NRA Clubs & Association The fall edition of Club Connections is out! A quarterly newsletter for all NRA affiliated clubs, Club Connections is filled with stories regarding the latest NRA events, a message from President Ron Schmeits, and, of course, NRA affiliated clubs. Here's one from the Virginia Shooting Sports Association:

Crush 'n Clays Making a Difference

It’s been said in America, it’s easier to make a buck than it is to make a difference, but the Virginia Shooting Sports Association and the Arlington-Fairfax Izaak Walton League of America have proven it’s possible to do both. For the last 12 years, VSSA and ARL/FFX IWLA have hosted the Crush’n Clays®, Clay Target Charity Classic to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in Memphis, Tennessee. This event has raised over $230,000 since inception to support the kids of St. Jude’s.

Crush’n Clays® is not only, the longest running shooting charity that supports the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, but also the longest consecutive running shooting charity event in the country.

The trap shooting event includes both an individual and team competition. Individual awards are based on a “Lewis” class system, so everyone has a chance to win regardless of ability.

Read the entire article here.

Country superstars and NRA President Ron Schmeits participate in the Kearney, Nebraska One Box Pheasant Hunt:

One Box Pheasant Hunt activities began Thursday

NRA President Ron Schmeits displaying his trophy from an August hunt.
NRA President Ron Schmeits during an August hunt.

BROKEN BOW — Hunters hit the field at sunrise today for the 50th annual Nebraska One Box Pheasant Hunt in Broken Bow.

Although the main hunt is today (Saturday), activities began Thursday when the shooting ranges opened for trap and skeet shooting, and new teams and past shooters were recognized at a reception.

Since 1961, the hunt has promoted fellowship among sportsmen and supported the creation of wildlife habitat. The hunt has grown to be an annual event attended by sportsmen from around the world.

Teams include five members, two guides, a judge and a dog handler. The judge scores shots fired and kills. Each team is given one box of 25 shotgun shells that can be divided among team members in any way they wish ...

This year’s celebrity participants include country music singers Lorrie Morgan and John Anderson, author Stephen Coonts, National Football League player Chris Bober, Rear Adm. Mark A. Vance and National Rifle Association President Ron Schmeits. Morgan said she was excited to be selected as a participant. “I love hunting and shooting a gun, but I’ve never hunted fowl before,” she said.

Morgan said the fact that she is a big supporter of the NRA and she’s on Schmeits’ team adds extra excitement to the adventure.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

Schmeits address Robert E. Petersen Gallery celebration at NRA National Firearms Museum Several dozen friends of the NRA are currently gathered at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia. They're celebrating the inaugural viewing of the Robert E. Petersen Gallery, the newest and grandest exhibit in the National Firearms Museum.

“Welcome, and thank you for being here as we remember and celebrate Bob Petersen,” Kayne Robinson told the crowd. “Because of his generosity, all Americans have a chance to see this collection of some of the finest firearms in the world.”

“Margie and Bob Petersen are giving the gift of history to future generations,” Robinson said. He was joined in a ceremonial ribbon cutting by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and NRA President Ron Schmeits. NRA Senior Curators Phil Schreier and Doug Wicklund were on hand to guide guests around the gallery.

LaPierre addressed the crowd, highlighting one of the most important aspects of Mr. Petersen's life. “Bob was a special person,” he began. He told the audience that Bob's life was a love story – not of firearms, but of his wife, Margie. “He told a friend, ‘That's the woman I'm going to marry,’ and he did,” LaPierre said, “He proposed on their first date.”

Pictured at right, NRA President Schmeits took the podium to conclude the evening. “This gallery will stand forever for the legacy and generosity of the Petersens,” Schmeits said. “Future generations will learn about the importance of firearms and freedom by experiencing the Robert E. Petersen Gallery.”

The News-Herald published the following article on the National Matches today:
Shooters from around the world take aim

CAMP PERRY — Australians Kendell Summers and Greg Riemer couldn't help but take note of the hundreds of shooters along the firing line at the National Rifle and Pistol Matches.

With a blazing "pop-pop-pop-pop" noise bouncing back from the assembled shooters, the Australians were listening to the rapid gunfire and admiring the setting.

Not only are the United States' firearms freedoms more tolerable than those in Australia, many more shooters compete against each other in the various shooting games, the two adventitious Aussies said.

"We wouldn't have anything like this back in Australia," Riemer said. "There, the military wouldn't be shooting with civilians. Here, there is a lot more competition, practice opportunities, as well as support,"

"We like very much being able to shoot against military and reserve teams."

Fact is, the National Rifle Matches are America's "everyman" shooting games.

From mid-July through mid-August, a few thousand shooters will gather along the south shore of Lake Erie. There, they'll compete in a well-regulated environment as well as challenge and test their own skills.

Continue reading here.

"For more than 100 years, thousands of competitors have made the trip to Camp Perry in order to compete among the best shooters there are. It's a true expression of freedom, sportsmanship and exercising our Second Amendment rights," NRA President Ron Schmeits told the News-Herald.

At right, Schmeits poses with NRA Competitive Shooting Director Mike Krei (on right) during the Pistol Match Director's Reception.

NRAblog will again be reporting live from the field when the smallbore competition begins Thursday. Don't go away! 

Last year, NRAblog was on hand to cover New York State Rifle and Pistol Association's Annual Meeting. NRA News' Cam Edwards and NRA President Ron Schmeits addressed the 2009 meeting. This year, we offer our thanks to Eddie Falcon, a Benefactor member of the NRA and founder of homedefensesite.com, for the following report and photo:

 

Andrew Lander with an NYSRPA member
NRA Instructor Program Coordinator Andrew Lander with a member of NYSRPA.

Wallkill Rod & Gun Club hosts NYSRPA Meeting

On June 12, 2010 the Wallkill Rod and Gun Club opened its doors to gun lovers from as far as Princeton, NJ. Ray Carney and his staff did a great job putting together an awesome experience and a fun-packed day. There were many displays of guns from the Colt Collectors booth to the .50 BMG. The Sullivan County Sheriff’s crew tapped off the afternoon with a demonstration of full-auto firearms, which three ladies from the audience had the opportunity to shoot.

The event had many opportunities for the public to shoot the guns on display. The NRA's Education and Training Division participated with a new event they called the 3-Gun Experience. If you provided the necessary handgun permit, you were able to shoot the following three stages: a carbine shoot, a handgun shoot, and a shotgun shoot.

Three gentlemen from NRA Headquarters in Virginia – Andy Lander, Sean Thornton, and Mark Richardson – and I coordinated the 3 Gun event. Alongside our event, Andy Massimilian operated a pay to shoot event. For a few dollars event goers were offered the opportunity to shoot a FN Scar, an UZI, a .50 BMG and the new Remington 1911.

Wayne LaPierre addressed the crowd of over 800 to much applause. Wayne repeatedly thanked NRA Board Members Tom King (also the President NYSRPA) and Joseph DeBergalis, Jr. (Vice President NYSRPA) for their hard work and dedication in fighting for the 2nd Amendment Rights in New York.

The afternoon was wrapped up with an unbelievable chicken bake, a tradition at the club, where more than 650 people pre-ordered tickets for the meal.

 

Last night's Freedom Experience had something for everyone. From Newt Gingrich to Lt. Col. Oliver North to Glenn Beck to the Charlie Daniels Band, the experience truly celebrated freedom. "It was unbelievable," an attendee told NRAblog. "That's the most fun we've had on a Saturday night in a long time."

Early estimates said the Time Warner Arena here in Charlotte, North Carolina, had maybe 10,000 NRA members packed inside. The slideshow above highlights a special section of the evening, when veterans from different branches of the service were asked to stand.

Executive Director of General Operations Kayne Robinson introduced Lt. Col. Oliver North. “He’s a good friend of mine, but more importantly, he’s a great friend of freedom,” Robinson said. “Ladies and gentlemen, a hero in your hearts, and on stage tonight, Colonel Oliver North.”

North quickly invited R. Lee Ermey, the Gunny, onstage to accept a copy of his book, American Heroes. “From one Marine to another,” North said, “Semper Fi.”

North spent just a few minutes on stage, but he had a big impact. Recognizing the military members in the audience and pointing out the NRA’s support of the United States’ Armed Forces, North made an important point.

“In 1944, when we had 16.5 million men in uniform,” he said, “among them were my father and all my uncles … It is said that … today, according to so-called Public Opinion Surveys, less than 10 percent of Americans know the name of someone serving in the military.”

North encouraged the attendees of the Freedom Experience to reach out to the military folk in their lives.

Gingrich, North, and Beck received standing ovations, but one speaker received a little something special from the leadership of the NRA.

As Beck finished speaking, NRA EVP Wayne LaPierre and President Ron Schmeits joined him on stage. “We’re big fans of you and your show,” Schmeits said to Beck. “You fight to preserve liberty, and as a token of our appreciation, we’re pleased to present you with this document, signed by James Madison.”

More photos will be coming, so check back soon!

There's still time to join the meeting!

The 139th Annual Meeting of the Members is underway at the Charlotte Convention Center. At right, members were lined up to enter the room well before the doors opened around 9:45 a.m.

If you're here in Charlotte, there's still time to hear from the Officers of the NRA. So far, attendees have seen the youngest and oldest NRA Life Members, as is tradition; listened to Board Member Susan Howard lead the group in prayer; and heard Ayla Brown sing the National Anthem.

Those in attendance have heard from Wayne LaPierre, who used several video clips to accentuate his speech; President Ron Schmeits, who described freedom as "personal"; and Chris Cox, who introduced several NRA members to the crowd.

Still on the agenda: First Vice President David Keene, Second Vice President Jim Porter, and Executive Director of General Operations Kayne Robinson.

Stay tuned for an overview of the meeting, as well as additional photos!

While the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits offer all sorts of festivities -- from seminars and workshops to the Air Gun Range, book signings, and more -- the star of the show is the actual Meeting of the Members.

Open to all NRA members, this meeting is your chance to join with thousands of fellow shooters and hunters from across the world in celebration of freedom. NRA officers will report on the business of your Association and deliver their annual addresses to the membership. The President, Executive Vice President, First and Second Vice Presidents, and Executive Directors of both General Operations and NRA-ILA address the crowd. (President Ron Schmeits is pictured at right speaking with Cowboy Action Shooting founder Judge Roy Bean.) 

We've been told NRA General Operations' Kayne Robinson will be speaking on the importance of both law enforcement and civilian firearm ownership. 

Another anticipated part of the meeting is the announcement of the results from the 2010 election of members to the NRA Board of Directors.

NRAblog plans to tweet the activity of the meeting as it unfolds, and report back to you with pictures and dialogue in the afternoon. (Follow us on twitter!)

If you just can't wait, we encourage you to take a look at Robinson's remarks at the 2009 Annual Meeting, held in Phoenix.

The NRA Foundation hosted a Sportsmen’s Brunch this morning where attendees had the opportunity to meet with NRA leaders, enjoy the camaraderie of fellow outdoorsmen, and bid on more than a dozen hunts. “Many of these have been donated by outfitters, so what we get from here is pure profit,” Kyle Weaver said. In addition to the live auction, the brunch featured several silent auctions and games similar to those found at Friends of NRA events.

NRA President Ron Schmeits addressed the crowd for a few moments, speaking from his experiences as a hunter. “Thank you for your dedication to this country’s hunting heritage,” he told the group.

Held in the same room as last night’s NRA Foundation’s National Banquet, the brunch featured moose motifs and antler centerpieces. Some 900 tickets were sold, and the room was full by the time breakfast was served at 10 a.m.

NRA’s Executive Director of General Operations Kayne Robinson, also an avid hunter, spent a few minutes talking about the programs of the NRA. “What a treat to be able to have a breakfast with 900 close friends,” he said. “Thank you for being here, and for all you do.”

NRAblog is on site through Monday morning reporting on the programs of this Annual Meeting. Stay tuned!

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