Passing good legislation - Lessons learned, Part I

By Jim Irvine

With the passage of HB347 last year, the Governor’s threat of a veto coming to fruition, and the culmination of a veto override, we all learned some lessons about how the political process works, and how we worked within that system.

Judging by the results, we won. So we were good enough, but there is always room for improvement. In this article I will discuss some things we did right. Tomorrow I will chronicle some areas where we can improve.

What Buckeye Firearms Association did right:

We were there. Sometimes showing up is 90% of winning. Buckeye Firearms leaders were at every committee meeting, and every vote for HB347. We met with legislators, expressed concern over some issues, and praised progress on others. We relayed your feedback to keep the legislature in touch with their grassroots constituents. Your personal calls and letters gave strength to our statements.

We answered questions, sometimes doing extensive digging to find them. We proved to those that matter that we are more than a web site and a few members; we are a trusted source of information and ideas. We are an asset to them and are true to our word. We earned respect that we will build upon this session and beyond.

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We worked with other groups like the NRA and PRO. Each pro-gun group has unique strengths. By working together and using each others strengths, we showed that we can overcome any obstacle.

We kept you up to date with timely email alerts and stories on our web site, allowing each of you to take appropriate action. It’s not “our” actions, but “your” actions that result in change. The more of “you” there are, and the more involved you are, the quicker change will come.

Nothing Buckeye Firearms or any other pro-gun group would matter if not for the work of you – the grassroots volunteer. It is your actions that propelled us to victory.

You answered our calls for action. The legislature, particularly the Ohio Senate heard your message loud and clear, with some legislators being contacted more than 100 times per day. That is outstanding. I know some are cynical about legislators not caring about what constituents have to say. There are those who don’t care, but the vast majority are really interested in your opinion. That is why they spend money polling likely voters at election time. Your professional calls and letters are valuable to them, and collectively give them the fortitude needed to override a veto.

You worked on campaigns of our endorsed candidates in the months leading up to the veto showdown, and developed a better relationship with your elected officials, and helped them to better understand why Second Amendment issues are so important to you. You gave of your time and money when they needed it. You were rewarded by several important votes when you needed it. That is a great relationship.

You were firm, but polite when you contacted your legislators. Most people we spoke with said over 99% of callers were professional. This speaks volumes about who we are and is crucial to further reclaiming our rights.

Together, we did a lot of things right. We knew the issues. We knew the obstacles, and we had a good plan to overcome them. Then we executed when we needed to. Our hard work will pay off next month as HB347 takes effect and some of your rights are restored.

Thank you to each of you who made success possible.

Related Stories:
Passing good legislation – Lessons Learned, Part II

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Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots organization dedicated to defending and advancing the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. Read more.