John Harris Discusses Upcoming Gun Owners Association Event, How the Organization Differs from the NRA

John Harris

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed John Harris, founder of the Tennessee Firearms Association, in-studio to announce his upcoming event and discuss the difference between the Gun Owners Association and the NRA.

Leahy: We are joined in-studio by our very good friend. John, I think I’ve known you for 25 years, at least.

Harris: Oh, every bit of it.

Leahy: And you are the head of the Tennessee Firearms Association, and one of the very first advertisers ever on The Tennessee Star.

Harris: Probably one of the first five.

Leahy: Yeah, absolutely. So thank you so much for that, for helping launch us five and a half years ago. You have a big event coming up in September. As it turns out it’s with the Gun Owners Association.

Harris: Correct. Right.

Leahy: We have a little blurb, a little description of that event with one of the VPs of the Gun Owners Association.

(Advertisement plays)

The Supreme Court says it’s a right, but Tennessee’s legislature does not. This is Eric Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America, and I’m coming to Tennessee on Saturday, September 3rd, to speak at the Tennessee Firearms Association’s PAC annual luncheon.

I plan to speak about the infringements on your Second Amendment rights and what you can do to remove them. I need you to be at this event. So go to That’s for more information or to purchase tickets.

Leahy: Well, there you go. So tell us about this event, John.

Harris: The Tennessee Firearms Association has been around, as we’ve discussed before, since 1995. And there’s a separate entity, because of the way state law works, called the Tennessee Firearms Association Legislative Action Committee.

Leahy: Write this down. On the web at  And I’m looking at this, “save the date.” I’m going to go to this event, by the way. Save the date. Saturday, September 3, 2022. Tell us a little bit about the event.

Harris: It is our annual PAC fundraiser. It’s how this organization, a grassroots group, raises money to support candidates for the State House and in some instances, candidates for governor. We did back Mae Beavers when she ran a few years ago.

Leahy: Back in 2018.

Harris: Correct. And some of it is with direct contributions to their races. Some of it is by making independent expenditures, mailers, running radio spots, things like that, even billboards.

Leahy: We love it when you run radio spots.

Harris: (Laughs) I know. It’s a good thing, isn’t it? (Laughter) It keeps the lines of communication open.

Leahy: Although, between now and a week from today when the election is held, we have no inventory available. All the political candidates want to run ads.

Harris: I don’t doubt it one bit, because I was listening as I was driving in this morning, it sounded like just an absolute Niagara flood of political ads.

Leahy: We like it. We like it. Keep those ads coming in, folks!

Harris: So the event, like I said, it’s our annual fundraiser. It is a barbecue luncheon. We are bringing in Erich Pratt, who is the senior vice president for Gun Owners of America, to talk with us about national Second Amendment issues.

We also have a live gun auction, but we’ll also auction off other items. We’ve got a really nice guided duck hunt this year up on Reelfoot Lake, a vacation home down in Florida for a couple of nights, a broad spectrum of things. But what it is, is if you want to find hardcore conservatives in Tennessee, you’ll find them at this event.

Leahy: What’s interesting, and we’ve talked about this before, John, is the difference between the Gun Owners Association and the National Rifle Association. You’re not a big fan of the National Rifle Association.

Harris: There are some things that it does well, like firearms training and range development, but in the area of political engagement and fashioning public policy, they have done a horrible job in Tennessee, and nationally, for a number of years. A horrible job.

Leahy: Now, you don’t mince words on that.

Harris: No doubt about it. They do more damage than good.

Leahy: The Gun Owners Association. What’s the story on them? Rather, the Gun Owners of America.

Harris: Gun Owners of America is doing much more of what should be done in terms of Second Amendment advocacy. They refuse to negotiate with Republicans or Democrats who are compromisers. They want to see the Second Amendment restored to the language that it has, shall not be infringed.

Listen to the interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “John Harris” by John Harris.









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