First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt: ‘I Carry a Pistol, and I’m a Fairly Good Shot’

By AWR Hawkins

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Washington DC – -( Among the numerous exhibits at the FDR Library is one that shows First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt knew the benefits of female gun ownership. Her permit to carry a pistol, issued August 5, 1957, is on display.

A tweet sent by the US National Archives links to copies of the permit released to Slate Magazine last year.

Slate published images of the permit, the back of which shows that Mrs. Roosevelt was given “permission” to buy a gun “pursuant to the provisions of Section 1897, Penal Law of the State of New York,” and was licensed to “possess” the firearm. The front of the permit clarifies the word “possess” by showing Mrs. Roosevelt was licensed “to carry.”

The permit was issued by Judge John R. Schwartz.

The book, “Casting Her Own Shadow: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Shaping of Postwar Liberalism,” quotes the Washington Herald’s Earl Miller as saying:

When ER became first lady, she refused Secret Service protection, insisting that she be able to travel as freely as possible. The agents complied with her wishes only after they discovered she knew how to shoot, and convincing her to carry a pistol when she drove alone. Intrigued by yet another example of ER’s independence, the press treated ER’s “packing” as front page news—especially after she nonchalantly remarked: “I carry a pistol, and I’m a fairly good shot.”

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First Lady Eleanor Roosevelts Carry Permit
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelts Carry Permit

AWR Hawkins writes for all the BIG sites, for Pajamas Media, for, for and now AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

His southern drawl is frequently heard discussing his take on current events on radio shows like America’s Morning News, the G. Gordon Liddy Show, the Ken Pittman Show, and the NRA’s Cam & Company, among others. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal (summer 2010), and he holds a PhD in military history from Texas Tech University.

If you have questions or comments, email him at [email protected] You can find him on facebook at

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A ‘Right’ for me. But not for Thee.
Liberalism in action.

BUT(!), all that said, good for her. More ladies need to follow that particular example of hers.