HR 38 & 4477. Keep pressure on Senate and President.

Reciprocity video

If you don’t know what is national right-to-carry reciprocity nor NICS, nor understand how the Senate works, don’t bother to read this post.  Don’t get emotional, we’re dealing with politics.  Pro-2A friends are on all five sides of this issue, for whatever real or personal reasons.  This is the 201 level view, not 101 (401 is secret until after the vote).  Finally, ANYthing can occur until the final bill is through conference committee and sent to the President.  Stay alert.

HR 38, national concealed carry “reciprocity”, passed the House in what is these days called a 1. bipartisan and 2. overwhelming majority.  Read the bill, not the media stories.  It was combined with HR 4477, “Fix NICS”.  That last minute pairing earned votes for the bill, mostly Democrat, and lost a few, mostly Republican.  The bill heads to the Senate, which has a different version, most likely triggering (no pun) a conference committee and revotes.  Both versions have issues still to be addressed.  Opponents to reciprocity, mostly antis, cite “blood in the street”, the “Wild West”, and Pelosi is simply lying (apparently accepted in politics) that it “allows” criminals to have firearms.  2A folks, the vast majority, support reciprocity though several definitions in the bill need correcting.  A vocal 2A minority thinks 1 government shouldn’t be involved, 2 Second Amendment is already a right, 3 if government gives the right to carry, it can take it away.  Government is already involved and since 1934 2A has been infringed.  Don’t listen to even to folks responsible for it: for example, the bill covers only resident carry permits to the exclusion of non-resident though the bill introducer Rep Hudson argues against the wording of his own bill.  Not to ever belittle the incredible importance of recent pro-2A SCOTUS rulings, reciprocity is the largest, most important piece of pro-2A legislation since Florida first enacted CCW in 1987.  The odds of getting through the Senate are not good.

HR 4477 is dumb, but not for the reasons some 2A folks think.  Before your knickers get in a wad, read the bill.  Don’t spout talking points which are “not truthful”.  They would be lies except they come from my friends or organizations to which I also belong.  They have their reasons, some are sincere, for making one claim or another.  Most 2A folks recognize 4477 for what it is – an attempt to get enough votes to pass HR 38.  Antigun folks welcome HR 4477 to strengthen the NICS process.  2A folks complain that 1. government shouldn’t be involved, 2. that NICS is broken, 3. that there shouldn’t be NICS, and 4. that the number of false positive findings is unacceptable.  Unfortunately, the government is already involved.  We don’t want NICS, but it is here. The bill nickname “Fix NICS” is meant to gain antis support, but it is inaccurate because it isn’t a fix.  NICS is messed up but not because of the program. It is messed up because of the implementation.  HR 4477 is really in three parts.  First part says that agencies and states must obey the current law.  No changes to who is flagged, or who can do the flagging, or the criteria… just follow the law.  Aren’t we the guys always saying we don’t need new laws, just need to enforce the current laws?  If you’re offended, be offended that we need a law to tell people to follow the law.  And, it says, if you don’t follow the law, departments and their heads are punished.  Second part, is more stupid.  It allocates what could be up to $650+M of taxpayer $ in incentives to states to, you got it, follow the law they’re supposed to be obeying in the first place.  Of note is that you, nor any other citizen, gets a bonus for NOT jaywalking, or for NOT speeding.  One reason these provisions are politically disgusting, especially for Democrats to espouse, is that their departments and heads failed to follow the law for eight Obama years without penalty; exposed by the USAF failure to report the Texas church shooter.  Additionally, punching the national budget in the gut for up to $650M, now that Republicans own the budget, never occurred when Obama ran up the national debt for everything else.  None of this fixes NICS.  It doesn’t change it at all.  It simply tells agencies to obey the law, and be either rewarded or punished.  Yes, there will be more false positives because agencies must submit names, some of which will be wrong.  But, that isn’t a fix, nor a change.  The third part of HR 4477 gives ATF a deadline to make a determination on bump stocks.  None of us care about bump stocks, but there is a valid argument about the slippery slope.  HR 4477 however only makes ATF do what they should do, and have done twice during the Obama era.

Democrat legislators can claim that they did something about guns with HR 4477.  With HR 38, law-abiding citizens can defend themselves across state lines.  That’s how you get, maybe, 60 votes in the Senate.  This is politics.Don’t like it? – complain to the Founding Fathers.  Separate the bills, and it appears HR 4477 will pass and HR 38 will not.  There is a scenario that the Senate will kill reciprocity, pass NICS, force the House to pass NICS then we’d get nothing good and some considered bad (enforcing the law).  That would suck.  But, that could occur even without reciprocity in the mix.  Don’t whiney-bitch at the NRA, most of you aren’t members, anyway.  If you don’t like the way it is, get off your butt and give me more and better 2A senators with whom to work.

I understand the argument that folks caught up in NISC prohibitions are false positives, and that it takes time and money to get their situation corrected.  It is unfortunate.  It makes me angry.  I do not know the numbers, I’ve seen wildly different estimates.  Regardless, I’ll go out on a limb and bet it is not near the number of at least 16M permit holders, not to mention the millions of residents of Constitutional carry states, who will be able to more-comfortably defend themselves across state lines or to even travel to the next state.  Not the best analogy, but one with which we can identify: Antis want to ban firearms because of a few criminals.  Opponents to this current legislation want to prevent everyone from reciprocity because some will be screwed by NICS.

One last, because someone brought up the nasty word “compromise”.   You don’t want me to compromise.  I won’t.  I told you all this year that my first legislative priority is reciprocity.  It still is.  A bill to enforce NICS, dumb as a law-to-enforce-the-law may be, won’t make me compromise on my promise to fight for reciprocity.   No compromise.  Reciprocity.  Keep the pressure on the Senate and President.  #NRA #NRABoard #merica #ICarryMySafePlace #2A #FreedomsSafestPlace #nocompromise #commonsense #freedom #selfdefense #WillesLee #gunrights #gunowners #M2AGA #DefenderofFreedom #CCW #constitutionalcarry #SecondAmendment #noexcuse #ShallNotBeInfringed #guns FBWillesLeeNRA @WillesLee


Polite Society Podcast

Wow. Just learned this. If you click on the title (Episode 431 and so forth), it’ll take you to the recording.

Episode 431 – Willes Lee and News about Surplus 1911’s

Sometimes interviews are work, sometimes they are fun. This was fun, & valuable. Much appreciated being on Polite Society Podcast w BFFs Paul Lathrop Gary Daugherty Rob Morse Susan R Lathrop John Richardson. Spent a weekend with these friends at Dallas GRPC. I know them each through their work, but hadn’t met each of them until that SAF/CCRKBA conference. Admire each for their work for our #2A movement. Taped Nov 27 before US House began moving #Reciprocity. Show is great, & with this link you can choose to listen to only my two segments (#NRA, politics, museums, current activities, & #NRABoard), uh, but the whole show is great. Check them at #DefenderofFreedom NRA – National Rifle Association of America NRA Institute for Legislative Action NRA Museums #guns#firearms #gunowners #gunrights #freedom #M2AGA #ICarryMySafePlaceWilles Lee NRA Board of Directors @WillesLee (Nice work audio editor Douglas A Schultz to make sense of it all)

Best was having fun, on and off air. Some of the off-air was funnier, and some better info than I gave on-air. This is a really well scripted show. Appreciated that they have me come in, do the interview, then they do their discussion and updates afterwards so that I (or whomever is being interviewed) can get back to work.

NRA Facebook Welcome Video

My thanks and hat tip to Hawaii #conservative champion BFF @EricRyan.  Welcome video on the @NRA Facebook page.  Great video gives a boost when antis want to take our #2A, also an invitation to please Like the new NRA FB page.

Posted by NRA – National Rifle Association of America on jueves, 14 de septiembre de 2017

Yeah, you saw only @DanaLoesch. But, c’mon, at the 34-second mark is this one-second image of a defiant #SecondAmendment supporter celebrating #winning during the Atlanta #NRAAM.  Thanks to NRA vid & ad gang for getting me in. I know, totally random, but still.  And, a reminder – you never know when you’re on camera or tape.  Be appropriate, always, everywhere.

NRA FB Welcome video image

#NRA #NRABoard @NRA-ILA #M2AGA #DefenderofFreedom #gunrights #gunowners @NRAAM #patriot #guns #firearms #ShallNotBeInfringed #freedom #nocompromise #FreedomsSafestPlace @WillesLee FB WillesLeeNRA There’s more, heh. When you run the subtitles as #WayneLaPierre gives his speech it implies, sort of, MY loud voice. No?

Loud for the Second Amendment

Keep #Reciprocity Moving

Horray for earned media. This, in John Crump’s article, about #2A bills moving through the House.  Including “LtCol Willes K. Lee (ret), who is an NRA board member and President of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA), speaking on behalf of himself said, “The Second Amendment affirms our God-given right of self-defense. National Right-to-Carry reciprocity remains the NRA, and my, number one legislative priority. It is about time Congress moved on President Trump’s campaign promise.” He then went on to say, “This is common sense legislation to make Americans safer. All the 2A community should call their congressman now. We need reciprocity, and we want to see the votes on the floor prior to the 2018 primary elections.”

House of Representatives Considers Two Gun Bills

NRA Elections: More Important Than Ever to Research and Vote

Going to lend transparency to the NRA election process beginning with a look back at the leadership legacy of my seat.

NRA Elections: More Important than Ever to Research and Vote

This is a personal opinion and is not position or policy of the National Rifle Association of America (NRA).

NRA Board of Directors 2017 Ballot : NOTE On your Ballot names may be randomized in a different order.
NRA Board of Directors 2017 Ballot : NOTE On your Ballot names may be randomized in a different order.

U.S.A. –-( With the announcement of NRA’s 36 candidates for the 2018 Board of Directors election, we’ll look back at a small piece of 2017’s election and NRA leadership legacy. Why present this unique situation? I am the only non-nominated member of the NRA Board of Directors, and we know the legacy of my specific seat.

Known as a legislative force since the 70’s, the NRA for 140+ years is the gold-standard in so much more – firearms training, competitions, safety, certification, collecting, shooting, hunting, and conservation, and more. This article adds transparency to the NRA election process, and tells of how I dropped into the middle of NRA leadership legacy.

Each year, NRA elects 25 board members for three-year terms. In exceptional years, there are additional seats to fill if a position opens by resignation or death. NRA Life members and current members for five or more consecutive years receive their ballot in their Official NRA periodical (first-class letter for Hawaii only). With the published figure of 5.2 NRA million members, there are almost 2.2 million who receive ballots. Few other major organizations allow “you” to have a say. Disappointingly, and consistently, only about 7% of NRA ballots are returned (135,000 for 6.2% in 2017).

An additional Board member, #76, is elected for a one-year term by membership attending the NRAAM. There’s a reason for this basic background, keep reading.

Unlike a legislative race in your hometown or state where candidates know their district boundaries and registered voters, NRA does not tell who or where the NRA voters are. NRA Board candidates run a national election to find two million NRA voters mixed in with 320 million Americans. Without celebrity name recognition, it is a shotgun approach (no pun intended) to find an eligible voter, earn their vote, and convince them to vote. This is important to understand the unlikely odds of the below scenario.

Each Board member has strengths and weaknesses, areas of expertise, particular preferences and dislikes. Celebrities with name recognition typically don’t have to campaign. For grassroots folks who do the nug work on committees, the NRA election is relatively daunting.

The NRA Nominating Committee receives recommendations and presents a ‘slate’ of NRA-approved nominees. Usually, all incumbents plus a few others with solid resumes and Board member support. Having been involved with Board activities and serving on NRA committees, I was fortunate to receive a nomination in 2016. Still, I lost, mostly. NRA maintains the election order of votes received to fill vacancies between elections. I lost “mostly” by finishing #28 of 37. My “loss” got interesting when previous incumbents #26 and 27 moved back on the Board. I became “one off” in the fall of 2016. One Off is the guy, or gal, to next move up.

In January 2017, Mr. Roy Innis died. Mr. Innis was an icon in the civil rights movement. Since 1968, he was the Chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) which included his fight for gun rights, especially minority rights of self-defense. Roy was a 25-year member of the NRA Board of Directors. I met Roy in passing years ago, and the past two years served on his NRA Urban Affairs Committee. Roy’s son Niger and I are close friends from years in the conservative movement and we work together on the renamed NRA Outreach committee.

Roy Innis
Roy Innis

Interestingly, NRA always has 76 board members. Within hours of Roy’s death, I had been contacted, provided and filed the proper paperwork, and scheduled for swearing in. I had Roy Innis’ Board seat, no one fills his shoes, from January to April.

I was not nominated by the NRA Nominating Committee for 2017. When Committee results were announced, long-time NRA Board member Col. Ollie North “suggested” I seek ballot access by petition. Having only one, versus six, months to collect signatures, we succeeded because many of you signed and collected signatures. Now an outsider, our team worked hard to make the case for Board membership. A grassroots campaign, your votes secured a seat. Thank you. That isn’t the end of the story.

In 2017, there were 27 spots open. 25 as is the norm, a two-year position due to a death, and a one-year due to resignation. The top vote-getters, with name recognition, receive about 80-100,000 votes. As the numbers decrease, there were six or seven candidates separated by scant hundreds of votes clustered around 69,000 now competing for three seats. This time, you propelled us to win #26, the two-year vacancy. Disappointed to not win a three-year term, it is a privilege to win any seat, to serve, and to contribute.

This seat carries another leadership legacy. Wisconsin’s Francis E “Buster” Bachhuber, Jr. was a lawyer with Infantry service in Korea. Buster was a renaissance guy. Had a law firm, and reloaded his hunting ammo. Was an Instrument-rated commercial pilot, and comfortable in the NRA-ILA trenches. He was a Director for 13 years. For the last three years, we’d speak during meetings as he shared his lessons learned. Buster died while serving. #26, the two-year seat.

What are the odds out of 320 million in America, 5.2 million NRA members, 2.2 million voters, 135,000 votes cast, that for a second time I would know the legacy of my seat? Would I prefer to be one of the 25? Of course. As long as that isn’t the case, it is satisfying to know the legacy of today’s seat.

Many great patriots serve to make the National Rifle Association the most powerful Second Amendment advocate, firearms training and safety organization, and leader in conservation. In this case, we carry the leadership legacy of two who served selflessly with distinction. With legislative gun rights issues and the growing popularity of shooting activities, it is more important than ever to shape our Board with active leadership for the coming decade.

Research the candidates, and cast your vote.

About Willes K. Lee

Willes LeeLieutenant Colonel Willes K. Lee USA (Ret) is a member of the NRA Board of Directors from Hawaii and Virginia. He is a Benefactor Life member, serving on five NRA committees. Lee is a West Point graduate, U.S Army combat veteran, who served 26 years as a Defender of Freedom. Willes is the President of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, a co-Chairman of the Trump-Pence Second Amendment Coalition, a member of the Council for National Policy, and on the board of the American Conservative Union Foundation, hosts of CPAC. He is a former GOP State Chairman and RNC member. Follow Lee, Twitter and Instagram @WillesLee, and


Weekly, or when I can, I do a #myflag post. These are examples of photos I’ve posted (or am going to post). Just a reminder #DefenderofFreedom #patriot.

Dick Morris for lunch.
Most photographed display of any in the three NRA museums