The picture is most of the women who attended this year’s Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) in Dallas, Sept. 29-Oct. 1. A few of us were out of the room for various reasons. That’s W&G Publisher Julianne Versnel Gottlieb at the podium in the black sweater and Contributing Editor Genie Jennings is in the front row in a black top (second from the right).
Since its inception, GRPC has grown in all attendance and especially in the number of women who attend.
But even at the beginning, women gunowners were a force to be recognized. At each GRPC, beginning with the first one held in Bellevue, WA, in 1986, the Resolutions Committee (which Genie chairs), has adopted a resolution alternately known as “The NATO Doctrine” and “The Farmer Resolution.”
“Whereas: In May of 1986 Congress passed and the President signed into law the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act; and a provision of that legislation was the ban of importations and manufacture of machine guns need not have been included had the nation’s gun owners so advocated; and
“Whereas: In the fall of 1986, at the first Gun Rights Policy Conference held in Bellevue, Washington, Mrs. Linda Farmer of Georgia introduced a resolution that any attack on one class of firearms is an attack on all classes of firearms; and
“Whereas: The Farmer Resolution was approved by the delegates in attendance without opposition and has been proposed and approved by the delegates in attendance at every Gun Rights Policy Conference since 1986; and
“Whereas: Further constrictions on firearms, ammunition, and components of each continue to be made, and
“Whereas: The Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear arms, and arms are not limited to firearms, therefore an attack on any class of arms is an attack on all classes of arms;
“Now therefore be it resolved by the delegates assembled at the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Dallas, Texas this 1st day of October, 2017 that: Gun owners across the nation continue to support the Farmer Doctrine amended to ‘an attack on any class of arms is an attack on all classes of arms’.”
The Resolution was adopted this year—as in past years–without discussion.
The “Farmer” in “Farmer Resolution” is Linda Farmer. Linda and her late husband were in the Class III firearms business in Georgia the year of the first GRPC and the year the Firearms Owners Protection Act was enacted by Congress after a contentious session. It was adopted by voice vote, but with a provision that made some gunowners, including the Farmers, unhappy, and thus the “Farmer Resolution was born.
In subsequent years, during the Resolutions Committee’s presentation there has been tweaks to the amendment, but its spirit hasn’t changed.
While we celebrate the growing number of women active enough in the Second Amendment Friendship to attend GRPCs, it is always a pleasure to remember that 30 years ago there were women already rolling up their sleeves.