by Gila Hayes and Josh Amos
This closing commentary is a joint effort this month. It was fun to team up with our Affiliates Manager Josh Amos to tell members about the work of our Armed Citizens’ Educational Foundation. We are proud of the hundreds of thousands of copies of our educational booklet we’ve provided over the past decade to educate the public about self-defense legal issues and our recent expansion into video lectures.
The Armed Citizens’ Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) entity dedicated to providing education on self defense and the law. Our primary educational item is the booklet What Every Gun Owner Needs to Know About Self Defense Law written by Network President Marty Hayes, J.D. This booklet is free, and it is a great tool to promote awareness and education in the lawful use of firearms and deadly force by armed citizens.
Over the past ten years, we’ve sent out around 100,000 free copies of this booklet each year. Key partners who help get the booklets into the hands of those interested in its message include our affiliated instructors, attorneys, and corporate sponsors. The booklet is also available for free to the public upon request via phone or our website. It’s a great way to get pertinent legal information into the hands of the public and give them more tools to avoid trouble.
Josh comments that the grass roots component to getting our Foundation’s message out is one of his favorite tasks. “We have corporate partners/sponsors who play a key role in supporting the Educational Foundation and distributing the booklet,” he explains. “It is my pleasure to introduce them to our members and mention their efforts on our behalf. We value these companies and encourage you to support them with your business.”
Ammo.com gives their online ammunition purchasers the option to donate a percentage of their purchase to a select group of pro-freedom organizations, including our Armed Citizens’ Educational Foundation. Through this effort, Ammo.com and those buying ammo through them have donated several thousand dollars each year to defray the costs of printing and mailing What Every Gun Owner Needs to Know About Self-Defense Law.
Josh ships a lot of booklets each week, packaging and mailing them to affiliates, instructors, members hosting events and a wide variety of other people who want to share our educational message. Several months ago, with a lot of help from our printer, Lynx Group in Salem, OR, we drop-shipped our largest number of booklets ever to Ammo.com for distribution in their ammo orders. We were reminded again what a great friend Ammo.com is to the Network and Foundation and to armed citizens.
CCW Breakaways has been a longtime supporter of the Educational Foundation by distributing our booklets with orders for their holster trousers. CCW Breakaways is the creation of Jay and Georgann French who, after becoming licensed to carry concealed weapons searched in vain for “an effective method to carry their handguns. When nothing satisfactory could be found, Jay began experimenting with modifications to a pant and a pocket. Necessity was the mother of invention and now we have the holster-pocket product lines with five US Patents,” they write on their website, adding “Since 2010 our pants have been sold to military units, law enforcement departments, private security operators and responsible citizens who need speed-concealment-comfort for defending themselves and their loved ones.”
Gum Creek Customs, LLC
Gum Creek distributes our booklets with car-mount holsters they sell and ship. Founded in Oxford, GA in 2009, Gum Creek specializes in vehicle defense accessories for law enforcement, the outdoorsmen, and gun enthusiasts. Jimmy Smallwood and Bert Gleaton call themselves two average guys who had an idea and decided to bring that project to fruition.
Tod Cole, owner of Recluse, relates on his website that one hot summer about 15 years ago, he was looking for a pocket holster for his .380. Deciding that what he needed wasn’t currently made, he invented the one-sided holster with trigger block for safe pocket carry. While discussing his project, he found that one of his friends was carrying a .32 loose in his pocket, so Tod turned him into his first market tester. The response was so enthusiastic that Recluse, LLC was formed, the design patented, and today Tod hand molds and sews pocket holsters in several configurations for a large number of makes and models of firearms. We love that small-business success story and are grateful for the copies of the Foundation’s booklet Tod sends out with each holster he handcrafts and ships.
Simply Rugged Holsters
Rob Leahy’s Simply Rugged Holsters is another business that grew from a hobby, into a home business, and then into a thriving holster shop. A few years ago, a mutual friend introduced Rob to Network President Marty Hayes while all three were at the Gunsite Alumni Shoot. Our affiliation with these good folks was the result. We appreciate the support of Rob and his wife, Jan, and their holster-building crew and thank them for the many copies of our Foundation’s booklet that they have shipped out with their holsters.
Too Many Generous Individuals to Name
In addition to financial support from the Network and our corporate sponsors, our Foundation is the grateful recipient of monetary donations from many individuals, both Network members and members of the public who believe, as we do, that the need for public understanding of the issues surrounding legitimate use of force in self defense has never been greater.
We send each of you a resounding “Thank you!”
Meeting the Need
With friends like these the Foundation’s future is bright. We recognize that there are many opportunities to reach the gun-owning public with our Foundation’s message of safety, responsibility and help armed citizens – both experienced and new –understand the legal implications of using force in self defense. This past year, we’ve expanded the Foundation’s outreach into video through Armed Citizens’ TV, knowing this format reaches a lot of people who may not sit down and read much, but still need to understand the important issues that attach to use of force in self defense. Our Foundation and its supporters are doing our part to explain those issues.
To read more of this month's journal, please click here.