MA NRA affiliate holding a women’s gun summit this weekend, co-sponsored by your tax dollars

This weekend a two-day event titled “Massachusetts Women’s Leadership and Firearms Summit” is being by co-sponsored by Gun Owners Action League (GOAL.) GOAL is the NRA affiliate organization that filed a lawsuit against Maura Healey seeking to overturn the MA assault weapon ban.

The State Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is also a co-sponsor and they will be hosting at their  headquarters in Westboro.

On their home page, GOAL describes itself as a two-pronged organization:

For over 40 years GOAL has provided a leading voice for sportsmen and women, gun owners and conservation efforts, on Beacon Hill and across the state.
We provide public education and advocacy leadership to ensure protection of the environment, wildlife, and your civil rights. From town hall to the State House, we are there for you.

The first day of the event, described on its registration form, is a day of classes at the Fish and Wildlife facility.  The classes are designed to teach women about using and shooting guns, self defense, and about MA gun laws, including how to advocate for pro-gun-rights positions.

The agenda includes a class titled “How to talk with non-gun owners/Opposition and Advocacy.”

The class will certainly gain support for GOAL’s lobbying work.  But this is being taught in a MA state office, as part of a program sponsored by a state division.  There is no information about who is doing the teaching.  Will a state employee be teaching this class?

This is the first time this event has taken place and thus the first time the group has used the state facility for such an event.  Is this a new practice?

The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is a division of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA.)

Let’s make another note here, whether related or unrelated, it is interesting.

Much to the distress of many people concerned about our gun-safety laws in MA, last summer Governor Charlie Baker appointed the president of GOAL as the commissioner of another division of EEA, Fish and Game.

Ronald Amidon, a known gun-rights advocate, left his job in construction to take this position, considered a powerful position in the fishing and hunting community.  According to a MassLive  article:

For the past few years Amidon has been working at McCourt Construction as a construction superintendent on the Whittier Bridge project along Interstate 95, according to Steve Frick, vice president of operations at McCourt. Frick said Amidon has worked for the company for four years.
A LinkedIn profile for Amidon said he was general manager for Deloury Construction, where he overhauled business processes. The profile said he had management positions at The Case Companies, J. Derenzo Construction, and Marois Bros. in addition to starting his own company.

Anyone who is familiar with ethics laws will tell you, if you have to ask if an action is a violation of ethics, then it may have the appearance of an ethics violation regardless of whether it violates ethics.  Often the advice is simple,  reconsider your actions.

Considering that GOAL has positioned itself in a legal fight against our Attorney General and is also known as a strong lobbying presence on Beacon Hill, a division of state government co-sponsoring their weekend event doesn’t feel right.

Contact Charlie Baker’s office if you feel the same way;  all of his contact information is on this page.

Thanks to a perSister who follows our Facebook page for sharing information about this weekend summit with us.  Our followers are a growing resource.

 

Ron Amidon’s name is not on his division’s webpage on the mass.gov website. His contact information isn’t there and there are very few photos of him online.

This was the photo used in all most stories about his appointment:

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