Nikki Goeser to receive NRA's 2012 "Sybil Ludington Women’s Freedom Award"

by Linda Walker

The leadership team and supporters of Buckeye Firearms Association would like to congratulate Nikki Goeser of Nashville, TN as the latest recipient of the NRA's "Sybil Ludington Women's Freedom Award."

Each year, this prestigious award is given to one woman on the national level for her deep commitment to the Second Amendment through efforts of advocacy, education, legislation and upholding the values of the National Rifle Association.

As our readers will recall, Nikki was thrust into the fight for our Second Amendment rights on April 2, 2009 when her beloved husband Ben was murdered in front of her by the man who had been stalking her. She was not looking to become an advocate, but within a week of that awful night, she became our nation's hero when she spoke out against the laws that restricted her from carrying her lawfully-owned handgun into the club she and Ben were working that night.

So many victims of gun violence will blame the gun instead of the criminal, and Nikki never once wavered on her belief that all law abiding citizens possess the right to defend themselves.

Ohioans were fortunate enough to have Nikki Goeser come to testify in our Statehouse for restaurant carry not once, but twice. She has made several trips to Ohio on our behalf to improve our laws and has spoken across the country in support of our Second Amendment.

Following is the NRA's press release announcing Nikki's award:

Nicole R. Goeser receives NRA’s 2012 Sybil Ludington Women’s Freedom Award

FAIRFAX, VA- The National Rifle Association has selected Nicole R. Goeser of Nashville, Tennessee, to receive the 2012 Sybil Ludington Women's Freedom Award. This award recognizes exceptional accomplishments of modern heroines through their legislative activism as well as advocacy, volunteerism, and education of others to the goals of the Second Amendment and the NRA on a national level.

Nicole "Nikki" Goeser has personally experienced the importance of advancing our Second Amendment rights. On April 2, 2009, she witnessed the brutal murder of her husband Ben at a local restaurant. Though a “right to carry” permit holder in Tennessee, state law prohibited her from bringing a handgun in the establishment. It was time for a change.

Taking on the legislative battle, Nikki was instrumental in changing Tennessee’s restrictions against carrying firearms in restaurants. Following her success, she then testified before the Ohio State House and Senate committees. A little more than a year later, Goeser was back in Ohio to witness the bill signing that put restaurant carry into effect.

Nikki speaks at Second Amendment events, writes articles, appears on international television, and makes guest appearances on radio, TV and NRANews. At the 2010 NRA Annual Meetings in Charlotte, Ben and Nikki's story was featured during the Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum.

As a legislative aide in the Tennessee Statehouse, Nikki works to help protect our firearm freedoms every day. She also belongs to pivotal organizations including the National Rifle Association (as a Life Member and NRA-ILA Election Volunteer Coordinator), the Tennessee Firearms Association (as a member and spokesperson) and the Second Amendment Sisters (as the Tennessee spokesperson).

Since Ben's death, Nikki has made tremendous efforts to educate people on the importance of the Second Amendment. A modern day heroine, Nikki has never lost sight of her mission.

"The founders of our great country saw that people who wish to do us harm would not be so successful if we as a citizenry were armed,” said Goeser. “It is a right to self-defense, not a privilege."

As a testimony to her hard work, Nikki received the Tony Gordon Memorial Award (2010), given to those who go above and beyond while working to further gun rights. She continues her tireless efforts today while writing her first, pro-Second Amendment book.

Founded in 1995, the award is named for Sybil Ludington, a heroine of the American Revolution who made a night ride to alert colonial forces in the same way as Paul Revere. On the night of April 26, 1777, Sybil was putting her younger siblings to bed when her family received word that the British had begun burning Danbury, Connecticut, a town only 25 miles away. Her father was a colonel in the local militia at the time and his men were spread out over a large area around the Ludington house. Sybil persuaded her father to let her ride out and alert his men so they could attempt to drive the British back. Riding alone, she covered over 40 miles on dark, unmarked roads, warning militiamen of the approaching threat while avoiding British soldiers and loyalists in the area. The men she helped gather were able to assemble just in time to help drive the British force back to their ships in the Long Island Sound and save many American lives.

To learn more about the Women’s Awards and other programs for women offered by the NRA, visit or call 1-800-816-1166.

I cannot think of a more deserving woman for this award than my close friend Nikki Goeser, and we once again congratulate her on this major accomplishment. She will be presented a lovely etched crystal vase at the September NRA Board of Directors meeting.

Linda Walker is the Central OH Chair of Buckeye Firearms Association, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association, NRA-ILA EVC for Ohio's 12th Congressional District, 2009 recipient of the NRA's "Sybil Ludington Women's Freedom Award," NRA certified instructor and sits on the women's policies committee (amongst other committees) of the NRA BoD.

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