Dennis Walker of Columbus, Ohio, the Chairman of the Peoples Rights Organization, is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for May.
In nominating Walker for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, noted that “Dennis, for a number of years now, has worked ceaselessly and on a volunteer basis to protect the individual right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. He has distinguished himself as a leader of the gun rights movement both in Ohio and in the Nation. He is most deserving of this Award.”
Born March 15, 1948 in Columbus, Dennis graduated from Bexley High School in 1966.
He attended Rio Grande College in Ohio for two years. He worked a variety of jobs, including factory, gas stations, bars, short order cook, catering and truck driver.
Dennis became disabled in 1985 as the result of a motorcycle accident and degeneration of the knees from jumping in and out of trucks for many years.
He attended Columbus State Community College in Construction Management for two years, maintaining a 3.7 grade average but dropped out to devote full time to the Peoples Rights Organization and the defense of the Second Amendment.
Dennis learned to shoot at the age of 12 at Camp Minnehaha, a summer camp in West Virginia. He told POINT BLANK he has hunted rabbit, pheasant and deer, “though there is not much time to do any hunting at all anymore.”
In 1989, Dennis “hooked up with,” in his words, “a fledgling group called the Peoples Rights Organization (PRO). He and others had become incensed after the Mayor of Columbus at the time, Dana “Buck” Rinehart, had come back from the 1989 Conference of Mayors “with the idea of banning semiautomatic firearms within city limits.”
While PRO gathered thousands of signatures for a referendum petition to repeal the semiautomatic ban, they did not have quite enough valid signatures. So then they filed a lawsuit against the city to overturn the ban. “In 1994, PRO won its lawsuit against Columbus and recovered attorney fees of $68,000,” says Dennis. “Dr. Stephen Halbrook is still our attorney in these matters.”
In March of this year, with Dennisâ€™ coordination, PRO hosted the first Ohio Outdoor Sports Political Seminar, which featured national, State and local pro-gun rights activists as speakers.
Dennis also is active in the Ohio Constitution Defense Council, of which he is Vice Chairman, and is a strong proponent of a CCW law for Ohio.
His pro-gun activities were discussed at length in an article on the CCW controversy appearing in the October, 1995 issue of COLUMBUS MONTHLY. In that article, “The Right to Pack Heat,” writer Ray Paprocki wrote that “locally, the point man on the attack was Walker, with his colleagues at the Peoples Rights Organization. They turned in petitions of support and urged their members to write letters or make calls. Walker cranked up the groupâ€™s computer to target the constituents of undecided Senators with phone messages. And when Dewey Stokes testified against the legislation, the organization turned out about 200 people – many wearing NRA caps and the like – to pack the Senate committee room. At times, they heckled Stokes during his speech.”