CCRKBA for February names JohnL. Cushman of Patchogue, New Yorkthe CCRKBA Gun Rights Defenderof the Month.In nominating Cushman for theaward, John M. Snyder, CCRKBAPublic Affairs Director, said that,“John is a real trooper in the ongoingbattle to preserve the individual SecondAmendment civil right of lawabidingAmerican citizens to keepand bear arms. He’s been waging thefight in New York State, a real hotbed of gun-grabbing propagandaand activity, with indefatigable zeal.He truly deserves recognition asCCRKBA Gun Rights Defender ofthe Month.”Among the many ways in whichCushman promotes gun rightsis through the Sportsmen’s Associationfor Firearms Education,Inc. (SAFE), a Long Island-basednot-for-profit corporation formedunder New York State law, whichhe founded in 1993 and which heserves as President.SAFE is a CCRKBA affiliate.Working in the midst of anti-gunactivity in New York, John Cushmanset up SAFE to educate and informthe general public, the media, andelected officials concerning variousaspects of lawful firearms ownershipin the United States.This includes the disseminationof information as to mattersconcerning firearms, the SecondAmendment, the shooting sportsand related activities.It includes also the distributionand publication of articles, newsletters,letters to the editor, amicuscuriae (friend of the court) legalbriefs, and reports regarding firearmsissues.Through SAFE, John leads in theorganization, presentation, andpublic forums, meetings and debatesconcerning firearms issues. Recently,the group sponsored its regular seminaron firearms civil rights, at whichCCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottliebwas a featured speaker.As part of its regular activities, SAFEcompiles a comprehensive review of,and commentary on, pending federal,New York State, and local legislationand regulations involving firearmsownership. John Cushman says SAFEprovides the review and commentaryto all dues paying members and alsoto appropriate state and federal legislatorsalong with a SAFE pro-gunposition statementSAFE provides in a timely fashionthe names, addresses and phonenumbers of people necessary for progunindividuals to contact regardingpending legislation or regulations. Italso organizes support for or oppositionto pending gun legislation.John has spent over 35 years inthe right to keep and bear arms civilrights battle. He holds the popularSecond Amendment and firearm civilrights conference mentioned aboveannually in the heart of New York.He’s a familiar face to many in theNew York legislature because he hasworked there tirelessly against antigunlegislation.John spent many summers in upstateNew York working on dairyfarms where he was introduced tohunting. He says his firearm educationwas greatly enhanced at age 17when he joined the United StatesMarine Corps at Parris Island, SouthCarolina. His new-found friendsbegan including him on hunts.John earned a degree in industriallabor relations/labor law fromCornell University. He embarkedon a 39-year career in the truckingindustry, working with its powerfulunions. Cushman discoveredthat while some union leaders maybe anti-gun this was not true of themembers. He says the rank-and-fileclearly understand the importanceof the Second Amendment.Now, through SAFE, Cushmanand fellow instructors teach firearmsafety and gun handling. His grouphas conducted NRA Women on Targetclinics for the last six years andhas trained more than 500 womenin the safe handling of firearms.An NRA Benefactor Member,John has served on the NRA Boardof Directors for 16 years and on theNRA Whittington Center board for15 years. One of his proudest momentscame, he says, in 1998, whenhe was inducted in the New YorkState Outdoorsman Hall of Fame forhis volunteer work.Recently, John led SAFE in thepresentation and co-sponsorshipof the first CCW conference in theEmpire State, “The Long Island Rightto Carry Conference,” featuringprominent speakers on right to carry,state and local license restrictions,civil rights, victims’ rights, and thehistory of state gun control.As SAFE President, Cushmanrequested and received an opinionfrom the state Division of CriminalJustice Services stating that fingerprintingand new application areunnecessary when firearms licenseesare moving from one New York Statecounty to a another.John Cushman says: “We willkeep our rights only as long as weare willing to fight for them.”