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Don’t Just Tell Them – Show Them

Making an Impact at the State Level

By Susan Myers, Missouri State Director; January 19, 2024

If you’re eager to champion the Second Amendment and make a meaningful impact in your state but are uncertain where to begin, welcome to the club! 

I dove into Missouri’s legislative process after learning about Women for Gun Rights in early 2020, navigating the complexities without a roadmap. Instead of letting my unfamiliarity give me an excuse to bow out, I committed to actively seeking ways to assist legislators who were authoring and sponsoring solid firearm-related bills.

My main piece of advice in starting your journey would be, don’t just tell them you want to be a helpful resource, show them. Do not wait for them to ask. 

My advocacy journey, characterized by learning on the go, revolves around consistently attending public hearings to provide testimony that reflects the concerns and desires of women like myself who prioritize unhindered ownership and carrying for self-defense.

Nick Schroer, MO State Senate

Beyond testifying, I stay in regular contact with bill sponsors or their offices, offering assistance in directing emails or calls to facilitate the progression of bills. This may involve reaching out to leadership to request committee assignments or urging prompt floor consideration. I often share my advocacy efforts on social media, tagging relevant individuals to garner attention and encourage others to join the cause. Doing this can help bring attention to the situation and it encourages others who care about the issue to get involved as well. It is easy to be overwhelmed when getting involved in the legislative process, but sharing the steps you are taking could be the example someone else needs to begin their own journey.

While the legislative process can be frustrating for bill sponsors, a dependable, concerted effort to exert polite pressure in alignment with a pro-2A legislator’s guidance is an effective way to convey appreciation and support. Over time, this approach can position you to discuss potential legislation addressing your concerns or those of your delegates.

Susan & WGR- Gun Rights Rally Day 2023

Early on, I started tracking all firearms-related bills filed each session, documenting actions taken, and keeping the public informed through social media. Sharing links for hearings that allow public testimony facilitates participation. Regularly testifying has also led to building relationships with fellow advocates, particularly those from established grassroots gun-rights organizations. They are thrilled to see women stepping up and speaking out on how these issues impact our lives as women who’ve decided to live a concealed carry lifestyle. Creating these friendly relationships has led to being invited to legislative planning sessions, participating in Gun Rights Rally Day at the Capitol, and wholeheartedly being welcomed into the loop. My way of giving back to these groups is to keep them apprised of upcoming relevant hearings, requests by legislators for phone or email campaigns, and more. 

Rep. Eric Burlison

As the 2024 Missouri Legislative Session unfolds, I’m actively engaged in the strategies mentioned. Our primary focus, as Missouri’s Women for Gun Rights delegates, is the removal of gun-free zones from state statutes. Despite Missouri’s pro-Second Amendment stance, there are too many restrictive gun-free zones, including a ban on public transit carry. State Representative Adam Schnelting of St. Charles, MO, has been steadfast in working to eliminate this ban since his beginning in the MO House. He has been gracious in his acknowledgment of Women for Gun Rights, in a recent interview he said, “Women for Gun Rights has been a constant companion in this fight.”

Amidst the ongoing legislative efforts, I cannot always definitively gauge my effectiveness, but I am unwavering in my commitment to the cause and will continue giving my all!

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