Buckeye Speakers Score a Bullseye with Ohio United Sportsmen
Buckeye Firearms Association volunteer, outdoor writer and sportsmen’s advocate Larry Moore along with BFA volunteer and attorney Ken Hanson addressed the Ohio United Sportsmen Club at Ohio University on Saturday April 1. The young hunters who have taken interest to start the OU club were treated to well over fifty-years of experience in the arena of 2nd Amendment rights and sportsmen advocacy.
Moore started the presentation. He presented the reasons why he became involved in the mid-1970s during the first state trapping issue. Moore noted, "Sportsmen and 2nd Amendment advocacy has been a journey, not a destination. It has been a journey with as many twists and turns as these wonderful Hocking Valley hills and roads. I developed a philosophy that all sportsmen and gun owners are like a big tree with many branches. We are all interconnected. Nothing angers me more quickly than to see one area of this tree attacking another area. We’ve got PETA, HSUS, Toby Hoover and Ohioans Against Guns, The Brady Bunch, and The Violence Policy Center to fight. We don't need to fight amongst ourselves. When one area is attacked, we are all attacked. If one dies, we are all in greater danger. Be a supporter not a detractor!"
Moore also presented his view of several areas of involvement. He characterized the first area as that of an occupant. An occupant is a person who may hold a hunting/fishing/trapping license or has a concealed handgun license but does nothing else. The next level is the membership level where the sportsman/gun owner becomes involved in an organization such as Buckeye Firearms, the NRA, USSA, a local gun or conservation club, National Wild Turkey Federation, etc. Moore added, "Unlike the ads for a credit card that claims membership has it's privileges, in our case membership has it's responsibilities. There is a responsibility for ethical behavior and a responsibility to share the shooting sports and outdoor recreation. My generation was the hippie-drop out generation. Dropouts and occupants don't accomplish anything. Becoming a member and an activist gets things done."
Click on the "Read More..." link below for more.
Moore challenged the young sportsmen to become activists and share their outdoor heritage. He also challenged them to honor our natural resources by making a commitment to leave our world in better shape than they received it from their parents.
"I don’t care if those hunters never want to carry a concealed handgun, or if the trap shooter, CMP shooter, or IDPA shooter never hunts. We need to support each other. All hunters should have a concealed handgun license. Conversely, all shooters who do not already hunt should buy a hunting license. Why is that? Elected officials know numbers and voters. The larger those number the larger our collective influence. The Division of Wildlife is about more than just hunting. They are about promoting the shooting sports, attracting young people to our ranks and operating shooting ranges. They are only funded through hunting/fishing/trapping license permit sales. Every shooter should contribute to that effort", Moore concluded.
Following Moore, Attorney Ken Hanson spoke. Hanson immediately drove home the point that the current legislation is more than concealed carry legislation. Key components of HB 347 affect more than just concealed handgun license holders. The preemption of state gun laws is critical to hunters and target shooters who travel across Ohio. Hanson explained, "I traveled through more than twenty different political subdivisions, towns and cities from my home today to Athens. Each one of those has the potential to have gun laws that might prohibit the firearm I was transporting. How many people have the time or the ability to research every area where you travel? Preemption for statewide gun laws is needed for the safe transportation of all firearms.
Another key area of HB 347 was removed in the Ohio House because sportsmen did not rally to the cause. That was the definition of a loaded firearm. Sportsmen groups did not show up to lobby for this provision. A hunter who properly transports a firearm can be arrested and charged by simply putting his hunting vest that contains one shotgun shell into the passenger compartment with his shotgun because case law has interpreted that to mean the gun is loaded. That common sense provision was removed due to lack of sportsmen awareness."
Hanson presented the need for the Castle Doctrine in Ohio He presented the proposed legislation and why that is important to the self-defense movement in Ohio. Click here for a summary of the benefits of Castle Doctrine legislation.
Both Hanson and Moore emphasized to the Ohio United Sportsmen that the key to any effort to pass legislation is grass-roots involvement. They stressed the importance of knowing all levels of elected officials. Involvement with local officials and helping with their campaigns is a key method to become known to elected officials and to make their voice heard on the issues. Hanson pointed out that those in attendance are worth their weight in Gold to a politician. Young, in shape people with no children to pick up or drop off at day care can put up a lot of yard signs and hang literature on a lot of doors.
Also attending the meeting was Jim Marshall, Division of Wildlife District 4 Manager in Athens. Several topics were discussed in the informal part of the program following the presentations. Several ideas were exchanged. The OU Sportsmen indicated an interest in becoming volunteer Ohio Hunter Education Instructors and/or NRA instructors. Marshall agreed to work with them on becoming instructors.
Unfortunately, the District 4 Instructor Clinic was held the weekend before finals but an additional clinic may be held for the group. Networking between the OU Sportsmen, the Division of Wildlife and local conservation clubs was discussed. The idea that seemed to generate the most interest is to hold a joint outing between the sportsmen's group and several of the campus sororities. Women are the fastest growing area of the shooting sports. Introducing the ladies on campus to firearms training, safety and the shooting sports is an area that excited these young men. (GO FIGURE!)