U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Some 120 speakers and presenters will appear during this year’s 35th Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC), and for the first time in the event’s history, it will be held completely online, on multiple platforms including YouTube and Facebook, so literally everyone will be able to participate from the comfort of their own home.
Activists can visit SAF’s Facebook Page to link to the conference, and you may sign up here.
It is by far the biggest agenda ever assembled, according to Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. SAF and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms co-host this annual event. This year’s conference theme is “Elect Freedom.”
Among the scheduled special appearances will be U.S. Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise, Alaska Congressman Don Young and Olympic Gold Medalist Kim Rhode.
There are two state legislative affairs panels, two panels discussing Second Amendment legal affairs, two more panels on women and guns, a panel discussing the gun rights battle from a media perspective, another panel on advancing the gun rights message featuring AmmoLand’s own Fredy Riehl and a special tribute to the late Joe Tartaro, SAF president and executive editor of TheGunMag.com (formerly Gun Week). Mr. Tartaro passed away earlier this year, having devoted more than half a century to the gun rights cause.
This year’s federal affairs briefing will be a presentation by Mark Barnes, head of Mark Barnes & Associates in Washington, D.C. In addition, a three-member panel will discuss communication in a “Techno-Totalitarian era.”
There will also be discussions on government funding of biased research, outreach to an estimated 5 million new gun owners, law enforcement and the Second Amendment, attacks on the Second Amendment financed by George Soros and Michael Bloomberg, using new media to advance gun rights, and expanding the Second Amendment family. Another panel of physicians will discuss gun rights and the medical profession.
Another presentation underscoring the importance of voting this year is titled “Elections Have RKBA Consequences,” with Matt and Mercedes Schlapp. Matt is chairman of the American Conservative Union. Mercedes served as White House director of Strategic Communications in the Trump administration until July, when she began working on the Trump 2020 re-election campaign.
Also among this year’s scheduled speakers are Joe Bartozzi, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation; Tom Gresham, host of Gun Talk radio; Mark Walters, host of Armed American radio; Charlie Cook, host of Riding Shotgun with Charlie; Jim Shepherd, editor at The Outdoor Wire; Jason Ouimet, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action; Erich Pratt, Gun Owners of America; Massad Ayoob, nationally-recognized author, firearms and self-defense expert and instructor, and so many more it is impossible to list them all.
“Since the first GRPC was held in Seattle in 1986,” Gottlieb said, “the event has evolved from 20 speakers and 70 attendees to more than 90 speakers and 1,100 attendees in 2019. The GRPC has become a ‘must-attend’ event for gun rights advocates and grassroots activists across the country. This year we anticipate having nearly 120 gun rights speakers.”
The timing and theme of this year’s event could not be more critical. The national elections are only 50 days away, with the White House, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on the line. Additionally, most state legislative elections are scheduled, along with many local elections.
Already, Democrat Joe Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris have clearly explained their intent to ratchet down on gun rights if they are elected. Their agenda includes bans on so-called “assault weapons” and original capacity magazines, one-gun-a-month restrictions, a safe storage mandate, licensing, “universal background checks,” and other proposals.
Underscoring the former vice president’s anti-gun outlook, Biden almost immediately tried to exploit the ambush shooting of two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies. However, he tweeted about banning so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines” when video clearly shows the suspect opening fire with a handgun. The deputies were described as a 31-year-old female and 24-year-old male. Both underwent surgery and were in stable condition at last report.
Gottlieb, who also chairs the CCRKBA, told AmmoLand via telephone that Biden's statement illustrates “the intellectual dishonesty” of the gun rights movement “to use a horrific tragedy” to press their agenda.
“There is a heavy disconnect between reality and what they're trying to push onto the American public,” he stated.
No doubt there will be considerable discussion about this as the gun rights conference looms, and well into its aftermath. Activists who had planned to be in Orlando will now have the advantage of being at home, but still be part of what is shaping up to be a remarkable undertaking.
“Despite the problems relating to COVID-19,” Gottlieb acknowledged, “we’re really excited about this year’s event, and because it is online, we are going to reach a huge audience. The importance of that cannot be over-estimated.”
It could easily be the most important two days of the election season for gun rights activists.
Gottlieb said late last week more than 1,500 people had registered for the event, which is an all-time record. This year, they can attend from their own living room.
The conference had originally been scheduled for Orlando, Fla., but the continuing coronavirus threat mandated this landmark change in plans. Putting all the components together has been a remarkable undertaking, with SAF and CCRKBA staffs working intensely for the past several weeks.
The annual GRPC has become a “must attend” event for grassroots activists from across the country. It has been a veritable Who’s Who gathering for the Second Amendment movement, with conferences in surprising “behind-the-lines” locations including Chicago, Seattle, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles.
“This will be an awesome event,” Gottlieb predicted, “and gun owners from coast to coast can virtually attend.”
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