GOA Summit Seeks to Energize 2A Activists

Townhall Media

Tens of thousands of Second Amendment activists are expected to descend on Knoxville, Tennessee this August for Gun Owners of America's inaugural Gun Owners Advocacy and Leadership Summit, and to get an idea of what to expect we're chatting with GOA's Director of Development Kailey Neiman on today's Bearing Arms Cam & Co. 


Neiman says the group has been working behind the scenes for about two years to put the summit together, and she says it's designed not only as a way for gun owners to gather and have a great time, but to activate and energize activists to go home and amplify their voices like never before. 

The conference, which is open to GOA members, will feature a full floor of exhibitors from the firearms industry, but will also feature speeches and sessions with Second Amendment advocates from across the country, activities for kids, musical guests and more. Neiman says that attendees can expect a lot of hospitality in addition to recognizing their Second Amendment rights, with the Knoxville Expo Center open to lawful carry for those that are visiting. 

"My hope is that by coming to G.O.A.L.S. you set personal goals on what you want your activism to look like," Neiman told me. "Is it showing up on Election Day, is it block-walking for a pro-gun candidate, is it sending more emails or making more phone calls and letting your legislators know where you stand? Those are personal things and everyone has an opportunity cost, and when you take that personal responsibility to own that firearm the next step is taking that personal responsibility to defend that right."


Neiman isn't just talking the talk here. As she detailed, her journey into the world of Second Amendment activism started when she went to college in Johnson City, Tennessee and decided she needed a firearm for her personal protection since she was living in a not-so-great neighborhood. 

"I went to a great little gun shop and bought a little Bersa .380. Could barely afford it. I definitely had a ramen week just to make the budget right," Neiman recalled with a smile. "But it was important to me that I took care of myself, and I was really disgusted to see all of the rapes and things that were happening on campuses and knowing I had the ability to protect myself in theory, but not in practice because Tennessee didn't have campus carry." 

After meeting with a handful of lawmakers who Neiman said "pushed her around", she started an on-campus group for conservative gun owners, and has been actively working to advance our Second Amendment rights ever since. 

I believe that every gun owner has a compelling story to tell, and I'm guessing that there'll be plenty of first-hand accounts of the importance of exercising our right to keep and bear arms that are told when GOA members gather this summer. I'm looking forward to meeting Neiman in person in August, and we'll be talking more in the future as the date approaches for G.O.A.L.S. If you want to learn more information on how to attend or become an exhibitor for the inaugural gathering, you can check out the G.O.A.L.S. webpage here


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