A Letter to NRA Voters from RIAC President Kevin Hogan
By Kevin Hogan
It is my pleasure and honor to run for a spot on the NRA Board of Directors, and believe I am in a very unique position to do so. It’s no secret that it’s difficult for first-time nominees to get a “seat at the table,” but in a lot of ways it is imperative that it happens.
As president of Rock Island Auction Company, I have deep respect for American history. Our nation’s independence was forged with white-knuckled fists clenched around a firearm. Our industrial might was founded on America’s groundbreaking system of manufacturing interchangeable parts, which we owe in large part to the firearms industry.
At Rock Island Auction we handle, market, and sell antique and collectable firearms. In 2018 alone we handled 40,000 firearms – everything from the common Glock 21 to national treasures like the Springfield Armory M1 Garand serial number 1,000,000, which was presented to inventor John C. Garand, and everything in between. I know gun collectors, and they are a surprisingly diverse group. Young or old, wealthy or not, with interests ranging from hunting to the traditional shooting sports. Many are incredibly smart history buffs, others have their sights set on the future. But they all are equally passionate about firearms, our history and its preservation.
The best part of my job is introducing new people to the firearms world, especially young people. At the very core of my motivation to be elected to the NRA board is to do just that – introduce young women and men to the organization in a meaningful way. The “under 40” crowd interacts with the world differently than others. They consume news, sports, and entertainment at a fast clip, which shapes their perspective and their communication style, but it leaves them aching for purpose and community. It’s no secret that the future of our country, and of hunting, shooting and gun collecting, lies squarely at their feet. We cannot let entire generations slip through the cracks. Instead, as I seek to become the youngest member of the NRA Board of Directors, it’s my intention to use my “seat at the table” to embrace today’s youth and young adults. Like it or not, they will be the decision makers soon. It’s critical that the NRA remains a beloved organization in their eyes.
As we say in business, “If you aren’t growing you’re dying.” Friends and colleagues, dying is not an option for the Second Amendment.
I am a proud citizen of the great state of Illinois. It is predominately rural and blue collar, and home to our family business. For many years, Illinois was considered part of the western frontier, and began to thrive as railroads and manufacturing came to the region, along with the famous Chicago stockyards. Now, Chicago gains its notoriety for unflattering and uncivil reasons, and our rural lands once steeped in the traditions of hunting, farming and firearm ownership is under siege. As a family firearms business, Rock Island Auction Company will remain in Illinois as long as it is sustainable, but we have to fight the morally corrupt Chicago political elite every single day. It is my job to keep an ear to the ground for pending firearms legislation, and then do my best to fight it. It is also my life, and the livelihood of my family. Additionally, I put my money where my mouth is, having contributed $3,000,000 for NRA-ILA, helping raise $1,200,000 on top of that through the Rock Island Auction Freedom Challenge to support critical election efforts in 2016.
But so what, right? What makes me better than other candidates?
- My livelihood depends on the continued ability to buy and sell guns. This past weekend alone we sold 10,000 guns in four days. I have skin in this game, and I also happen to love it.
- I spearheaded the RIA Freedom Challenge – a viral grassroots campaign to raise funds for the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. I personally matched $1 million dollars and the campaign netted nearly $2.1 million. This effort earned me a spot in the NRA’s Golden Ring of Freedom.
- Defending our rights isn’t enough. We need to take the fight to those who will take our rights. I support the legalization of suppressors in all 50 states. I support the right to own machine guns. I support Constitutional Carry. We have been on defense for too long. It’s about more than simply enjoying a hobby and defending our families and our freedom.
- It’s not just lip service. I am involved in numerous collecting, hunting, and pro-Second Amendment organizations. Here are a few:
- Life Member of the NRA
- NRA Golden Ring of Freedom
- NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum President’s Founders Club
- Life Member of the Dallas Safari Club
- Life Member of Safari Club International
- Life Member of Smith & Wesson Collectors Association
- Life Member of the Colt Collectors Association
- Life Member of the Texas Gun Collectors Association
- International Order of St. Hubertus.
- Illinois State Rifle Association
- California Rifle and Pistol Association
- Texas State Rifle Association
- Pennsylvania Rifle and Pistol Association
- Hunter’s Legacy Fund of SCI
This is my life. I will fight for your firearm freedom tooth and nail. I am young enough to successfully engage a brand new generation of NRA members. They are my peers. My business relies on the ability of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms. There has rarely been a nominee with my qualifications, and I hope this letter earns your consideration and your vote.