MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING - MAY 19, 2018
The 2018 Annual Meeting was held at the Community Room at Cabelas in Albuquerque starting at 11:00 AM with the Pledge of Allegiance. Approximately 45 members attended the meeting. The Agenda was as follows;
I. Call to order
III. Political Landscape 2018 - 2019
IV. Ballot Voting
V. Approval of Minutes from Last Meeting
VI. Chair Reports
VII Appointment of Officers to Open Positions
VIII. Open Issues / New Business
Item V. Approval of Meeting Minutes from Last meeting was not completed because the past President had not submitted the minutes for approval. This will be rectified at a later meeting.
Political Landscape 2018 - 2019:
Vice President Zac Fort introduced himself and conducted the meeting. NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) liaison Tara Mica spoke next about the Political Landscape for the next nine months. She stated that Steve Pearce is our ONLY choice for Governor because all three Democrat candidates have made gun bans key parts of their platforms.
We need gains in the State Legislature this coming Fall. The House is currently 38 Democrat vs 32 Republican. Gun owners need to get active backing candidates who will support our rights, especially with cash donations because money is the fuel of politics.
We need to organize for the upcoming January Legislative Session where we will need to fight the Progressives in the Legislature who seek to disarm us. Very many anti-rights Bills, modeled on those seen in other States recently, are expected. Tara said that she is going to be spread thin covering the flurry of anti-gun legislation in the Texas Legislature so we (NMSSA) need to step up and fill the gap by paying attention to what goes on in Santa Fe.
The New Mexico State Constitution limits what local governments can do to restrict gun rights by law but they can pass Resolutions recommending that the Legislature pass new restrictive laws. These Resolutions can be cited as showing the will of the people by Legislators proposing restrictive Bills. So, gun owners need to show up in large numbers at City or County meetings where these Resolutions are considered to show our disapproval, such as recently happened in Las Cruces.
Tara said she will be available in the Fall to talk to Gun Club General Meetings about what’s at stake and the importance of getting involved in the campaigns, and to vote.
A member in the audience spoke up that gun owners and NMSSA need to address the concerns of mothers statewide about school security. There is growing gun phobia on the part of New Mexican moms that we need to address with our ideas . Another member spoke up about the ‘bad optics’ of people showing up with rifles slug over their shoulders and dressing like motorcycle gang members, or in camo, at pro-gun rallies and at the Legislature. The news media uses images of these people to make the case that we gun owners are a violent, fringe group. The point was made that we need more conventionally dressed people to show up at Rallies and Committee meetings in Santa Fe to counter this theme.
Next, State Representative Jimmie Hall and Bill Rehm spoke on their views on the state of the Legislature and the upcoming election. First, contact YOUR legislators by email, snail mail, or phone. In the email state your address so the Legislator knows that you are in the district. Be polite and Do Not threaten by saying things like ‘ I’ll be watching how you vote’. They know that you will be watching.
Write letters to the Editor but please clear these through NMSSA to ensure that we stay on message and not use inflammatory language. Because of 1-in-90-days rules in many publications, NMSSA members need to take turns submitting facts-based articles. FBI statistics show that blunt force trauma and knives kill more than guns do. So, banning all kinds of weapons, as they do in England, will come here if we don’t stop the gun ban movement now.
Jim and Bill said that we need changes to the Laws concerning treatment of mental health patients. For example, due to medical privacy laws (HIPAA) persons who self-commit themselves for mental health treatment or failed suicide attempts are not tracked in the National Instant Check System (NICS) yet they could pose a threat in the future if allowed to purchase a firearm. Perhaps a temporary hold could be created but currently this is not possible.
On the Judicial front, there are two Republican Appeals Court Judges and one on the State Supreme Court. It is critical that these judges be retained and more added. The Plaintiffs Bar Association has raised $250,000 to unseat these judges.
The NRA is endorsing some Democrat Legislators who support the Second Amendment. Without the support of Democrat 2A supporters we would not have been able to stop multiple anti-gun Bills in the Legislature.
All Second Amendment supporters need to register to vote and vote in the Fall. Talk to your State Representative and Senator about your support for the Second Amendment. Members who are Instructors can offer to take their Reps and Senators to the range for an educational session on firearms or even a free Concealed Carry Course.
Once the Legislative Session begins information on Bills and the analyses of them is on the Legislative website (www.nmlegis.gov). You as a Citizen can look at this website and contact your Representative and Senator about your views on a Bill.
Vice President Fort summarized the topic by saying that if we lose our gun Rights we will never get them back.
Next, the Ballots were collected and vote counts tallied. 40 ballots were submitted and the entire slate was elected. The results of the election are as follows:
President Zac Fort
Vice President Jeremy Gill
Treasurer John Fugedy
Recording Secretary Gary Newton
Membership Secretary Aaron Strasburg
Smallbore Rifle Virginia McLemore
Legislative Affairs John Jackson
Education & Training Andy Montoya
Life Member Trustee 3-Year William Swantner
In accordance with the Association By-Laws the following persons were appointed.
Women’s Programs Karma Welchel & Nancy Bennett
Pistol Programs Rick Kennedy
High Power Programs Bill Rudolph
Communications Director Anthony Segura
Black Powder Programs Bob Welchel
Virginia McLemore spoke about the progress and successes of the small bore teams.
Aaron Strasburg reported that NMSSA has 819 members most of whom are Life members and, as such, do not pay annual dues. More new annual members are needed to join the 59 new members joining this year.
John Fugedy gave the Treasurer’s Report. The General Fund total is $22,813.07 while the Life Member CD Account total is $61,000. The Life Member Interest Account total is $18,120.85. The Association’s Net Worth is $101,933.92
Open Issues / New Business:
A wide-ranging discussion of Association Communications occurred. A new website is needed and is being planned. The attendees agreed that regular newsletters be sent out every other month to include Statewide shooting Event Calendars. A mass emailing application can be used to send out newsletters to members while information of general interest can be sent to other shooters in the State via a separate email address list. In this way NMSSA can become more visible throughout the State and move towards becoming an effective Statewide Association. V. McLemore said that she has a list of shooters to fill this need. NMSSA has a Facebook page which has approximately 2500 ‘likes’ and has been maintained by Zac Fort. This Facebook page is essential to reach younger members and youth shooters.
V. McLemore also suggested putting pre-written letters on the website and in the newsletter, as NRA-ILA and GOA offer for members to contact their political representatives. These letters would serve as a starting basis for members who could edit them as desired.
A Member in the audience suggested that NMSSA create a Mission Statement and Goals & Objectives and also a Business Plan.
A. Sigura proposed a Motion to back the NRA School Shield Program and get it implemented into New Mexico Schools. The Membership voted to table this Proposal for further study as few in attendance knew much about School Shield. The NMSSA Board will gather this information and discuss the Proposal at a future Board Meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 2 PM.