grassroots showed up in the recent primary run-off elections, and Gun Owner’s Choice candidates enjoyed overwhelming victories. In two races, our grassroots gun rights candidates prevailed over longstanding incumbents who thought they were safe but failed to stand strong for their district’s gun rights.” Lessons learned in Virginia have roused Texas gun owners from the sidelines. Gun owners are combatting outside money with grassroots activism. Even when it comes to primaries, the Second Amendment grassroots movement has shown its increasing power. Grassroots activists helped pro-gun candidate and newcomer, Bryan Slaton, unseat a nine-time incumbent for a Texas House seat. Activists also helped Texas candidate Shelby Slawson win her race against an opponent who voted against campus carry. Second Amendment activism is also extending beyond what politicians consider traditional gun owners. Grassroots gun groups have sprung up in the inner cities. Rhonda Ezell founded Chicago Guns Matter on the premise that people in urban
areas need guns just as much, if not more than, people in rural areas. Chicago banned gun ranges from the city but made it a requirement to go to a range in order to carry a gun. Ezell and her group, with the help of the Second Amendment Foundation, sued the city in federal court over its firearm range ban. The court sided with Ezell preventing Chicago from banning ranges. Chicago Guns Matter has seen an increase in gun ownership in the African American community,
and an increase in law-abiding citizens willing to stand up for gun rights through activism. Founded by ex-rapper Maj Toure, Black Guns Matter is a group that works to expand Second Amendment activism in urban areas. The group holds free seminars around the country to educate activists on how to recruit everyday citizens to their cause. Female Second Amendment activism is also on the rise. Former Tulsa police officer Dianne Muller started the non-partisan DC Project to bring 50 women from 50 states to Washington D.C. every year to lobby for gun rights. An organization that began with one woman in each state now has a chapter in each state. “We break the stereotype of the normal gun owner,” Muller said. “We’ve had a rally on the Capitol lawn each year. This year we’re expanding to the state and local level.” Grassroots Second Amendment activism is growing in every state and every demographic. What started as a defeat has awoken a sleeping giant and the powers that be have taken notice.
16 • NBS OUTDOOR • Fall 2020
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