2014: The Year Ahead

by Jim Irvine

2014 promises to be a very interesting year for gun owners. In April, Ohio will celebrate 10 years of concealed carry and this year's Buckeye Bash figures to be the biggest and best ever. But there will also be significant battles that may reshape the debate on firearms.

Michael Bloomberg will end his time as Mayor of New York City, freeing him to spend more time on his insane quest to disarm the nation. He will spend millions upon millions. Expect an assault on your rights like you have never seen. We won the battles in 2013, but Bloomberg will be stepping up his game and spend what ever it takes to secure significant victories in 2014. There is no way we, or even the NRA, can match his spending. To win will require strong unification of gun owners standing up to oppose his draconian ideals.

The U.S. Senate is likely to bring Feinstein's anti-gun wish list back up for consideration. There is talk Senate President Harry Reid will change the rules so they only need 51 votes to pass the measure. Legislators need to hear from gun owners when the time comes.

All U.S. Representatives will be up for re-election. Democrats need to pick up 17 seats to control the House. 35 U.S. Senators will face election including 14 Republicans and 21 Democrats. Five Democrats and two Republicans are retiring, so there will be seven open seats. Republicans need to pick up six seats to control the Senate. If the Obama and the Democrats control all three branches, they will pass laws to destroy Second Amendment rights in Obama's final two years in office.

We may see a Supreme Court of the United States Justice replaced. If not this year, it becomes even more likely in 2015. This makes control of the Senate critical for gun owners. Even pro-gun Democrats have shown they vote with their party over the objections of their constituents. The anti-gun forces will do anything to help them ratify the U.N. treaty that would end your right to own firearms.

With the most significant threats we have ever faces looming on the horizon, we need to be ready to confront and win any battle. Buckeye Firearms Association has been preparing for months and we expect to have a great year.

We will soon be unveiling a new web site. It will not be just a new look, but many new capabilities. The denial of service attack we faced in 2013 prompted us to greatly improve our site. We will have a new web store, better ability to report breaking news, and other new features.

The ODNR will hold open houses where hunting deer with pistol caliber rifles (PCR) will be discussed. With grassroots support, hunting with PCRs may be permitted this fall.

Legislatively we will be working to pass good bills while killing any hostile bills. The four gun rights-related bills that have received the most legislative attention are HB 31 sponsored by Bill Patmon (D) which would place burdensome requirements on how guns can be stored in a home, HB 203 sponsored by Terry Johnson (R) which would make many improvements to Ohio firearms laws, HB 231 sponsored by Ron Maag (R) which would reduce/eliminate victim zones, and HB 234 sponsored by Cheryl Grossman (R) which would allow hunting with suppressors.

All 99 Ohio House members and half of the Ohio Senate face election, as well as all five statewide offices and two Ohio Supreme Court seats. It will be a busy, interesting, and important election season.

Last but not least, Buckeye Firearms Foundation will train more educators. The Foundation has budgeted $100,000 to train volunteers through the FASTER (Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response) program. Efforts are underway to expand the program to other instructors nationwide.

There is more exciting news just over the horizon. There will be more raffles and other events as we will need to spend more money than any year in history. 2014 will be an exciting year with many threats to our liberties, but with the growing support of our grassroots army, I am confident that we will not just weather the storm, but advance our rights in ways most of us didn't even dream of just a few short years ago.

Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association President, and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award" and the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award."

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