Insight – Most nominees are on the ballot courtesy of the Nominating Committee. Maria Heil is one of several who are on the ballot through the petition of signature. Traditionally, firearms have been viewed as a male-dominated attraction, however in recent years we’ve seen a surge of interest and growth from the female market. I believe the NRA board can benefit from insights on how to reach and grow this segment of the gun community.
Maria Heil, a New Freedom resident, has been a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) for twenty-one years and has been a Life member since 2003. Now she has decided it is time to become more involved and run for the NRA’s Board of Directors.
Mrs. Heil thinks of herself as an “accidental activist” stating, “I never intended to get involved to the level that I have. I was satisfied shooting and hunting with my husband and children, but when I realized that some people want to take away our freedom to own guns, and by extension our right to defend ourselves by the most effective means possible, that’s when I got involved.”
Mrs. Heil has been a Second Amendment activist since 2000 when she joined Second Amendment Sisters (SAS), which was founded in response to the so-called “Million Mom March.” Mrs. Heil was the SAS National Spokesperson for four years.
As a result of her role with SAS, Mrs. Heil was featured as the pro-gun mother in the PBS-aired documentary Guns and Mothers. She became a writer and speaker supporting Second Amendment rights with appearances on national shows such as CBS’ Sunday Morning, C-Span’s Washington Journal, NRA News’ Cam & Company, NBC’s The John Walsh Show, and Oprah’s Pure Oxygen and was interviewed by numerous media outlets throughout the United States as well as overseas. She is a past Contributing Editor for Women & Guns Magazine.
Mrs. Heil is currently a Local Committee Woman, the Treasurer for a county-wide political club, and a member of the Executive Committee for a county-wide political committee. She has been active in the successful election campaigns of Pro-Second Amendment candidates resulting in the recent expansion of Pennsylvania’s Castle Doctrine protection. Mrs. Heil served as the White Rose Friends of NRA Committee Co-Chair in 2007 and is currently a White Rose Friends of NRA Committee Member.
In a letter to NRA Voting Members, found in the voting section of the NRA’s February magazines, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne La Pierre states…”To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, remember what your vote means: It assures that the NRA remains an Association of the members, for the members and by the members.”
From her home in Southern York County Mrs. Heil states, “I see myself as just an average NRA member. My husband and I work every day to earn a living. We have raised four children who value this country and the freedoms we enjoy. Yes, I’ve gotten involved in this battle to preserve our rights and perhaps have done a little more than most folks would, but I cannot just stand around and watch our rights being assaulted.”
In her quest to be placed on the NRA ballot, Mrs. Heil spent countless hours talking with NRA Members at gun clubs, gun shows, Friends of NRA dinners, and at political events. “There are only seven of us on the ballot that collected signatures from voting Members to secure a spot on the ballot. I think it’s important to spend time talking with other NRA Members, listening to their concerns and thoughts. Gathering petition signatures is an excellent opportunity to connect with the NRA Membership.”
- 21 years NRA Member
- Second Amendment activist since 2000 when she joined Second Amendment Sisters (SAS), which was founded in response to the so-called “Million Mom March.”
- SAS National Spokesperson for four years.
- Writer and speaker supporting Second Amendment rights with appearances on national shows CBS’ Sunday Morning, C-Span’s Washington Journal, NRA News’ Cam & Company, The John Walsh Show, and Pure Oxygen.
- Featured as the pro-gun mother in PBS-aired documentary Guns and Mothers.
- Interviewed by numerous local media outlets throughout the United States as well as overseas.
- Contributing Editor for Women & Guns Magazine, 2004 to 2007.
- Local Committee Woman
- Treasurer for county-wide political club, member of the Executive Committee for the county-wide political committee.
- Active in the successful election campaigns of Pro-Second Amendment candidates.
- Local Friends of NRA Committee Co-Chair in 2007 and current local FNRA Committee Member.
Ronnie Barret, what can I say, he’s got my vote simply for refusing to sell his guns to California when they banned them for civilian use. Reminding the police department that they two are civilians.
Sebastian over at PAGunBlog.com has a list of endorsements – click here.
Additional thoughts… I am personally voting for the other female nominees (Mrs. Edie Fleeman, Mrs. Carolyn Dodgen ) as well. This is not an affirmative action directive, rather it stems from my belief that in order to win the culture war in America on guns; the “female demographic” will be key. And at this point in time with an increased growth and interest, we can benefit from further outreach and greater insight into that particular demographic. Furthermore, in both the above cases, I decided to vote based on their bios before even realizing they were the other two women running for the board.
Carolyn, for the fact that she has been involved in the case of liberty in France, Italy, England and Australia. While I believe that the NRA is first and foremost an “American” entity. I believe it has the duty to ‘disciple’ other nations. Because just as we are all safer when our fellow law-abiding citizens are armed. We are also safer when our neighboring nations hold similar views on Liberty.
Fleeman, for the fact that she introduced over 660 women to shooting in the past 4 years. And for involvement in the Friends of NRA program since it’s inception.