 Leadership Forum in Atlanta.  The last president to attend the NRA Annual Meetings was Ronald Reagan in 1983.

And just as he did last year, President Trump promised to the cheering, capacity crowd that he will protect the firearms freedom of law-abiding Americans and that recent efforts to restrict the Second Amendment will be staunchly opposed by his administration.  Vice President Pence echoed the president’s sentiments, noting to the crowd that both he and President Trump will stand strong against any attempts to undermine our freedom.

In addition to the president and vice president, the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum featured speakers from across the country, including elected officials, first responders, veterans, NRA leaders, and freedom-loving Americans from all walks of life:

Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President, NRA 

Chris Cox, Executive Director, NRA-ILA

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX)

Gov. Pete Ricketts (R-NE)

U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) 

Dana Loesch, NRA Spokesperson

Mark “Oz” Geist, Former Marine, Author of “13 Hours”

Mark Robinson, Second Amendment Activist, Greensboro, NC.

Diamond & Silk, Social Media Commentators

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union

Charlie Kirk, Founder, Turning Point USA and Kyle Kashuv, Student, Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School, Parkland, FL

The Consequences of Historical Ignorance

America is suffering through a crisis in education, especially when it comes to history.

Many were horrified when a poll, released in April, showed that two-thirds of millennials don’t know what Auschwitz is, despite the fact that it was the most notorious Nazi death camp in World War II.

That was hardly the only worrisome poll of late.

Americans should be outraged that our schools have failed to teach even the most basic historical facts to the younger generations. Worse, the education they receive has often only turned into a justification for superficial social activism, lacking in depth and veracity.

David Hogg, the teen survivor of the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, who became a gun-control activist, exemplifies this worsening problem. He recently tweeted:

This is little more than bumper sticker history, demonstrative of Hogg’s historical illiteracy.

For one thing, it’s unlikely that Gandhi’s pacifism would have been of much use against the Nazi war machine. People willing to put other humans in ovens are unlikely to be moved by passionate pleas for peace.

It should be noted, too, that Hogg’s two examples of nonviolent movements succeeding—Gandhi’s Indian independence movement and the U.S. civil rights movement—were not exactly nonviolent.

The Partition of India was incredibly violent, and led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of people. And the civil rights movement certainly wasn’t an entirely nonviolent affair, either. The rights of many black Americans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were secured almost entirely by gun ownership.

These so-called nonviolent movements occurred in countries with a tradition of respecting the rule of law and individual rights, giving them an actual chance to succeed through ballots instead of bullets.

In China, nonviolent student protests in the 1980s were crushed by the state—literally in the case of the Tiananmen Square protest. Historically, repression has been the norm, not the exception.

For Americans, the right to speak freely and protest was only secured because young men, mostly teenagers, were willing to take up arms—arms that Hogg and others have so relentlessly crusaded against—and risk their lives to fight for their God-given liberties against the British Crown.

At one time, every American would have known this and would have acknowledged the blood and suffering of the Revolution that secured our freedom and independence.

War is a terrible thing, but it is often just and necessary, and it has certainly served to stop tremendous evil in this world.

To deny that is absurd.

Despite the clear gaps in his historical knowledge, Hogg hasn’t shied away from insulting the civic acumen of others and hectoring them. He once said, “Our parents don’t know how to use a f—ing democracy, so we have to.”

Not content to simply insult his parents’ generation, he then followed up in a later interview claiming that those who were against him were on the wrong side of history—a history that his generation would presumably be writing.

“Regardless of what your opinions are or where you come from, you need to realize we are the future of America,” Hogg said in an NPR interview. “And if you choose not to stand with us, that’s OK, because you’ll be on the wrong side of the history textbooks that we write.”

If that’s so, then future history textbooks will look more ideological and baseless than accurate portrayals of the historical record. But perhaps that’s because many current textbooks are, too.

Americans are free, regardless of their education or knowledge level, to use a public platform to espouse their views. At the same time, it’s hard to have a substantive and productive debate on the issues of the day when even the most basic facts of history are unknown to those doing the debating.

Platitudes begin to sound like profound insights when one has an extremely narrow view of history and world events.

It would be nice to see a little more humility from those who have such an incomplete understanding of that history.

Nevertheless, we have only ourselves to blame if we are not doing more to fix the increasingly deplorable state of American schools.

We must admit that the public school education model is failing our youths, despite how much money we’ve pumped into the system.

We should take it upon ourselves to improve our republic through better schools—perhaps charter schools, or even better, private schools funded by caring parents who increasingly can use vouchers or education savings accounts to escape the current institutions that have failed them.

Currently, many of our schools don’t meet even the basic requirements of what Americans need to be informed citizens. Worse, the education students are receiving, especially in civics, is heavily skewed toward left-wing politics.

As my wife, Inez Stepman, wrote for The Federalist:

If education reform is going to be about more than ticking up the United States’ score on international exams, and if school choice is also our only opportunity to break a left-wing ideological monopoly on public education, we must deliver meaningful, universal education choice to parents now, while Generation X parents are still the majority of those with school-age children.

We must give all parents the opportunity now to choose education options that align with their values, or the values we cherish will continue their slide into extinction.

Historical ignorance and cultural disintegration are only going to become more pronounced until we find a way to expand the net of education that works for the youngest generation.

School choice can no longer be treated as a back-burner issue.

Our future and our freedom depend on it.


Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.


The Real Costs Of Florida’s Hasty Parkland Legislation Are Coming Out

This is the price of letting the mob, even one led by sympathetic teens, rule over sound principles: the loss of Constitutional rights and wrecked budgets.

After the deadly shooting of 17 people at a Parkland, Florida high school earlier this year that resulted in huge protests fronted by students of the school, the GOP-dominated Florida Legislature caved to the emotional mob and passed laws violative of Americans’ Second Amendment rights while causing havoc with the budgets of every School District and Sheriff’s Office in the state.

It’s the dirty little secret largely being ignored. This was not a well-thought-through, studied, principled piece of legislation. And it was not necessary. It would not have prevented Parkland.

Most of the news coverage focused on guns, guns, guns. The media narrative was all zeroed in on how much would the Republican Florida Legislature go against the wishes of the NRA in a pro-gun state. Quite a bit it turns out, particularly when activists bring uninformed teens into the chambers for gimmicky procedural votes specifically designed to elicit an emotional response.

The portion of the law most people know about is the one restricting gun ownership for those under 21 and requiring a three-day waiting period to buy all guns. So you can be in the military and go to war, you can be in law enforcement and engage bad guys, you can enter into contracts, you can drive trucks, you can get married and start a family — but you cannot do what the Constitution of the United States expressly protects your right to do: own a gun.

“This bill punishes law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual,” said the NRA-ILA’s executive director Chris Cox. The NRA is suing on Constitutional grounds, which will cost plenty of money, as they have a strong case are not apt to back down.

The second part of the Parkland legislation news coverage was over whether “we should arm teachers” — as the media framed the verbiage. This provision allows districts to voluntarily create a program where educators can volunteer to be trained on an ongoing basis and then allowed to carry a weapon on campus to defend students and others. Of course, this was roundly opposed by the guns, guns, guns crowd and it appears only a handful of rural school districts will opt in to the program.

But given very little coverage was the requirement to beef up law enforcement at the schools by requiring a school resource officer in every Florida school that did not opt for allowing school personnel to conceal carry. This is a generally popular response, despite the total collapse of law enforcement in Broward County at Parkland — where there was a school resource officer who stayed outside during the slaughter.

This is an extraordinarily expensive provision given the size of Florida as the nation’s third largest state.

There are 4,000 public schools in Florida. Law enforcement figures each school resource officer costs about $100,000 in salary, benefits, supplies and general overhead. So putting one at every school represents a $400 million endeavor statewide, towards which the state only committed $100 million. This is an ongoing, $300 million expense, every year.

And there’s the rub. The Legislature responded to the Parkland tragedy and difficult environment with not only a bad law, but one that shoves its badness down to the local level for payment.

This has created a mini crisis among school districts, sheriff departments and the counties that fund them around the state. An average-sized school district in Florida (they are all countywide) would need to find $3 million to $5 million to accomplish this task. The big districts would need much more.

Again. Every year. While safe schools are felt to be an urgent need, what this means is taking funding from elsewhere in the operating budget — the largest single cost of which are teachers. So districts are hoping that local sheriffs will either cover all or part of the costs. But sheriffs have their own budget constraints and resource demands, including the desire of the population not inside a school building to be safe.

So this hasty legislation has pitted school districts against sheriffs when those relations were traditionally quite strong and cooperative.

Worse, it may prove impossible to even meet outside the financial constraints. Most sheriff departments have openings they cannot fill because there are not enough qualified applicants. Florida’s economy is so strong and unemployment so low (3.7 percent) that neither sheriff departments or private security companies can maintain full strength, and they are competing with each other for the few candidates that come available.

The guardian program could solve this, as it is much less expensive to train school personnel and they are already on campus, but professional school administrators prevent most from even considering it.

The Legislature’s action means finding thousands of new sheriff deputies to be trained as school resources officers; or reducing the number of deputies patrolling the streets, making the rest of the community potentially less safe — including students when they are not in school.

This damaging legislation should never have been rammed through so quickly, despite the unconscionable way anti-gun activists marshalled and organized sympathetic students for their cause.

RELATED ARTICLE: Same Policies That Failed to Stop Florida Shooter Exist in School Districts Nationwide

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act. Please visit The Revolutionary Act’s YouTube Site.

Parkland Teacher Called Pro-Second Amendment Jewish Student ‘The Hitler Type’

Kyle Kashuv said: “I find it utterly vile that he’d call a Jew the next Hitler. It’s also quite telling that he doesn’t know that Hitler took the people’s weaponry and I want more law-abiding citizens to have firearms.”

Kashuv is right. The left is unhinged, and it is clear that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, like colleges and universities all over the country, as well as most other high schools, is no longer a center of learning, but merely an indoctrination center for the hard left. After what happened there, for teachers to be defaming Jewish students and calling for a disarmed populace is monstrous. Gregory Pittman and the school administrators owe Kyle Kashuv an apology. But will he get one? That’s doubtful.

“Parkland Teacher Allegedly Called Pro-Gun Jewish Student ‘The Hitler Type,’” by Rob Shimshock, Daily Caller News Foundation, April 28, 2018 (thanks to Todd):

A Parkland, Fla., history teacher allegedly called a pro-Second Amendment Jewish student “the Hitler type” and “dangerous,” according to a Friday report.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School teacher Gregory Pittman allegedly made the remarks about junior Kyle Kashuv in class when a student mentioned a Twitter dispute between Pittman and Kashuv, reported Fox News.

“I find it utterly vile that he’d call a Jew the next Hitler,” Kashuv told Fox. The student’s family moved from Israel to the U.S. in the 1990s. “It’s also quite telling that he doesn’t know that Hitler took the people’s weaponry and I want more law-abiding citizens to have firearms.”

Pittman allegedly made the comments during a class in which Kashuv was not enrolled. At least three students told the junior that the teacher said he was the “next Hitler,” according to the Sun Sentinel. The Twitter dispute precipitating the alleged remarks started when Kashuv posted a video and photo documenting his first gun shooting experience with his father, an Israel Defense Forces vet.

Security officers questioned Kashuv about with whom he visited the gun range and what weapons he used. One officer allegedly said, “Don’t get snappy with me, do you not remember what happened here a few months ago?”…

RELATED: Nazi Firearms Law and the Disarming of the German Jews

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report. Pamela Geller’s shocking new book, “FATWA: HUNTED IN AMERICA” is now available on Amazon. It’s Geller’s tell all, her story – and it’s every story – it’s what happens when you stand for freedom today. Buy it. Now. Here.

Vice President Pence to Speak at the 2018 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum

Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association (NRA) Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today announced that Vice President Mike Pence  will keynote the annual NRA-ILA Leadership Forum on Friday, May 4, in Dallas, Texas. The event kicks off the 2018 election cycle and will feature a powerful lineup of pro-freedom speakers.

“It’s an honor to have Vice President Pence address our members in Dallas. He is a lifetime supporter of the Second Amendment and he has a long a record of fighting to defend our freedoms. Now more than ever we need principled people in public office who will fight to defend the Constitution. Our members are excited to hear him speak and thank him for his leadership.” —Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA

To purchase tickets, please click here.

WHAT: NRA-ILA Leadership Forum


NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre
NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox
Hon. Mike Pence, Vice President
Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas
Sen. John Cornyn, Texas
Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas
Gov. Pete Ricketts, Nebraska
Rep. Richard Hudson, North Carolina
Mark Geist, Benghazi Survivor
Diamond & Silk, Social Media Personalities
Dana Loesch, NRA Spokesperson
Charlie Kirk, Turning Point USA Founder


Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Arena
650 S Griffin St, Dallas, TX 75202


Friday, May 4, 2018
12:00 — 3 pm

Doors Open at 9:00 am
Program begins at 12:00 pm

To purchase tickets, please click here.

MEDIA CREDENTIALS: To obtain media credentials please click here. Credential requests must be received by midnight EST Wednesday, April 25, 2018.

Act Now: Join Pro-gun Lawmakers Seeking Answers and Accountability from Anti-gun Banks

We recently reported on the disturbing trend of large U.S. banks – most notably Bank of America (BofA) and Citigroup – using their enormous market power to discriminate against customers based on lawful firearm-related business activities. These decisions were unabashedly prompted and lauded by anti-gun activists as political statements and social engineering, not as business decisions based on any alleged financial unsoundness or criminal activity of the affected customers. This feigned high-mindedness is particularly galling to gun-owning Americans whose billions of tax dollars helped bail out these financial behemoths after the banks’ reckless business practices brought their companies and the U.S. economy to the brink of disaster. Now, pro-gun members of Congress are demanding answers and accountability. You can do your part, too, by lodging your own complaints against the banks with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) led the way with a March 29, 2018 letter to Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat. Kennedy expressed “significant concerns” about the bank’s new policies and asked to be provided with “the specific number of entities in Louisiana which stand to lose banking services as a result of [Citigroup’s] increased scrutiny on law-abiding businesses.” He pointedly reminded the bank, “It feels like yesterday when Citi received nearly half a trillion dollars in taxpayer-backed guarantees and cash after putting the entire financial system at risk,” a move Kennedy called, “the largest government bailout in American history.” Kennedy encouraged Citigroup to be a good corporate citizen by refocusing on business decisions, including “addressing apparent shortcomings like overcharging credit card interest rates to account holders and compliance with U.S. anti-money laundering laws.”

Also joining the effort were 16 Congressmen led by Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), who on April 11 wrote to Emily W. Murphy, head of the General Services Administration, asking her to reconsider a $700+ billion contract with Citigroup to help implement the federal charge card system, SmartPay 3.  The letter noted that the bank’s new firearm policies “run counter to laws and regulations passed by Congress, and they infringe and discriminate against an individual’s Second Amendment rights.” Such policies, the signatories opined, “should not be endorsed by our federal government,” which instead should “do business with companies that respect all of our constitutional rights, including the Second Amendment.” The letter urged the GSA to “take all necessary steps to review and terminate its contract with Citibank unless they rescind their guidelines … .”

The most recent action came from Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. On April 25, Crapo sent letters to the CEOs of both BofA and Citigroup demanding answers about their recent anti-gun activity. “It is deeply concerning to me,” he wrote, “when large national banks … which receive significant forms of government support and benefits, use their market power to manage social policy by withholding access to credit to customers and companies they disfavor.” 

Crapo also raised the issue of the banks’ collection of personally identifiable information (PII) and how it might be used “to monitor and deny financial services to individuals and companies who are engaging in completely legal and, in this case, Constitutionally-protected activity.” He additionally sought further information about the banks’ restrictive firearm policies and any other legal transactions, industries, and businesses they disfavor, prohibit, or boycott. “We should all be concerned if banks … seek to replace legislators and policymakers and attempt to manage social policy by limiting access to credit,” he concluded.

One way banking consumers concerned about BofA’s and Citigroup’s antigun discrimination can make their views known is to submit a complaint directly to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB is an entity of the U.S. Government charged with “mak[ing] consumer financial markets work for consumers, responsible providers, and the economy as a whole.” Its mandates include “[r]ooting out unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices,” taking “consumer complaints,” and “[m]onitoring financial markets for new risks to consumers.” 

Particularly useful would be complaints by any business or individual who was directly affected by the BofA’s or Citigroup’s new policies.

But every American adult likely uses or will need banking services to survive in the modern economy. Law-abiding gun owners have legitimate concerns about possible collusion and collective efforts between banks and/or banks and advocacy groups aimed at denying them services simply for exercising their rights under the U.S. Constitution and laws. These efforts also can create a hostile and chilling climate for the exercise of Second Amendment rights, particularly for those hoping to obtain financing for such things as home and auto purchases or running a small business. Once financial institutions take it upon themselves to set social policy that exceeds the requirements of the law, it’s impossible to know where they will stop or what other indicators of disfavored activity might become relevant to them. No American should be treated as a scapegoat for someone else’s crimes. 

Complaints may be submitted directly through the CFPB’s website and will be forwarded to the banks themselves. Information on complaints may also be made publicly available so other consumers can evaluate for themselves whether the banks’ are behaving improperly and possibly share their own relevant experiences.

The NRA thanks Sens. Kennedy and Crapo and Rep. Rokita for their leadership in fighting discrimination against law-abiding gun owners.