Last month, I introduced you to some of the members tapped by the President Elect to advise him on gun law reforms. This month I’ll tell you what I’ll be whispering in their ears any chance I get.
I don’t need to tell them how smart it is that Trump campaigned on nationalizing concealed carry rights, and others can weigh in on the best way to implement this. I’m just impressed that to my knowledge Trump is the first politician on the national stage to voluntarily say anything positive about carry rights, let alone the delicious plan to force California, New York and the few other states to accept armed Americans ready to defend themselves in their dangerous cities.
The committee will advise about import and export laws. Personally, I’d like to see ITAR reformed so it doesn’t apply to ordinary gun technology that’s legal to buy and sell without restriction in the US that would do some good for the US economy so small gun businesses could sell overseas without paying exorbitant licensing fees to the State Department. I wouldn’t mind seeing American consumers enjoy the choice of quality imported surplus firearms, even if it means US businesses must compete harder.
As a patent attorney, my favorite proposed reform is the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) that would treat sound suppressors like ordinary pistols, instead of like highly-regulated machine guns. I have written a prior newsletter all about the types of innovation “land rush” this would trigger.
How Many of These Coalition Members Do you Know?
This former Arizona police officer, police instructor, and investigator went on to become an employee and then a tactical instructor at Academi, the security contracting company once known as Blackwater. In 2016, he made another major move to become the US law enforcement sales manager for IWI. In doing so, he took over duties once fulfilled by another person on this list, Casey Flack, who’s now the CEO of IWI-US.
On his IWI employee profile, Alibrando names Chuck Yeager as his hero, saying “he was a combination of intelligence and grit, cool under pressure—all the things I admire.” When asked for his favorite quote, he responds with one from George S. Patton: “If everyone is thinking alike, no one is thinking.”
Babaz is President-elect of Safari Club International, and a wingshooter as well as a big game hunter. A helicopter door gunner with the US Army from 1986 to 1996, Babaz transitioned to civilian life to become Senior Vice President of Investments at Atlanta-based Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. He’s been in that role since 1993. Babaz has pledged to continue the Safari Club’s efforts to engage younger hunters as well as wingshooters.
Tennessee-born Barrett is best known for bringing the venerable .50 caliber rifle to the masses by inventing the first shoulder-fired version of the caliber. His initiative has brought both success as the CEO of Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, as well as a torrential downpour of prejudice from anti-gunners. In 2016, the State of Tennessee named the Barrett Model 82 as the official State Rifle. Barrett is on the NRA Board of Directors.
B. Dan Berger
The diverse Berger is President and CEO of DC-based National Association of Federal Credit Unions. He’s a renowned abstract artist, and writer. He maintains the Berger leadership blog, where he shares secrets for effective management. He’s in demand as a lobbyist and educational speaker. The Pennsylvania native is a supporter of Trout Unlimited and the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust.
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)
From Utah’s 1st District hails Republican Rep. Rob Bishop. Before he began his career as an elected official 17 years ago, Bishop was a high school German and history teacher. He has been instrumental in Utah’s Public Lands Initiative, an effort to review and update documents and policies regarding the state’s vast public lands. Although official documents are less revealing, internet forums speculate that Bishop has worked closely with another member of the 2A Coalition, Don Peay, formerly of Utah Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife.
Butz retired as an All-Pro defensive tackle for the Washington Redskins. He’s played in three Super Bowls. Today, he’s a fundraising consultant based in Illinois. A former host of the sports show Suzuki Great Outdoors, Butz is also in demand as a public speaker. This championship-winning sporting clays shooter and instructor has been a member of the NRA Board of Directors since 2003.
Among NASCAR fans, Childress is a household name. He bootstrapped his own racing career in the late 1960s and 1970s, founding Richard Childress Racing in 1969. The iconic North Carolina brand has grown to sponsor seven full-time racing teams, in addition to having a museum and race car-building business. Childress started award-winning North Carolina Vineyards in 2004. He’s a benefactor of the Boone & Crockett Club, Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and his family’s own child trauma charity. Childress was elected Second Vice President of the NRA in 2015.
Cors has held numerous NRA offices over the years, and in 2015 was installed as President. He’s also the retired Director of Government Affairs and Senior Vice President of Corning, Inc. Cors is a lifelong hunter and gun enthusiast, and enjoys collecting World War II military vehicles.
Daniel is founder, President, and CEO of Daniel Defense, based in Georgia. Daniel Defense is one of only five companies in the world involved in barrel production. Now a major player in rifle and parts manufacturing, Daniel Defense began along with the new millennium as a sling loop and rail producer, with products inspired by Daniel’s desire to improve his M16. And if it messes up your head to see your name in giant text all over the SHOT Show, then Marty’s looking at a major therapy bill.
Early is a Washington, DC attorney specializing in energy, natural resources and cyber security. Her previous associations include United States House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and the Federal Communications Commission. She is known as a consumer products safety expert. Early’s association with gun issues is unknown.
Kelli A. Emerick
Emerick is President of 121 Strategies & Government Relations in Washington, DC. Her Twitter profile self-identifies her as “protector of identity and technology public policy professional. Lover of the outdoors, food, wine and dogs.”
Another professional role Emerick fills is being executive director of the Secure ID Coalition, an alliance of smart card manufacturers and other technology companies. She has been active in the establishment of electronic ID cards for Medicare patients. Her relationship to the firearms community is unclear.
Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D.
Since 2011, Fabricant has been director of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Dietary Supplement Programs. He advises FDA on policy issues involving dietary supplements. He’s also responsible for developing enforcement priorities and interpretations of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act in order to ensure that dietary supplements are safe, meet quality standards, and are accurately labeled.
Before coming to FDA, Fabricant was active in the dietary supplement industry, serving most recently as vice president of the Natural Products Association of Boulder, Colorado—the largest nonprofit in the United States that’s dedicated to the makers and distributors of natural products. While in that role, he was named to a consumer product advisory committee for the Department of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative. He was also instrumental in winning a National Institutes of Health contract for the National Products Association’s work on a nationwide label database prototype for dietary supplements.
It’s not at all clear how Fabricant is associated with the Second Amendment. Since he and Eli Bremer, also a Coalition member, are both from Colorado and both associated with the supplement industry, we researched that possibility, but to no avail.
Hon. Jim Gilmore
From 1998-2002, Gilmore was governor of Virginia. Today, he’s CEO of American Opportunity, a nonprofit that applies conservative principles to creating policy and strategy for a healthy American economy, strong employment, and urban recovery. As Governor, Gilmore traveled around the world in search of economic opportunities for Virginia. He’s fluent in German, having worked in the former West Germany as an intelligence agent for the Army.
It’s not clear if Gilmore will take an official role with the Trump Administration outside of the 2A Coalition. If his Twitter feed is any indication, he’s gunning for an appointment. His followers are provided near-daily updates on the major issues involving Trump. He’s also on the NRA Board of Directors.
Green’s 9-year-old daughter was among the six people killed in the 2011 attack that injured Rep. Gabby Giffords. Green is a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Green has expressed support for the death penalty as a result of the murders, for which the perpetrator is serving several life sentences. Among outspoken parents of mass killing victims, Green is perhaps a surprising choice for the Trump group as he’s been public in his support of Barack Obama’s executive actions on gun control.
In 2016 Kevin Hogan was named President of Rock Island Auction Company (RIAC), the world’s largest broker of antique and collectible firearms, based in Illinois. RIAC was founded in 1993 by his father. In August 2016, the Hogans lent their company name and charity efforts to Rock Island Freedom Challenge, a grassroots fundraising program for NRA-ILA. No relation to the rookie Cleveland Browns quarterback who led the Stanford Cardinal for four successful seasons.
Best known for an eight-year stint on the popular TV show “Dallas,” actress Susan Howard has been nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe. The Texas native was appointed to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission by then-Governor George W. Bush and has been active in the Texas Republican Party. She became involved in the NRA after meeting executive vice president Wayne LaPierre at the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans.
US Rep. Richard Hudson
Congressman Hudson, a Republican, has served North Carolina’s 8th District since 2013. In his short time in office, he’s sponsored a bill to prevent the EPA from using funds to purchase guns and ammunition. He’s been a driving force in the push for reforms of the TSA. Most pertinent to his appointment to the 2A Coalition is his outspoken support of national concealed carry reciprocity.
Jensen is a 2004 and 2008 Olympic swimming medalist from California. Following his 2008 retirement from competitive swimming, Jensen enlisted in the US Navy’s BUD/S program, beginning his second career as a SEAL in 2011. He left the Navy in 2015, and is now beginning his third career as a businessman. He’s an MBA candidate at Stanford, and has been engaged at internships at Goldman Sachs and other companies while working as a swimming instructor.
Since 2011, Johnson has been Chairman and CEO of United Sporting Companies, a leading nationwide distributor of hunting, outdoor, marine and tackle products. From 2008-2011, he was President of Reynolds Consumer Products, a high-volume international distributor. Before that, he was President of the Garden Group of Central Garden and Pet Company, President of Elmer’s Products, Inc. and CEO of the Hunt Corporation.
One of three IWI US personnel on this list, Kassnar is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the company. In the past, he was a partner in KBI Charles Daly, a Pennsylvania-based importer of European sporting arms. Michael is one of the few on this list you’ll be likely to see at the SHOT Show busy taking meetings at his booth, including with friendly patent attorneys.
Koenig, a Pennsylvania native, has been a professional shooter since 1990. He’s amassed hundreds of championship wins. He’s also an avid hunter and the star of his own TV show, Doug Koenig’s Championship Season.
Lee is the Hawaii Republican Assembly’s National Director and Vice President of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies’ (NFRA) Pacific Region. He’s on the NRA Urban Affairs Committee, the first from Hawaii to be appointed to an NRA committee. As of this writing, he’s the first Hawaiian nominee to the NRA Board of Directors. Willes has a long record of state-level gun rights advocacy via the Hawaiian Rifle Association. He operates a blog, Everything Political, where he shares “personal views about the (mis)direction of the Hawaii Republican Party.”
Lee is a retired U.S. Army officer , having served for twenty-two years as an Airborne-Ranger Armor officer following his graduation from West Point. His service included five years with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon. He is a recipient of the Defense Superior Service Medal for contributions to national operations, the Bronze Star Medal for Desert Storm combat performance with the 24th Infantry Division, and the Legion of Merit for combating terrorism in Europe.
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA)
It’s a little surprising to see political representation from the Golden State on this list, until one realizes that the 4th District, which sent McClintock to the House of Representatives, is in the northeast quadrant of the state, abutting gun-friendlier Nevada. He was elected to the House in 2009. He has also been a senator and California Assemblyman.
McClintock takes a scholarly as well as a practical view of gun rights. Having been denied commercial air travel due to sharing a name with an Irish Republican Army sympathizer, the issue of personal rights and freedoms has been a personal one in his career. On his website is a lengthy essay that covers the history of the 2A as well the state legislature’s latest success with tearing holes in the backside of the Second Amendment.
Brian V. McCormack
McCormack began his White House associations as the Personal Aide to Vice President Dick Cheney. That role was followed by serving in numerous staff positions with the George W. Bush administration. He developed a broad range of expertise on virtually all topics presidential, including homeland security and diplomacy. McCormack is now Vice President for Political and External Affairs at Edison Electrical Institute, Washington, DC.
Walter “Wally” McLallen, IV
Currently, McLallen is Chairman of Tomahawk Strategic Solutions, a Nashville-based security training and consulting firm. He’s also a managing member of Meritage Capital Advisors. From 2006-2015, he was Vice Chair of Remington Outdoor Company. According to available information, he’s vice chair of sporting goods powerhouse Freedom Group, Inc. He’s also listed as a director for Tier 1 Group, Alpha Media Group and Bushmaster Firearms.
McLallen has a long history in the financial services arena. He’s one of two people on the Coalition, along with George Kollitides, to have a profile on Bloomberg.com. McLallen founded Meritage Capital Advisors in January 2004 and served as its Managing Director. Mr. McLallen served as the Managing Director at CIBC World Markets from 1995 to 2003. He’s also worked at New York’s Argosy Group and Drexel Burnham Lambert, Inc.
Hailing from Marietta, Georgia, this 2015 Sybil Ludington NRA Women’s Freedom Awardee is a lobbyist for gun rights at the state and national levels. An avid shooter and hunter, Meadows also volunteers as an organizer of children’s gun safety classes and shooting competitions, including a large law enforcement match.
Morgan, of Tennessee, is an Army veteran with 10 years of active duty followed by several years of Reserve service. Once a police officer, he’s now a popular Country music artist, USO performer, and frequent performer at NRA-sponsored events. The avid hunter and father also stars on television’s All Access with Craig Morgan. He operates the Dickson County Craig Morgan Foundation, supporting the housing needs of displaced children as well as sponsoring outdoor activities for youth.
Judson W. Phillips
An attorney, self-described political activist, and writer, Phillips is the founder of Tea Party Nation, a subgroup of the Tea Party movement. Phillips is a frequent contributor to the Washington Times, and operates his own criminal defense practice out of a Nashville office.
Being born and raised in Chicago, and following that with a career in New York City aren’t exactly typical steps in becoming a gun aficionado. But that’s what makes Barbara Rumpel’s path remarkable. She attended a women’s wilderness outing at the NRA Whittington Center in 2010, and was immediately hooked on both the Center and on shooting. Now, she’s a member of the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum Executive Committee and benefactor of Whittington Center.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)
Louisiana’s 1st District is home to the Majority Whip of the US House. He has been a Congressman for nine years. Scalise has received high praise from the NRA for sponsorship of legislation including multiple renditions of the National Right to Carry Act, attempts to reduce federal interference with interstate firearms transfers, and protections for collectible guns.
Scott has been Associate Counsel with DC-based Center for Individual rights since 2005. She’s been recognized in the Washington Post for co-authoring an amicus brief supporting stun gun ownership and carry as part of the Second Amendment. The brief was filed with the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 2014.
James W. Tobin, III
Senior Vice President and Chief Lobbyist, National Association of Home Builders. Tobin’s work covers a wide range of topics, from opposing the re-defining of “waters of the United States,” to advocating for immigration reforms that would still allow reasonable access by non-resident essential workers. Though connections to Trump’s immigration policy promises are easy to connect, it’s not so easy to see why Tobin was chosen for the Coalition.
This Utah-based entrepreneur made a gargantuan leap in 2008 when he founded SilencerCo after a successful photography career. SilencerCo is known for innovation, including their integrally suppressed pistol and fashion-forward advertising. The approach has paid off. According to Inc., SilencerCo saw 646% growth in its first six years of business. And Josh and Donald Trump Jr. spent some quality time together shooting quietly in a video that has had tens of thousands of views.
Yackly is an NRA Master Instructor Counselor, lifelong hunter and NRA volunteer, retired school teacher, and retired business owner. He was instrumental in establishing and continues to work with Black Flag firearms training company, based in Illinois.
Update from Last Month
Eli Bremer – A Personal Reply
Why were you selected as a Coalition member?
As an Olympic athlete, one of the five sports in my discipline, modern pentathlon, is pistol shooting. Over the past few years, shooting has taken a beating both reputationally and in terms of increased regulation (traveling with an air gun is nearly impossible). I think shooting sports offer kids and adults the chance to engage in fun, safe, sporting and recreational activities which are become [sic] more rare in today’s society.
I was recruited by and met personally with Dennis Dean Kirk, the coordinator of the Coalition. We discussed the issues and ways that each of us could individually engage with the Second Amendment community.
What do you hope to accomplish?
We already accomplished what we needed to accomplish. We elected Donald Trump president of the United States. I am extremely excited about a number of the cabinet picks Mr. Trump has named, and I think shooting and shooting sports are likely heading in a positive direction with this new leadership team.
Over the next four years, I hope to see shooting sports grow in the United States under a more understanding political climate. Shooting teaches self-discipline as well as respect for processes and rules as safety is paramount on the range. It is a fantastic and wholesome activity which more Americans will be able to enjoy under a new administration.
See You At SHOT?
Hopefully this reaches you before you depart for Las Vegas. Maybe you’re reading it on the plane. I’ll be at SHOT for all the days, and will probably drop by your booth. If you’re not exhibiting, email me and we’ll plan to meet. If you bump into any of Trump’s team, say hi and give them some encouragement!