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When it comes to gun rights organizations, we need both the large and the small. The large like the NRA because its mere size gets politicians attention on Capitol Hill. The small because unlike the NRA they can be and are more agile.
A case in point on why we need the smaller and more agile gun rights organizations was just made yesterday by the Firearms Policy Coalition and their 503(c)(3) counterpart the Firearms Policy Foundation. Kids in school are being pressured by their peers, by their teachers, by their administrators, and by the media to participate in classroom walkouts in support of gun control. But what about the kids who support the Constitution and all of the Bill of Rights and what about the parents who just want their kids to get an education and not be politicized? Who stands up for them?
The Firearms Policy Coalition and the Firearms Policy Foundation have started a website called K12speech.com and a 21-page guide for parents and students meant to protect pro-gun students. I’ve read the guide and it is very well done. It contains sample letters and emails, documentation including relevant court rulings, tips on how to make FOIA requests, and instructions on how to document your interaction with school officials. You can download the guide here. There is also a legal action hotline and dedicated email address in order to seek help.
Here is the release announcing the program:
SACRAMENTO, CA (April 19, 2018) — Responding to recent student “walkout” events and demonstrations that advocate for more gun control, like the “March For Our Lives” political operation, civil rights advocacy organizations Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) and Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) have published a new guide to protect pro-gun students and their rights. The 21-page publication, available for free download at www.k12speech.com, is entitled “K-12 Schools, Free Speech, and the Fundamental, Individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms: A Guide to How Students Can Use Their First Amendment Rights to Defend and Promote Second Amendment Rights.”
In addition to providing information and tools that parents and students can use to make sure they are not forced into participating in speech or demonstrations they disagree with, the guide contains materials that may help them plan counter-speech to gun control advocacy events or organize pro-gun rights demonstrations or expressive conduct. It also includes sample letters that parents could edit and use to notify schools of a student’s disagreement with a gun control event’s viewpoint, request information and policies, and help ensure that school officials respect the rights of all students. Additionally, there are sections on how one might acquire public records or information to investigate the use of government assets or funds – like school facilities, equipment, supplies, staff time, and contractors – for gun control advocacy and demonstrations, like walkouts, a log that students can use to take notes and document gun control events at schools, and some relevant provisions of the United States Constitution for reference.
“It is more important than ever to make sure that all viewpoints are equally represented and respected in schools,” said FPF Chairman and FPC President Brandon Combs. “Many students and parents we’ve spoken with are deeply concerned that schools are hostile to pro-gun rights views and speech. We hope our new guide helps students and parents exercise their rights and make informed decisions. And if their rights are violated, we definitely want to hear about it. Our legal team would be delighted to help make sure that public schools, staff, and teachers respect the rights of their pro-Second Amendment students.”
Craig DeLuz, an FPC spokesperson and 13-year member of a public school district’s board of trustees, explained that schools can’t support one viewpoint and suppress others. “Schools and teachers cannot be allowed to allow or support speech and viewpoints they agree with while suppressing or prohibiting peaceful, non-disruptive speech and viewpoints they disagree with. Our public schools must not be in the business of picking winners and losers in the context of constitutionally-protected free speech.”
If a student or parent believes they were discriminated against, threatened or disciplined for peacefully expressing their views, punished for refusing to participate in a gun control walkout or demonstration, or threatened with law enforcement action for their pro-gun speech, they can submit a report to the FPF/FPC Legal Action Hotline at www.firearmpolicy.org/hotline or by calling (855) 252-4510.
Craig DeLuz, the media spokesperson for FPC and FPF, does a regular video broadcast called Coffee with Craig. The episode below goes into detail about the K12speech.com project.