by Don Helms
Find your Elected Officials, Senate and House Bills and more at the following link.

Well, we are into a new year and as responsible gun owners we must be involved in the political Arena more now than ever before. As we all know the House of Representatives is now controlled by democrats with Nancy Pelosi as the chairman. The gun grabbers are back in business and if each and every member does not get involved legislatively you will see your gun rights slowly erode.

Hopewell is teaming up with the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsman and Conservationist. This organization brings together individuals and groups of like mind to work collectively on issues to protect our rights as Sportsman and responsible Gun Owners.

The first thing we must do is arm ourselves with the tools to combat our adversaries. These tools are simple but worthless if not utilize to their full advantage. These tools you are all familiar with but need to learn how to use them in the legislative realm. The effective political tools to use is email, phone calls, letters and personal visits, not to mention political campaigns to defeat our adversaries. It is part of the lobbying process that is used to effect the decisions of our legislators. Keep in mind our legislators are career politicians, most who are attorneys who's General Assembly salaries are about $85,000 and they wish to stay in office so they will respond to constituents who take the time to contact them expressing their legislative views.

The first thing that every member and citizen should do is find out who their state and federal representatives are, their email addresses, their phone numbers and mailing address. Above you will find a link to assist you with that task.

So let’s talk a little bit about how to use these tools.
Personal Visits:
1. Plan your visit carefully. Know what you want to say and how you are going to say it.

2. Make an appointment.

3. Be on time, but be patient. Remember, many people are waiting for the same opportunity to discuss their issues with lawmakers.

4. Bring a reference sheet with quick bullet points about your issue that you can leave with the lawmaker.

5. Find out the lawmaker’s position on the issue and reason for his or her position.

6. Always be polite, even if the lawmaker does not share your position on the issue. You may need his or her support in the future.

7. Follow up your meeting with a thank you note.

8. After your meeting, please let us know how it went by contacting the Club Legislative Chairperson.

Writing Letters, Sending

While e-mails, form letters, and petition signing can be effective, they generally are less so than individually signed personal letters.

1. When writing letters, state your purpose in the first paragraph. If you are writing about a particular bill, identify it in the first paragraph.

2. Explain the importance of your position.

3. Identify yourself and your organizational affiliation.

4. Keep the letter simple and concise. Address only one issue per letter. Keep your letter short, with only a few sentences in each paragraph and appropriate spacing between paragraphs.

5. Whenever possible, personalize your story.

The Federation will be meeting on February 6th to discuss those pieces of legislation which affect our members. This information will be disseminated through our website.

We must not let  the news media and our legislators cause us to become apathetic. Subterfuge is a master technique that is used by politicians and they will use any form they can find to become Victorious. Anyone with normal intelligence should be able to see through the rhetoric of the drive-by media and unscrupulous politicians.

As responsible gun owners we must understand and become participants in the political Arena. The majority of legislators in this country are career politicians (Most are Attorneys) who strive to stay in political office.
Fortunately Pennsylvania is a relatively gun-friendly state with a majority of Republican legislators. But as gun owners striving to protect our rights under the Second Amendment we have to realize that we have many Democratic adversaries who are determined to disarm the citizens of our country.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly has 253 members, consisting of a Senate with 50 members and a House of Representatives with 203 members, making it the second-largest state legislature in the nation and the largest full-time legislature. As of 2014, members' base pay was $85,356, making it the costliest state legislature per capita in the U.S. Republicans hold a 34-16 majority in the Senate and a 120-83 majority in the House.

Every member of Hopewell Fish and Game Association needs to be committed to developing a relationship with their representatives in Pennsylvania and Washington DC.

When we are alerted to legislative issues that need our attention we should let our legislators know our opinions. Legislators do respond to contact from their constituents. Studies show that legislators believe that from every constituent they hear from that constituent affects 10 votes.

That being said the following link will make it easier for members to locate their representatives and contact them by phone, email or a letter.

Contacting our legislators is one part of the equation but having the ability to do it quickly and efficiently is paramount. This can be done in two ways, one is to develop a legislative email group to put out legislative alerts and the other  is to develop a phone tree to put out massive phone calls in a short amount of time.

The email group alerts many members with one message at the push of a button. The phone tree is a bit more work but quite effective. Members receive a phone call concerning a specific legislative issue. The members then contact 5 additional members with the information. This process continues until all members are notified.

To become part of the legislative process contact me at the following:
Don Helms

Contact Us

Hopewell Fish & Game Association
5456 Austin Lane
Stewartstown, PA 17363
Club Phone: (717) 993-3829

Email: webmaster@hopewellfishandgame.com

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