Maryland State Senator Alex X. Mooney of Frederick has been named the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award winner for September.
 In nominating the Free State solon for the Award, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director John Michael Snyder, noted that, “in the State of Maryland, where the anti-gun forces for the past few years have been on the march in greater strength than they have been in some other areas of our country, it takes a lot of guts for a budding politician to stand up in a forthright manner and defend and promote the individual civil right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.  Alex is just such a young politician. He most certainly deserves this Award, and with it we encourage him to keep up the good fight for traditional American values.”
 In early July, Sen. Mooney said that Maryland gun owners must begin to wield more political clout. He is the chairman of a newly-formed group that aims to register more gun owners to vote.�
 The Maryland Second Amendment Coalition went to work in late June at a Frederick gun show.  Mooney and Co-Chairman Robert Culver of Montgomery Citizens for a Safer Maryland said they will be visiting other gun shows in the state to distribute voter registration forms and provide appropriate bumper stickers.
 Mooney said that Second Amendment proponents “tend to be people who don’t want the government to intervene in their lives as far as taking away their guns and generally tend to be people who don’t turn to government” for services, reported the Associated Press.
 “Perhaps in return they don’t feel the need to get involved in the government process as much,” he said.
 In a press release announcing the drive, Mooney said gun owners “need to become a major political force” in Maryland. “The 2AM Coalition will make gun owners aware that every day, liberal politicians are working in Annapolis (the Maryland State Capital) and in Washington, D.C. to take away their constitutional right to own a gun.”
 Mooney has opposed gun control measures such as Maryland’s requirement that all handguns sold in the state be equipped with integrated trigger locks, and a proposed state ban on so-called “assault-style weapons” that failed by one vote in a Senate committee earlier this year.
 Mooney has drawn the ire of anti-gun forces in the state. Leah Barrett, executive director of the anti-gun group Ceasefire Maryland, Inc., said the Second Amendment Coalition is merely a Republican publicity ploy. She said that during the debate about banning certain semiautomatic rifles, which Mooney calls “sport utility guns,” gun rights activists packed the hearing room.
 The purpose of the Maryland Second Amendment Coalition is to target like minded individuals and groups, and distribute voting information, to gather voter support for firearm friendly candidates in forthcoming elections. Interested parties could call Alex Mooney at (410) 841-3575, or Bob Culver at (301) 776-4488.
 Mooney was born in Washington, D.C. and moved with his family to Frederick when he was an infant. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1993 with a degree in Philosophy. Shortly after graduation, he served as an aide to U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (MD). After Republicans took over Congress in the 1994 elections, Mooney worked as a legislative analyst for the House Republican Conference Committee. He later left Capitol Hill to work for a small conservative public policy organization, serving as vice president for Legislative Analysis of the Council for National Policy Action, Inc.
 In 1998, Alex decided to run for the Maryland State Senate. After knocking on thousands of doors and working tirelessly making his case with the voters of the third district, Alex was rewarded with 63 percent of the vote and took office in January 1999, becoming the youngest and only Hispanic member of the Maryland State Senate.
 He sits on the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. He has received the top business rating in the state by the Maryland Business for Responsive Government. He also has received the Maryland Taxpayer of the Year Award for voting consistently to protect the “little guy” by cutting burdensome government regulations and red tape on small businesses.
 Alex and his wife, Grace Gonzalez, M.D., Ph.D., were married in 2002.  Their son, Lucas Alexander Mooney, was born on July 13, 2003. Alex is a member of the Knights of Columbus and St. John’s Catholic Church.