This is Memorial Day weekend. It’s not about picnics or the Indy 500/Coke 400 races. It’s about the men and women who selflessly gave their lives in pursuit of our freedoms and way of life.

The 2024 NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas is over. I was prepared for a very long week of meetings and floor time, and the entire event did not disappoint.

First of all, the big news. During the Board Meeting on Monday the 20th, new leadership was elected. With 67 of 76 voting board members in attendance, exceptionally insightful discussions and debate took place throughout the day and into the evening. All were professional, meaningful, and polite.

One of my favorite exhibits was this one from Walther. As some know, Walther won the Pennsylvania State Police order for new sidearms. The PDP Compact 4.5″ model with an Aimpoint ACRO red dot sight was selected. I was able to dry-fire this handgun, and now I want one. Walther is selling these now, but without the PSP logo – see below. They also had their new .22 rifle that incorporates a Fortner-type action that you would find on a biathlon rifle. Like the Ruger 10/22, you can buy that item in a number of interesting configurations. Next week I’ll talk about a few more interesting things I saw on the show floor.

In response to the dramatic increase of firearms ownership and demand for firearms safety training in the Philadelphia Jewish community after the October 7th event in Israel, Keystone member Scott Freedman, an NRA Training Counselor and Certified Firearms Instructor has been organizing and leading basic pistol classes at Lower Providence Rod and Gun Club in Audubon, PA. Students have been new firearm owners, those thinking about purchasing a firearm or current owners looking to improve their marksmanship and safety skills.

Scott had the opportunity to present an update of this effort to the national Education and Training staff attending the 2024 NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas. His presentation highlighted the overly positive student feedback that he has received on the overall class experience. In addition to students stating their appreciation for the club opening to the community and the volunteers donating time, they also noted how the class changed their perception of firearms and the gun community. More community outreach efforts similar to this are needed. Way to go Scott!

By the way, once again please tell your shooting buddies to make sure they are registered to vote in the General Election in November. As we found out in the last U.S. Senate race, every vote matters. If 150,000 gun owners voted for someone other than the now-junior Senator from our state, the election outcome would have been quite different.

Todd Ellis – President