My name is Joel Friedman. I have been proud to serve on the National Rifle Association’s Board of Directors since 2002.
Although I have spent a great deal of my life as a businessman and a family man, for the past three decades I have dedicated a tremendous amount of my time to becoming an effective political activist. This endeavor is borne of the love for our freedoms – especially our Second Amendment.
My initial motivation for becoming involved was the fact that some proposed laws were attempting to outlaw my firearms and prevent me from leaving them to my children and family after I’m gone. As important as my family is to me, this seemed unimaginable.
Shortly after becoming involved, I determined that I couldn’t simply focus on my own reasons for activism and defending the Second Amendment was truly part of who I was and what I had become. I became dedicated to the life-long defense of our firearms freedoms. It didn’t take long to discover that the only true path to Second Amendment success is the National Rifle Association.
“…defending the Second Amendment was truly part of who I was.”
Grassroots-level political action is the key to success and it is the foundation of our NRA. Without our members, we would be ineffective. I am proud to be from the grassroots and, in many ways, am still a grassroots activist.
“Grassroots-level political action is the key to success and it is the foundation of our NRA.”
A little about my personal life:
- I was married to my first wife, now deceased, for 42 years
- I remarried about two years ago
- I have two adult sons and two adult step-sons
- My wife and all of our sons are NRA life members
- I am a NRA Benefactor Member
- Retired business owner/operator
- Recently relocated from California to Nevada
- Still maintain many ties to California including NRA’s pro-Second Amendment efforts in that troubled state
My activities as a Second Amendment advocate:
- Founder and former President of the NRA Members’ Council in the San Gabriel Valley
- Appointed “Lifetime Honorary Chairman” of that Members’ Council
- While President of the NRA Members’ Council in the San Gabriel Valley:
- Played a key role in both local and state range protection issues – supported successful state legislation
- Defeated local attempts to ban handguns
- Spearheaded the effort to stop the state-wide rash of ammunition registration ordinances as well as repealing the law locally
- Developed and produced a book and accompanying video that was instrumental in defeating the enactment of this type of ordinance in at least 10 other cities
- After riots and civil disturbances, helped teach over 500 citizens the basics of safe firearms handling
- Personally implemented outreach programs to broaden support for the NRA, aggressively recruiting new NRA members through Members’ Council-manned exhibitions at gun shows as far away as Las Vegas, Nevada when I lived in Southern California.
- Personally earned the “Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award” by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms for activities performed while Members’ Council President.
- California Rifle and Pistol Association
- Life Member, CRPA
Former Member of the CRPA Executive Committee
Former Chairman of the CRPA Legislative Committee
Member of the CRPA bylaws, finance and investment sub-committee
- Nevada Firearms Coalition, Life Member
- Citizen’s Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Life Member
- Was awarded the Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award
- Second Amendment Foundation, Defender Member
- Altadena Sportsmen Club, Former Vice President
- Served as the Chairman of the Political Committee
- Served as the Chairman of the Grants Committee
- Initiated and wrote the successful grant proposal for the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program® for the Pasadena school district.
- American institute of Parliamentarians, Active member
- Former 1st Vice President of the Golden Bears Chapter of the American institute of Parliamentarians
- National Association of Parliamentarians, Active member
- San Gabriel Valley Friends of NRA Committee, Vice-Chairman of the founding event
- Coordination/organization of the first Southern California NRA-ILA Fundraiser & Social Event featuring representatives from the U.S. House to the City Council and everything in between
Specific NRA-related items of note:
- NRA Benefactor member
- NRA Board Member since 2002
- Trustee, NRA Foundation
- Member of the NRA Ethics Committee
- Member of the NRA Finance Committee
- Member of the NRA Outreach Committee
- Member of the NRA Grassroots Committee since 1997
- Member of the Jeanne E Bray Memorial Scholarship Committee
- Member of the NRA Clubs and Association Committee
- Chairman of the Clubs and Association awards sub-committee
- Former Member of the NRA Board of Directors Nominating Committee
- Responsible for organizing and coordinating the NRA-ILA’s first ever, 3 day, intensive Media Training Seminar for selected activists and volunteers
- Media experience includes extensive TV and radio appearances. Functioned as an “official NRA media spokesperson” for several years. This includes a notable debate/interview on the Los Angeles PBS program, “Life and Times” where I vigorously defended the Second Amendment and NRA’s positions.
- Provided expert testimony at every relevant level of government defending the NRA’s positions on Ballot Initiatives, resolutions, and legislation
- Appeared at the State Capital to give testimony before a State Senate Committee in two languages – to illustrate the point about laws that are monolingual and possibly unfair to people from other cultures who might not be familiar with our customs. This unique method resulted in the Committee reevaluating its methods before proceeding.
- Worked directly with the campaigns of NRA-PVF endorsed candidates
- Recruited by the former Executive Director of NRA-ILA to serve as one of four people on the California Election Team
- Team was responsible for creating and working with both ILA Staff and NRA members on all aspects of elections within California
- Helped produce the NRA Southern California Election Seminar.
During the past several years, while still working with my base of grassroots activists against bad legislation, and also serving as the Chairman of the California Rifle and Pistol Association Legislative Policy Committee, I have been active directing others as to what is needed to be more effective in California. This coordination also includes my close interaction with NRA employees in California as their efforts help lead and cultivate more pro-gun legislators. As if this task was not daunting enough, our combined efforts to keep as many gun ranges and clubs open and operating as possible, has proved to be a challenge in a very Second Amendment hostile State. Even so, we have had a number of successes maintaining shooting and hunting opportunities and gun ranges within California.
Additionally, I am part of a select group, at NRA ILA’s request, that is and has been fighting nationwide, and in California has had some very good wins, the battle against those who would ban lead ammunition. My responsibilities include but are not limited to, working with the scientists, lawyers, researchers, NRA Staff, and activists to form a smooth and effective team that is working in unison.
Lastly, in an equally important area, which I am working on with others, is to insulate NRA from those who would try to destroy our Association with attempts to invade the organization and then work to see a destruction of its effectiveness. Some of these individuals don’t even realize that they are being used as pawns by others and groups who have motivations that are not in NRA’s best interest.
Much, but not all, of my experience and focus has been in California. The investment of time and effort that I have spent in California is important to all of the other states, because if the bad laws and regulations aren’t stopped there, they could, and have in some cases, have moved to other locations throughout the country. Although we have many very talented and invaluable individuals on in our ranks, my experiences have proven to “battle harden” me in the grassroots venue. This is a valuable trait that not every Board of Directors candidate possesses.
I speak, live and understand “grassroots” while operating from the perspective of a successful businessman.