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Bob Lesmeister

Monday, April 1st, 1996

Bob Lesmeister, the Managing Editor of AMERICAN FIREARMS INDUSTRY and STOCKING FIREARMS DEALER magazines, is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for April.

In nominating Lesmeister for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that “Bob, for a number of years, has been in the forefront of those defending in public the right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms.

“He has written repeatedly against numerous attempts to undermine this precious right. Brilliant and articulate, he brings to the philosophical discussion of gun rights an understanding of firearms from the technical perspective. He is one of our greatest champions and is most deserving of this Award.”

Hard-hitting in his prose and full of foresight in his analysis, Lesmeister wrote in AMERICAN FIREARMS INDUSTRY for November, 1993 that “one of the reasons the federal law enforcement authorities have not escalated their force on citizens as rapidly as they had hoped is found at the local law enforcement level. Town, city, county and state police forces are composed of people who live within the areas they serve. It is often hard, if not impossible, for the federal law enforcement authorities to get local law enforcement officers to do their dirty work. The FBI is especially known for exacting punishment on local officers who refuse to cooperate with them. In some cases they go so far as to set the local officers up in a phony scheme or just fabricate charges against them and then bombard the media with false information to convict the officers even before they go before a board or hearing…

“Clinton’s dream of a national police corps could very well spell the end of the Bill of Rights. Local police agencies would be dependent on federal money and therefore would have to acquiesce to federal demands and directives…

“In order for such a national police corps to be an effective oppressor, citizens first have to be disarmed…

“The federal government’s anti-firearms agenda doesn’t start or stop with just the law enforcement community…

“While gun owners are the most newsworthy intended victims of a national police corps, non mainstream religious groups would probably be the first victims of national police as they are the most vulnerable. Religions that weren’t one of the four or five recognized religious institutions would be labeled cults and as such denied the rights of the First Amendment and federal authorities would have a lot of help from ‘established’ religious leaders.”

Bob entered the firearms industry as a staff reporter for AMERICAN FIREARMS INDUSTRY magazine in 1980, having graduated from Journalism School at Northern Illinois University. Prior to that he served a tour of duty in Southeast Asia with the United States Army.

As Associate Editor of AMERICAN FIREARMS INDUSTRY, Bob broke the story on the first all plastic pistol technology, still in development. As Editor of FFL NEWS in 1985, he published the first story in the United States on the then unknown Glock pistol. Throughout the 1980s, he also edited NFA JOURNAL, a firearms publication targeted to law enforcement and Title 2 firearms dealers.

In his current position, Lesmeister has written extensively on the rights of citizens to own and use firearms for both self-defense and recreation. He has written a number of series detailing the abuse of honest gun owners and firearms retailers at the hands of anti-gun legislators and overzealous police.Lesmeister has articulated many of these same opinions in such publications as THE NEW YORK TIMES, BOSTON GLOBE, GUN WEEK, GUN NEWS DIGEST and Associated Press reports. He wrote an editorial explaining the right of honest citizens to own and use firearms for the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES which Patrick J. Hurley used later in his college textbook, A CONCISE INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC.

As a proponent for the right of women to own and use firearms, Bob has defended the female firearms market by providing industry data unavailable elsewhere. He has articulated these views in such publications as FAMILY CIRCLE magazine and REDBOOK.