Riding Shotgun With Charlie
Tom King
New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
National Rifle Association BOD Member

Last summer, I thought it would be good to have Tom King on the show before the NYSRPA v Bruen decision. I messaged him and he said yes to being on the show, but I didn’t follow up. This past April at the NRA Annual Meetings, Anthony Colandro (RSWC #003 & #025) introduced us and said I should have Tom on the show. With the summer here and the anniversary of the NYSRPA v Bruen decision, I figured it was a good time to film a show! 

Tom grew up in an anti-gun household. His father was a pilot in World War 2 and didn’t want to have anything to do with guns when he got back. However, Tom learned to shoot, earning a merit badge in Boy Scouts. 

Eventually, a friend asked Tom if he wanted to be the Legislative Director of NYSRPA because Tom and his wife owned a company that delivered memos to politicians. Reluctantly, he agreed to the job. After one year in this position, the then-president approached Tom and said he was stepping down. Then asked Tom to take his place due to his political knowledge. He took the president’s role thinking it would be for 2 years. That was 18 years ago. During his tenure, he’s noticed first hand that the government is doing things in little subtle ways to take our rights by what I call the “salami method”, which is one thin slice at a time. He says that other than the S.A.F.E. Act, we didn’t lose our rights at once. Often, people will understand why the antis want something, then admit that it’s not a big deal, then give it away. Until there’s nothing left to give. 

Tom got involved with the NRA at a Friends of the NRA in Poughkeepsie. A mutual friend took him up to meet someone. That person suggested that Tom should be on a committee at NRA. Tom didn’t know who it was but after formal introductions, it was John Sigler. Mr Sigler was only the First Vice President of NRA, on his way to be President, but Tom didn’t know who he was. A few months later, he was nominated to be on the Clubs and Association committee. Tom also shares a story about introducing Wayne LaPierre, saying the NYSRPA is the parent organization of the NRA. 

We finally got into NYSRPA v Bruen. After the decision was for NYSRPA, I was insistent on calling it the NYSRPA case, but friends said we needed to use Bruen. Tom shares with us that Bruen was a pro Second Amendment supporter, but his job was more political than police work, and he was just doing what he was told by disgraced New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. That led to the then unelected, anti-gun Kathy Hochul to roll out and support the “Concealed Carry Improvement Act”. 

We spend a lot of time talking about how NYSRPA v Bruen started, how long it lasted, and why it’s important to support your state groups. That can be by joining your state group and by doing more than just writing a check to pay dues. By the way, you can also join other state groups, too. There’s not a limit on which organizations you can support. Tom said the NRA picked up about 70% of the tab, but NYSRPA picked up the rest. It total came to $2,200,000 in legal fees. We also talk about how politicians “make friends” with everyone, even if they don’t support our rights as Americans. 

For my show, travel, editing, and everything involved, it’s a challenge to do a current and topical episode. But what I can do is evergreen material that lines up with anniversaries of big events. The NYSRPA v Bruen was a very big decision. We’re finding it out in over 260 other cases in the first 6 months after it happened.  Time will let us see some of the other impacts it is having on our Second Amendment right!

Favorite quotes: 
“Then all of a sudden, you look at it and you have no rights at all or are on the verge of having  no rights”. 
“I wanted to protect those rights that we had, that I grew up with, for my son and my daughter and their kids.”
“The Supreme Court looked at it the way the Founding Fathers looked at it.”
“If it wasn’t for the NRA, the Bruen decision, the Rifle & Pistol decision, would never come about”.
“I have never been asked to sit in on one his pre-bill meetings. Never once.”
“Vote for your rights. Vote for what’s important to you.”

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association


NYSRPA Facebook


National Rifle Association


Second Amendment Foundation


Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms


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Dennis McCurdy

Author, Speaker, Firewalker


Self Defense Radio Network


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