Tombstone, Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- Rights supporters from around the state and country will gather on the grounds of the Arizona State Capital in Phoenix on Saturday, February 18th, 2023, to celebrate the Second Amendment and those who honor and protect it. This is our 10th annual event and draws between 2,000 and 3,000 people each year.
Surprisingly to many, the event isn’t a project of any state or national gun rights group but rather is hosted by a motorcycle group, Riders USA, which bills itself, not as a motorcycle riding club but as an activist organization comprised of people who ride motorcycles. They focus on educating the public and influencing public officials regarding liberty and the preservation of our constitutional republic.
The annual rally in Phoenix draws support, speakers, and exhibitors from gun rights groups, liberty and Constitution-focused groups, gun-friendly businesses, local and national politicians, and thousands of Second Amendment supporters.
I am honored, once again this year, to be a speaker and co-MC of the event, along with my dear friend Cheryl Todd, who is really the powerhouse behind making this event such a success. Cheryl and her husband Danny own and operate Pot of Gold Estate Auctions and AZ Firearms Auctions and are co-hosts of Gun Freedom Radio, Arizona’s local gun-friendly radio show. Cheryl and her team put together a great lineup of speakers each year and do a great job of helping to promote the event.
While the Riders USA 2nd Amendment Rally is the longest-running and most successful rally in Arizona’s long, proud Second Amendment history, it wasn’t the first. A few years ago, a friend sent me a photo of my father, Neal Knox, at a rally at the Arizona State Capital back in 1989.
Along with my father in the photo was the then Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, Larry Pratt, and one of the organizers of that rally, Curtis Todd, Danny Todd’s father. I really love that Cheryl, Danny, and I represent the second generation of leadership in the Second Amendment movement in our great state. Maybe next year, we’ll be able to get Larry Pratt and his son Erich, the current Executive Director of GOA, to join us for the rally and a new picture.
It’s worrisome that even here in Arizona, with our proud history and tradition of responsible gun ownership and firearm use (our great state flag was originally designed by and for our Territorial Rifle Team before we became a state), we are facing threats from anti-rights forces. Unfortunately, the right to arms has somehow become a partisan political issue, with one party actively opposing our rights. At the same time, the other party gives great lip service but has way too many wafflers and compromisers in their ranks.
Even though Arizona is consistently ranked among the top states for gun owner rights and freedom – coming in at Number 1 in most rankings – we can only maintain that position – and make it even better – by making our voices heard loud and clear.
This is a family-friendly event, including face painting and a Junior Patriots Park sponsored by Great States Alliance. There will be food trucks and booths featuring political swag, T-shirts, flags, hand-crafts, and information on political and community organizations and services. Open carry is invited, and there’s always a broad array of rights supporters in attendance, running the gamut from folks dressed up in period costumes from the 1700s, carrying muskets (and “modern muskets” like locally made rifles from Patriot Ordinance Factory and Ruger), to folks in suits and ties, to guys decked out in their full tactical gear. Most just come in casual dress, usually leaning to the patriotic side and frequently sporting their favorite sidearms. And, of course, everyone is friendly, polite, welcoming, and enthusiastic. It’s a celebration of the rights we share and a call to protect those rights and restore what’s been lost.
Everything kicks off at 8:30 in the morning in Encanto Park, where folks will gather for a motorcycle ride to the Capital. The rally at the Capital officially begins at 10:00 AM and ends at 2:00 PM. This year’s event honors the memory of our good friend Dave Kopp, one of the founders of the Arizona Citizens Defense League and it’s long-time lobbyist. Dave was also a proud member of Riders USA. His death last year was a blow to all of us.
I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of old friends and meeting a lot of new ones. Please come if you can, and be sure to keep an eye on the event’s Facebook page for video coverage of the speeches.
Speaking of old friends, here are just a few who are scheduled to attend and speak:
- Alan Gottlieb, Founder of the Second Amendment Foundation
- Representative Andy Biggs, who represents Congressional District 5 in the US House
- Tony Simon, the guy behind DiversityShoot.com
- John Correia, firearms trainer and popular YouTube host of Active Self Protection
- AWR Hawkins, writer for Breitbart News
- Mark Walters, host of Armed American Radio
- Antonia Okafor, speaker, trainer, and an all-around package of awesomeness
- Scott Prior, from the Arizona Chapter of the Liberal Gun Club
- And many more.
It’s going to be a great day, and the weather is almost always perfect, so if you’re in Arizona or can get here, come on out and join us. The event is free, but freedom never is. The more we stand up now and make our voices heard, the lower the chances that we – or our kids or grandkids – will have to stand up later to regain lost rights.
Don’t miss it.
About Jeff Knox:
Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father Neal Knox led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.
The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona, and Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org.