Ricardo A. Royal of Hyattsville, Maryland is to receive the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for November.
 In nominating Mr. Royal for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, noted that, “Ricardo is Founder and National President of the Community Association of Firearms Educators (CAFÉ).  He understands that one of the foundations for modern, active defense of the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms is a national community of law-abiding citizens who are well-educated in firearms and gun safety.  We commend his efforts and believe he is most deserving of this Award.”
 “Our current focus,” says Ricardo, “is on repeal of the Washington, D.C. gun laws…It is our position that the DC gun ban is a violation of the civil rights of law-abiding DC residents.  We also believe that the greater good of all communities is better served by ‘shall issue’ policies coupled with mandatory training.  We have the right to own firearms.  We also have a moral and ethical responsibility to know how to use them safely and accurately for our purposes.”
 He says CAFÉ’s DC Chapter intends “to educate DC residents with the plain and simple truth about the complete failure of the current law.  We are a growing voice for DC residents who believe that the current DC gun law should be repealed or completely revised.  Denying law-abiding citizens the right to protect themselves in their homes and places of business is wrong.  The District’s gun law has done nothing to make Washington, D.C. a safer city.”
 National CAFÉ, says Royal, is a non-profit multicultural firearms education and shooting sports association which he founded three years ago.  Its mission is to actively provide communities across the nation with accurate and effective gun safety training for all.  The education and safety of youth is its primary concern.  “Knowledge is power,” he notes, “just as ignorance of the law is no excuse.”
 “As a firearms educator for over 30 years,” he states, “I am well aware that there are cultural differences and perceptions about firearms.  To put it simply, black folks look at guns and the gun debate differently than white folks and other races.  Politicians are of a different culture than all the rest of us!  So there is much more to teach people about guns other than safety and the fundamentals of shooting.  As a paramedic in the Washington, D.C. Fire Department from 1979 to 1996 I have seen things that others cannot begin to imagine.  I believe that we can save more of our children if we give them firearm safety training.  We of CAFÉ believe that, ‘education is like prayer, it changes things.’ When firearms safety training is treated like fire safety, drug awareness and prevention, and stranger danger, our homes and schools and the entire community will be safer.”
 Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Ricardo Royal attended DC public schools and graduated from Roosevelt Senior High School in 1977. As a high school student, Ricardo became the Rifle Team Student Coach for the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) with NRA Apprentice Instructor credentials.  At the age of 21, he became a fully Certified Firearms Education Instructor in Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Home Firearm Safety and Personal Protection. 
 During his years with the D.C. Fire Department, Emergency Ambulance Service (DCF & EMS), he earned a number of prestigious certifications.  These include Nationally Registered EMT, Intermediate Paramedic and Paramedic, Hazardous Materials Level II, Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) Scott 4.5, Confined Space Entry & Emergency Rescue, Counter Narcotics Tactical Operation Medical Support Certified Paramedic, and American Heart Association Instructor Certifications for CPR and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).  He developed a Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) Program for the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Bureau and served as an advisor on TEMS.
 Lieutenant Royal, an EMS Supervisor, left the DCF & EMS Department in 1996 to fulfill his entrepreneurial spirit, create his own business and pursue his long time goals in the firearms education arena. Today, as an NRA Training Counselor, Royal provides both Basic and Instructor level courses.  In 1998, he co-founded Best Shot Professional Training & Consulting Group, Inc.  Best Shot provides professional firearms training for private citizens and protective services personnel.
 Royal is certified as an NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, and Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor (MCB Quantico VA), and completed the Sig-Sauer Law Enforcement Armorer’s Course/Product Line.