Riding Shotgun With Charlie
Todd Ellis
NRA Board of Directors

Back in April I may have snuck into the NRA BOD party.  May have. It was suggested that I work the room.  Someone took me around to meet folks that I haven’t met and see if I could connect and maybe get them on the show. It’s fantastic to me when people I haven’t met come up, say hello, and want to talk. As I was sweeping around the room, Todd Ellis stopped me and asked when the episode with Nayara Andrejczyk (RSWC #171) was going to be published. Todd is an NRA BOD member, but also a Training Counselor. They were friends and she had done some training with him. We exchanged cards and I kept working the room. 

I got home from NRA on a Monday morning. I had a live show to do that evening, then I was off for Philly to film some shows. There was a change in plans and I was given “the gift of time”. Having dinner with Naraya and her husband, we brainstormed who would be available to film a show in my newly found time. She reached out to Todd and he agreed to be on the show. 

Todd started shooting in Boy Scouts. He was really good at it, enjoyed it, and took to it quickly. He went home and joined the Junior Marksmanship Club at the Rochester Rifle Club. He shot small bore through high school. It was suggested that he become an instructor and take several of the NRA certification courses.  He was working with lots of youth shooters with the Scouts, about 350 a year.This was before there was an online portal to report to the NRA the students that went through your courses. When that came around, he missed out on getting credit for about 3,500 students! The NRA Education and Training found out how many students he trained and decided it was time to get him to become a Training Counselor. 

Todd was invited to be the State Training Counselor Liaison for Pennsylvania. There’s 4,400 instructors and 125 training counselors in PA currently. According to him, the main objective of a TC is to make sure everyone is up to date and current with their teaching materials and to make sure they’re successful. We talk a bit about how it’s important for everyone to be an established shooter before they become an instructor. If an instructor doesn’t know an answer that a student has, they need to find out the answer and get back to the student. 

Back in 2020 while everyone was in lockdown, Todd was able to fill in on a two year term and get onto the NRA Board of Directors. He was talking to another BOD member about some issues and needed to convince him that Todd had some solutions to some problems. That leads us into talking about the process of getting nominated by someone on the board, which may lead to getting Some folks get in by being on committees. Someone can also go through a petition process and get signatures to be on the ballot. Many of the NRA members don’t know if they can vote, don’t vote, or think they can vote and they can’t. 

Todd has a story about a canoe trip he took with his son. The canoe tipped when they both ended up paddling on the same side. He uses this story as an analogy to what is happening with many folks in the gun community. If we aren’t paddling together as a team in the Second Amendment canoe, we’re going to capsize and all will be lost. We work for the Second Amendment. And we all need to work as a unit, doing what we need to do to keep this American tradition alive. 

Favorite quotes: 
“I really strongly believe in teaching the youth because they’re the folks who are going to replace us tomorrow.”
“We got some people that are like ‘they’re never gonna take our shotgun.’ But they will come and get your bolt action rifles, too. So you got to be very aware of why people are really fighting for your Rights.”
“I’d love to see more people vote. They get the ballot and don’t vote.”
“We’re in a Second Amendment canoe. We all have to paddle together or we’re going to wind up in the ocean and your Second Amendment rights are going to go with the tide out to sea.”

National Rifle Association

National Rifle Association


To become an NRA certified instructor


Second Amendment Foundation


Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms


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Dennis McCurdy

Author, Speaker, Firewalker


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