Fifty women from across the United States will gather in Washington, D.C., next month to lobby Congress in favor of gun rights.
The DC Project, a pro-gun nonpartisan initiative, will bring together women from each of the 50 states during the week of June 12 in an effort to advocate pro-gun policies. "The Second Amendment is part of the United States Constitution and does not belong to one party," Dianna Muller, founder of the project, said in a statement. "Female gun owners are diverse, and have individualized stories and accounts of why this Amendment is so important to them. These stories need to be shared as they are representative of many within legislators’ constituencies."
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Over the course of the week, the women will meet with members of Congress and their staff in order to share their unique perspective on guns and gun rights. The group says its goal is to "encourage female shooters to meet with legislators in order to give politicians a direct connection to the fastest growing demographic of gun owners." The initiative comes as women are becoming a larger portion of the gun-owning public—the latest estimates saying there are 5.4 million female target shooters—and the gun industry as well as gun rights groups beginning to focus on their impact.
The initiative also comes as national gun legislation awaits further action. Silencer reform, which has been introduced to both houses, has not seen movement since being assigned to committees in both chambers at the beginning of the year. National concealed carry reciprocity is in the exact same situation.
With lawmakers in both chambers still focusing on issues like health care reform and tax reform, it remains unclear when gun legislation might be considered.
The DC Project said its members plan to address a wide range of issues but would put a particular focus on making sure lawmakers hear the perspective of female gun owners.
"Females provide unique stories and perspectives on the attraction of the 2nd Amendment, including competition shooting sports, commerce, self-defense, hunting, and conservation," the DC Project said in a statement.
The project is being backed by A Girl & A Gun, one of the nation's largest female shooting leagues. Robyn Sandoval, the group's executive director, will be the Texas representative for the initiative.
"Each state may have its own issues; for example, the girls in California and Connecticut have been discussing specific items," Sandoval told the Washington Free Beacon. "Some states are going to discuss constitutional carry and reciprocity laws. Other states, like my own [Texas], are just going to meet with legislators to let them know the good work we’re doing at home. Most important, we want to highlight the changing stereotype of the American gun owner from the old white guy in plaid to a more diverse group, especially us moms."
The DC Project will hold a rally on the West Senate Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building on June 16 as part of their effort. The rally will feature speeches from Muller, Sandoval, and others involved in the initiative.