There are several national Second Amendment organizations throughout the country. Many like the Second Amendment Foundation, National Rifle Association, Firearms Policy Coalition, and Gun Owners of America don’t need much introduction, people know these organizations and the work they do. What about some of the lesser known groups that are advocating for our Second Amendment right? The Second Amendment Institute (SAI) is a group that started in 2016 and is gaining momentum. SAI has gained enough notoriety and momentum that they’ve attracted the support of some heavy hitters in the political arena, as well as the Second Amendment community. From a recent press release, Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West (USA, Ret) has accepted an appointment to SAI’s board.
Former Congressman and Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West (USA, Ret), formally accepted his nomination to the Board of Directors of the Second Amendment Institute on Saturday, April 23, 2022.
It is because of his lifelong dedication to the Second Amendment and to the United States, that SAI’s Board of Directors unanimously voted him through to join.
Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West (USA, Ret) is no stranger to SAI. In 2017, West kicked off SAI’s premier event at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, Liberty Rising.
Commenting on his nomination and acceptance, West stated,
“I am deeply humbled and honored by this distinction and I accept.”
West also currently serves as Executive Director of the American Constitutional Rights Union (ACRU).
West joins several other board members in supporting SAI such as Cheryl Todd from Gun Freedom Radio, Maj Toure from Black Guns Matter, and George Lyon, an accomplished attorney and one of the original plaintiffs in the Heller case, to name a few.
Over the past five plus years, the SAI has been networking and hosting different events. I first met the founder and president of SAI, Tyler Yzaguirre at a DC Project fundraiser in 2021. Earlier this year I reviewed his book Gun Rights 101: Firing Back Against Gun Control’s Biggest Lies and we do try to stay in touch. Yzaguirre and I have had several conversations since meeting about the direction of SAI, as well as his own work like future book ideas. Yzaguirre expressed to me his excitement in bringing West aboard, as well as giving me a glimpse of things to come that I’m looking forward to reporting on.
I asked Yzaguirre about the inception of SAI, to fill in some of the blanks for the readers who are not acquainted with the group. He told me some of the story about how and why he formulated it:
When I was at University of Delaware, you know Joe Biden’s school, I ran a student organization called Students for the Second Amendment…within one semester I grew our registered student organizations to the fourth largest on the campus. Right behind Hillel, the LGBT group, College Republicans, and College Democrats, who are the top five, in one semester, and pretty much when you’re a registered student organization, you get your semesterly $800 standard budget from the school.
However, Yzaguirre explained to me there was some reluctance to him securing more funding for Students for the Second Amendment. Part of their educational outreach included teaching the safe use of firearms and when he asked for an additional $800.00 for ammunition the University slow rolled the process, noting he did almost sue the school. Eventually over two months after the request, they settled on giving the group $500.00 for ammunition for use in their educational training. Those early years in advocacy seems to have sparked something in Yzaguirre and he explained:
I wanted to continue gun stuff. I had this idea for the nonprofit Second Amendment Institute. And then April, or May I forget when I was, I met Dick Heller for the first time…This is 20, early 2016 at a federal gun case in Philadelphia. I asked him to join the Board of Directors, he said “yes”. And that was pretty much how it was born.
I asked Yzaguirre why a new group? And he frankly stated that he wanted to be able to do things his way. While SAI is its own group, Yzaguirre concedes the organization is happy to work with and partner with any of the other groups in collaborative efforts and projects.
Knowing a bit more about where SAI came from, we can possibly see where they’re going. Having a heavy hitter like West on the board could be an indication of how serious their future plans are. I reached out for comment from West, through Yzaguirre, on accepting the position and this is what was returned to me in response:
“It’s a real honor to join the Board of Directors of the Second Amendment Institute. We must educate and grow the next generation of American Patriots who will defend our right to keep and bear arms…which shall not be infringed.” – Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West (USA, Ret), Executive Director American Constitutional Rights Union (ACRU), Member of 112th US Congress, and Former Chairman, Republican Party of Texas
The Second Amendment Institute might not be a household name yet, but it’s getting brand recognition in certain geographical regions. Given the work that I’ve been told they’re pledging to do, some exciting things should be coming down the line. Personally I’m excited to see what direction Yzaguirre, West, and the rest of the board will be taking this fledgling organization, and I’ll be reporting back on their future developments.