Sandy Froman — NRA Past President and Lady Huntress
Sandy Froman is a past president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), only the second woman to ever hold that position. Froman grew up in a “gun-free” home in San Francisco, California but now lives in Arizona. Sandy, an attorney with a J.D. from Harvard Law School, is a staunch advocate of the Second Amendment and has promoted pro-Second Amendment legislation.
A member of the NRA Board of Directors since 1992, Froman served as second vice president for five years followed by two years as first vice president. In April 2005 she was elected NRA President. She completed her second term in April 2007 and currently serves as a member of the NRA Board of Directors. Froman was elected to The NRA Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 1992 and became The NRA Foundation’s first woman president. She helped establish the Foundation’s permanent endowment, which now exceeds $53 million.
Women are the fastest growing segment in the shooting sports — Why is that?
Froman: Today, women have more responsibility for their day to day lives and the lives of their children than ever before. There are more women who work outside the home. There are more single women and many are single by choice. Women today have a heightened awareness of ordinary crime, of potential domestic violence, and of possible terrorism. Women are becoming more concerned about understanding their choices for personal safety and for defense of their families. This is why more women are buying guns. This is why more women are taking training. This is why more women are getting their concealed carry permits. It’s a change in the culture of our country that is reflected in women’s attitudes and their choices about firearms. I’m a big proponent of women-only firearms classes, but not because I don’t think women can compete with men-they actually compete very well. In an all-female class, women tend to ask different kinds of questions than they would in a co-ed class. Many women come to these classes because they have been a victim of a crime; they have been raped, they have been attacked, beaten, molested. They understand their physical vulnerability, and they want to do something about it. Once they master the basics of mental preparedness, gun handling and marksmanship, they quickly become more confident and go on to competing and hunting and teaching other women. I love seeing women teaching other women informally and supporting other women in the shooting sports.
What words of advice do you have for the future generation of shooters?
Froman: Exercise your Second Amendment rights. My dear friend and former NRA board member, the late David Caplan, warned that rights not exercised cease to exist. If you don’t go to the range and shoot, pretty soon there won’t be shooting ranges. There won’t be places to shoot. If there aren’t places to shoot, there won’t be guns. Guns will be collectibles — things under glass that future historians will talk about: “People actually used to shoot these things”. So I tell folks: Support ranges. Support your gun clubs and gun stores. Support The NRA Foundation. You know why the NRA is so successful? ““Each of us, one by one, together” — Wayne LaPierre says this all the time. You have to go out and do something if you want to be part of the solution.
When did you become a huntress?
Froman: When I was an officer of NRA, I met Larry and Brenda Potterfield of Midway USA. One afternoon on a break from a meeting, I went shoe shopping with Brenda. [Laughs] We were hunting for shoes! And this ties in with the Potterfields since they hosted the first Friends of NRA event in Columbia, Missouri, in 1992. Brenda and I got to know each other and she showed me photos of her family trips to Africa and the animals they hunted. I was intrigued by these pictures of this beautiful, intelligent, well-dressed woman in her hunting clothes with the exotic wild animals she had hunted. I was fascinated by this contrast-here was a cultured, sophisticated woman who loved hunting! Later Brenda invited me to her farm to go pheasant hunting. I had never shot an animal and so at first I wasn’t sure how I would feel about shooting a pheasant. Well, I shot my first pheasant, and I was immediately hooked on hunting. I was invited back to the Potterfield’s farm go wild turkey hunting with Brenda’s husband Larry. Soon after I went to one of the very first Women On Target hunts in Texas. It was a wild pig hunt, so I shot my first mammal. Hunting provides the excitement and satisfaction of being able to hunt animals and eat what you’ve harvested — and I’ve eaten everything I’ve hunted except for this one very nasty, old European mouflon sheep. After I downed the sheep, and asked my guide where I should take the meat for processing, he said, “Lady, you don’t want to eat this.” So hunting my own food has been truly an educational experience for a girl who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.
What role do you see the NRA playing in the next 10 years?
Froman: Broadening our base to include and grow the changing demographic of Americans — younger women and minorities. Critics say that NRA membership is only middle-aged white guys. If you look at our members and supporters you will see that is not true. While we still have our traditional membership base, the face of the NRA has changed dramatically over the past 10 years. A lot of new members are women and minorities, and the new members tend to be younger and less rural than in the past. Families are raising their kids to know that firearm ownership in America is part of our culture and we need to keep driving that.
Do you have a favorite quote?
Froman: One is by Judge Alex Kozinski of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, regarding the Second Amendment:
“The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed – where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.”