NewsMax: The 100 Most Influential Pro-Gun Rights Advocates

NewsMax put together a list of the top 100 most influential pro-gun rights advocates. While it was a valiant effort, there were some notable snubs, important people omitted from the list, along with some real head-scratchers, people who had really no right being on the list.

To be fair to Newsmax, I’m not going to paste the entire article below, instead, I’ll give you their top 25:

1. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and an outspoken opponent of government efforts at gun control, famous for the quote, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

2. Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, a 300,000-member gun rights organization.

Trump at #3 -- really?!

Trump at #3 — really?!

3. Donald Trump, billionaire businessman and Republican presidential candidate, has come out strongly for gun owners’ rights and says he has a gun permit.

4. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., presidential candidate and strong gun rights supporter who vowed, “We will not let the liberals tread on the Second Amendment!”

5. Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska, vice presidential candidate, and a hunter and gun owner, who addressed the 2013 NRA Convention.

6. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who strongly opposes bans on assault weapons and the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, which would affect the firearms industry.

7. Col. Oliver North, political commentator and television host, who appeared in an “I’m the NRA” advertisement.

8. David Keene, former NRA chairman from 2011 to 2013, former chairman of the American Conservative Union, and an outspoken proponent of gun owners’ rights.

9. Dudley Brown, executive director of the National Association for Gun Rights, which he calls the “no compromise” gun lobby.

10. Robert K. Brown, publisher of Soldier of Fortune Magazine, director/member of the NRA Executive Committee for two years, and past member of the Public Affairs and Finance Committees.

11. David Clarke, sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, who urged residents to arm themselves for self-protection and vowed to resist federal gun control measures.

12. John Lott, economist who published “More Guns, Less Crime,” called the “Bible of the gun rights movement.”

13. Glenn Beck, radio and television personality who opposes the Obama Administration’s anti-gun attitude and wrote the book “Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns.”

14. Mark Levin, conservative talk radio host and Constitutional attorney, a gun owner and strong supporter of the Second Amendment.

15. Tina Pattison, president of Hunt of a Lifetime, a nonprofit organization which grants hunting and fishing dreams for children who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.

16. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who opposes expansion of government controls on firearms.

17. John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., who has opposed the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty and warned of its dangers to Americans’ right to bear arms.

Gov. Rick Perry gives a speech during the Texas GOP Convention in Fort Worth, Texas on Thursday, June, 5, 2014. In his address, the longest-serving governor in the state's history focused more on the future and national issues than his political legacy at home. (AP Photo/Rex C. Curry)

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a fiery supporter of the 2A and a 2016 presidential candidate.  (AP Photo/Rex C. Curry)

18. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, an avid hunter and gun owner who once shot a coyote that attacked his dog while they were out walking.

19. Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, an NRA member, who supported bills allowing open and campus carry of firearms in the Lone Star State.

20. Sean Hannity, conservative Fox News TV host who is a registered gun owner in New York and opposes gun control measures.

21. Alex Jones, radio host and head of, who confronted CNN host Piers Morgan about the British broadcaster’s support for gun control.

22. Ben Shapiro, editor-at-large of Breitbart News, who is a strong supporter of the right to bear arms.

23. Ted Nugent, rock star, avid hunter, and outspoken supporter of gun rights, who often brings his guns onstage with him during concerts.

24. Clint Eastwood, actor, director, producer, artist, and former mayor of Carmel, California, who has said “I have a very strict gun control policy. If there is a gun around, I want to control it.”

25. Chuck Norris, the internationally famed martial artist, actor, and star of “Walker, Texas Ranger,” is an NRA member and honorary chairman of the NRA’s “Trigger the Vote” campaign.

Read the rest by clicking here.

The fact that Donald Trump shows up in the number 3 spot is a telltale sign that the list is flawed.  While Trump may be the GOP’s frontrunner for president in 2016, he is far from a gun guy or a gun-rights advocate.  Back in 2000, while he was considering running for president as part of the Reform Party, Trump wrote this about firearms:

“I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within seventy-two hours if a potential gun owner has a record.”

Sure, there is no doubt that his position has evolved on the issue since 2000, and he now probably opposes banning black rifles, but even so, to rank him #3 — or any spot at all for that matter — on the list of the top 100 most influential pro-gun rights advocates is absurd.  That’s like ranking Bill Cosby #3 on the list of celebrities you want your daughter to date (okay, not that bad, but you get the idea; it’s poor placement).

While Trumps inclusion is baffling, equally perplexing is leaving off Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Gottlieb and his organizations have done wonders to advance the 2A.  In fact, it was Gottlieb and his superstar attorney Alan Gura (another notable omission from the list) that spearheaded the landmark Supreme Court rulings on D.C. v. Heller and Chicago v. McDonald, which together solidified that the Second Amendment was an individual right, not one subject to militia service, and that bans on handguns were unconstitutional.

Without Gottlieb, Gura, the SAF, and the CCRKBA, our right to keep and bear arms would not be what it is today.   In short, any list of influential gun-rights activist needs to include those fellas.

That said, what are your thoughts about NewsMax’s list?

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Judge Johnston August 12, 2015, 9:35 pm

    On the top 25 on the list, Ted Cruz, John Lott and Rand Paul are the only ones who should be there, I love watching Larry Pratt argue with Piers Morgan but has he ever accomplished anything? Frankly, I think Ted Nugent is a turn off to many people. The, Alex Jones America’s #1 conspiracy thinker.. wow,

    I made a similar comment to yours but more involved because I know Alan Gura and consider him a friend.
    There is no way to explain how important both the Heller and the McDonald cases are. For that, the entire legal team should be in the top 10, which includes: Alan Gura, Clark Neily, III (Institute for Justice) and Bob Levy. Bob, who was with the Cato Institute at the time was not even a “gun person” but knew what we all think about the 2nd Amendment was correct, rounded up these fine lawyers and got the ball rolling. Add to this hall of fame Dick Heller and the late Otis McDonald. I was involved in some high profile political cases before I was on the bench. The lead plaintiff often comes in for a lot of abuse.. One man or woman who agrees to help you often comes under a terrible political attack that we in the legal world can’t imagine. I will again mention Alan Gottlieb who opened the check book when times were tough. Alan has never bragged on his roll never sold-shirts and ties claiming the win. The win is good enough..

    Someone or something of which I am a life member and an instructor should be hiding in shame is Wayne LaPierre and all involved at the NRA. They tried to stop the Heller lawsuit, they filed a competing lawsuit, then tried to get Bob Levey to take Alan Gura off the case. I assume they are not used to dealing with men of principles because Bob Levy does not operate that way. He was not going to reward Alan Gura for his brilliant and hard work by firing him before oral arguments before SCOTUS. Then the ultimate sham was their next magazine edition featured the Heller case as if they thought it up and funded it.,
    Last year, Alan Gura came to Mobile, Alabama to speak to a group I am a member of. Despite being a Yankee, he was a perfect gentleman and a nice man. He took at least 45 minutes of questions after his nearly one hour talk, then a line form for individual questions, and I am not sure what else. I went up to Alan, knowing he had been up since 4:30 am and whispered to him “Let me get you out of here.” His response was: ‘No, they have all come out and I don’t mind staying until they have all their questions answered.”

    I can truly say after serving as a circuit judge for the state of Alabama for 18 years, Alan Gura is the most intelligent lawyers I have ever had the pleasure to know. Clark Neily is a close 2nd. I am afraid that the poll of the “100 most influential people in the Gun Rights Movement” tells me a lot more about those who participated in the poll than the gentlemen I have discussed.

  • loupgarous August 8, 2015, 7:20 pm

    Donald Trump has no place on this list because he’s proven before both in his business practices and his prior public pronouncements that he’ll say what he thinks will get him more attention. He HAS no influence among serious-minded people. He’s never done as much as run for city council in New York, and he has been lavish with his financial support of Hillary Clinton’s political campaigns, which led to her getting the UN Small Arms Treaty pushed through. What Trump has DONE matters more than what he’s said – dating Hillary with his checkbook may well cost Americans some or all of their gun rights.

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