As a past president of the NRA, you would think Sandy Froman would be content to ride off into the sunset, spending her free time target shooting and hunting. Not so. Even though Sandy achieved great things during her 2005 to 2007 NRA presidency, she said she still has a lot to give towards protecting the Second Amendment.
At the end of her second term, Sandy was elected to NRA’s Executive Council, which is comprised of past presidents. Though prestigious, the Executive Council carries a lifetime appointment sans the ability to vote. Sandy, who was the second woman president in the organization’s 139-year history, decided she still wanted a voice and a vote and is running for another three-year term on NRA’s board of directors.
Sandy hasn’t slowed down one whit, declaring she’s not ready for the “old goats club,” an affectionate term used to describe the Executive Council. Armed with a PDA bearing more contacts than the south has fire ants, her mission is to continue building on those relationships with the industry, donors and members through Friends of the NRA. To that end, she accepts many speaking engagements throughout the year.
During her presidency, Sandy cited her work restructuring the advancement office and enhancing NRA Foundation’s fund raising ability as something that made her most proud. When she joined the board in 1992, efforts to launch their endowment program had just begun. During that time, her work on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees led them from living paycheck to paycheck to building the kind of financial stability that allowed them to enhance training programs for safety, marksmanship, hunting and more as well as a multitude of programs for youth and women. She continues to play an important role in working with donors to ensure there’s always a nest egg. As Sandy said, work to protect the Second Amendment is all for not if there aren’t opportunities to exercise that right.
Working for Women
Though standing only 5 feet 2 inches tall, Sandy is not the kind of woman who is easily intimidated by anything or anyone. A Harvard Law school grad and top gun attorney in L.A., she is now a practicing business litigation attorney running her own firm in Tucson, Ariz. However, in 1981 an attempted break-in at her Hollywood Hills home convinced the new divorcée she needed to defend herself. So she took a gun safety course and bought a Colt M 1911 pistol. And even though some of the hotshot lawyers in her L.A. firm were anti-gun and stopped talking to Sandy, the female secretaries and paralegals would pull her aside for a little gun talk. They wanted to learn but were scared to ask until they found a woman who wasn’t afraid to talk about her support of gun ownership.
Fast forward to now and women are snapping up handguns and taking training courses like their lives depend on it. Today’s woman is not interested in abdicating responsibility for her own protection. Sandy, who helped develop NRA’s Refuse to Be a Victim program, said these women are enthusiastic, determined students who recognize handguns are an important self-defense tool. While prison may not deter hardened criminals, the possibility of encountering someone who is armed and trained to protect themselves, will make them think twice.
While Sandy has enjoyed target shooting for many years, in 2001 she discovered a new wonderful way to enjoy firearms — hunting! Her first trip was with friend and mentor Brenda Potterfield of MidwayUSA. Sandy said Brenda coaxed her into a pheasant/chukar hunt by sharing photos of her hunting trips. While Sandy said she wasn’t sure how she’d feel killing an animal, when she shot her first bird, she was amazed at the beauty of it and captivated by the fun of wingshooting. That night, Brenda fixed roast pheasant, morel mushrooms picked from her Missouri farm and asparagus from her garden. Sandy was hooked.
Since that first hunt, Sandy has traveled to Africa with a group of women and said it was a life-changing experience. Everything was new and exciting, and she sopped up every sight, sound and smell. She has hunted seven states and three continents, including a return trip to Africa in 2008. Next on her agenda is caribou hunting in Alaska. That love of hunting translated into her encouragement of the hunting component of NRA’s Women on Target Program.
Sandy said she believes women can be a significant force in protecting the Second Amendment. Just as she was a different kind of NRA president than her predecessor Charlton Heston, women have a unique ability to get their point across. As an example, Sandy said years ago her husband tried to set an appointment with a congressman to discuss gun rights but was rebuffed. However, when she called, she got the appointment, possibly as a matter of courtesy. Though it may be sexism in reverse, it can get your foot in the door.
Sandy also noted that women play an important role in gun rights issues because of they often determine what activities the kids do after school, where the family goes on vacation and how they spend their disposable income. Even if women don’t necessarily want to shoot, Sandy found those she has met at NRA’s annual meeting respect the organization’s message of freedom and the right to keep and bear arms. You can see for yourself at this year’s NRA meeting, which is being hosted in Charlotte, N.C., May 14-16).
“NRA is a big tent. It doesn’t matter why you want to be a part,” Sandy said. “Maybe you’re interested in shooting, hunting or want self defense training. Or maybe you just believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”