Rock Island Auction Freedom Challenge
After attending the 2016 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits in Louisville, Kentucky, Pat and Kevin Hogan returned to their business, Rock Island Auction Company®, with a motivation to help protect the right of Americans to own firearms. Pat Hogan founded the company in 1993 and it has since grown into the world's top firearm auction house for world class collectible and antique firearms, leading the industry for more than a decade.
"The long and short of it is, that if we do not act now, some firearms businesses may not exist at all, ourselves included," says Pat Hogan. "So very much hangs in the balance of this election year and I don't want to look back and wish I could've done more." Out of this desire to act, and to help inspire the millions of gun owners across this nation to come together, the Hogans have issued the Rock Island Auction Freedom Challenge.
The Rock Island Auction Freedom Challenge is a viral grass-roots campaign that attempts to raise funds and awareness for Second Amendment rights. The Hogans have pledged to match $1 million dollars in donations for this important campaign, doubling the impact donors would normally have. Kevin Hogan elaborates, "We're not donating a million dollars because we want to. We're not doing it because we can. We're donating because we have to. It's not like we have that money sitting around! We're digging deep and giving until it hurts for something we believe in, and we want others to do the same. Give until it hurts because it could be the last time you have the opportunity to support the Second Amendment."
The rights of legal firearm owners are under barrage on an almost daily basis at both the state and federal levels, and the opponents of these rights are more organized and better funded than ever before. Combined with a pending presidency and Supreme Court Justice selection, the environment is anything but certain for those who legally own guns.
"During the process, we thought about all the gun owners that don't fit the typical 'gun owner' mold," recalls Kevin Hogan. "There are tens of millions of gun owners in America that own firearms for many different reasons. They all want to keep their guns, so how can we reach out and unify so many different owners with a common purpose?" The idea that won was to let gun owners tell their own story of why their firearms are important to them. Whether it's a strong hunting tradition in the family, a love of the recreational shooting sports, defending themselves or their family, or the passion of the historical collector, each person would be able to state why they don't want their rights legislated away bit by bit.
"If you have a gun and you want to continue to legally own it, then this challenge is for you," states Hogan.
The Rock Island Auction Freedom Challenge encourages people to accept an issued challenge, record a video featuring either their favorite firearm or stating why firearm ownership is personally important, challenging friends to do the same, and making a donation to RIAFreedomChallenge.com. It is not necessary to receive a challenge to participate. Hogan also hopes that the challenge, "will show the vast diversity of firearms owners in this country and that, regardless of social sphere or reason for owning, we can all come together to help preserve this important right."
The goal of reaching beyond traditional gun owners is an important one. The NRA often touts its 5 million members, but that number is dwarfed in relation to the number of gun owners in America, conservatively estimated around 100 million. Proceeds and the $1 million dollar match from the Freedom Challenge will be donated to the NRA-ILA, the lobbying arm of the NRA that has successfully defended not only gun rights, but many issues revolving around firearms such as hunting, wildlife conservation, and criminal justice reform. For more information on the Rock Island Auction Freedom Challenge, please visit www.RIAFreedomChallenge.com.
This is the first step towards defending your rights! "I accept the Freedom Challenge to protect my 2nd Amendment freedom and to defend... (Fill in the blank and show what you are defending, whether you are defending your family, your gun, your home, your freedom of speech, yourself, etc...)"
Have fun with this! The message is simple and you should be creative! Press record, show what you are "Defending". Call out three or more people to take the challenge and raise awareness and money to fight for freedom within 24 hours. (RIAFreedomChallenge.com).
Post your video to the Web using any and all of your social media platforms with the hashtag #RIAFreedomChallenge and be proud to know you have taken a stand for the Constitution!
Your video will inspire others to follow. This challenge began with the understanding that our liberties are at stake and donating to RIAFreedomChallenge.com is our country's best chance at defending those freedoms. Remember, every dollar raised will be matched up to $1,000,000.00 by Rock Island to support NRA-ILA.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the #RIAFreedomChallenge? Kevin and Pat Hogan, of Rock Island Auction, want to inspire freedom-loving individuals to take part in the Rock Island Freedom Challenge. The Freedom Challenge, found at RIAFreedomChallenge.com is a viral grassroots campaign that aims to raise awareness and financial support for NRA-ILA.
Why Create the #RIAFreedomChallenge? The founders of the challenge believe 2016 is the most important year we've seen in a generation or more. The attack on the Second Amendment is clear; many politicians, government officials and members of the media look to destroy our Constitutional rights. The Supreme Court's greatest Second Amendment advocate – Justice Scalia – has passed away, leaving a vacancy on the Court that the next president will fill. Simply put, our firearm and other freedoms hang in the balance and it will take an army of us to take a stand.
How to take the #RIAFreedomChallenge? Freedom Challenge participants are asked to create a video to post on their social media accounts and donate to RIAFreedomChallenge.com; for every dollar donated, Rock Island will match up to $1,000,000.00 to benefit NRA-ILA. At the end of the video, participants will call out at least three people to post their own video and donate to RIAFreedomChallenge.com within 24 hours. The campaign will be pushed through participants' social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #RIAFreedomChallenge. With your help we can provide the financial support and awareness NRA-ILA needs to protect our rights.