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Supported Research
(Previous Years)

The NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund also distributes to libraries, public defender services, and other persons free books and law review articles for educational purposes, provides research grants, and conducts a student writing contest and law student scholarship writing contest. Such activities are a public benefit. The recipients of research grants have resulted in the publication of scholarly writings, which end up in the public domain. Recent activities in this area include the following:

  • At September 15, 2006, meeting a $10,000 grant was given for the 2006 Second Amendment Symposium at George Mason University Law School (Virginia).
  • At September 15, 2006, meeting a $53,000 research grant was given to Independence Institute.
  • At September 15, 2006, meeting $5,000 research grant on Right to Hunt was given to (Stephen P. Halbrook, Ph.D.
  • At September 15, 2006, meeting $5,000 research and writing grant to David Hardy.
  • At September 15, 2006, meeting $9,000 educational grant for Second Amendment Documentary Film (David Hardy). The grant is to be taken from accumulated earnings of the Catherine Post Woodring Educational Scholarship Trust. The trust is restricted to educational purposes.
  • At January 5, 2007, meeting $10,000 for National Firearms Law Seminar to be taken from the Catherine Post Woodring Educational Scholarship Trust.
  • At January 5, 2007, meeting $2,500 for Junior and Senior Student Writing Contest from the Catherine Post Woodring Educational Scholarship Trust.
  • At January 5, 2007, meeting $5,000 for Second Amendment weblog (also known as blog) (David Hardy) to be taken from the Catherine Post Woodring Educational Scholarship Trust.
  • At January 5, 2007, meeting $7,500 for Research & Writing Grant Law Review Project (David Hardy).
  • At January 5, 2007, meeting $45,000 to Independence Institute Research Grant (David B. Kopel).
  • At April 13, 2007, meeting $40,000 Independence Institute Research Grant (David B. Kopel) from Catherine Post Woodring Educational Scholarship Trust
  • At April 13, 2007, meeting $60,000 education grant for a book to The Independent Institute of Oakland, California. This book is The Founders' Second Amendment by Stephen P. Halbrook. The book will be published by the Stanford University Press.
  • At April 13, 2007, meeting $6,000 to Don Kates of Washington State for research project on Parker v. District of Columbia. $7,500 grant to James H. Warner of Maryland for research and preparation of amicus curiae brief in Parker v. District of Columbia.
  • At September 14, 2007, meeting an educational grant of $10,000 was provided for right to hunt project to Stephen P. Halbrook.
  • At September 14, 2007, meeting an educational grant of $15,500 was provided to David T. Hardy analysis of book on right to bear arms and response thereto in William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, for an analysis of case law on standing and an article on standing in the Thomas Jefferson Law Review, and research of U.S. Supreme Court papers.
  • At September 14, 2007, meeting a research grant of $65,000 (from the Catherine Post Woodring Trust) to Independence Institute (David Kopel). Also, a $10,000 education grant for a book by Kopel, Galland & Eisen.
  • An educational grant of $15,000 was provided at the April 25, 2003, meeting. It has resulted in the publication of a book: Clayton E. Cramer, Armed America: The Remarkable Story of How and Why Guns Became as American as Apple Pie (2007).
  • At January 4, 2008, meeting $10,000 for National Firearms Law Seminar.
  • At January 4, 2008, meeting $117,000 Independence Institute Research Grant (David B. Kopel).
  • At January 4, 2008, meeting $10,000 research and writing grant to David Hardy.
  • At January 4, 2008, meeting $16,000 grant for self-defense amicus brief in District of Columbia v. Heller and law review articles writing project for James Warner.
  • At the January 9, 2015, meeting $15,000 grant to David Hardy to fund various Second Amendment research and writing projects.
  • At the January 9, 2015, meeting $10,000 Second Amendment research and writing grant (David Hardy).
  • At the January 9, 2015, meeting $2,500 FFL Defense Research Center grant.
  • At the January 9, 2015 meeting; $50,000 to Office of the NRA General Counsel to fund a law clerk position.
  • At the April 10, 2015, meeting; $25,000 grant to the Independent Institute of Oakland for a book/communication project entitled Gun Rights 2.0: Protecting the Cornerstone of a Free Society, by Stephen Halbrook.
  • At the April 10, 2015, meeting; $6,000 grant to David Hardy for the purpose of performing research at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library regarding that administration's documents on firearms policy.
  • At the April 10, 2015 meeting; $1,500 grant to David Hardy for the purpose of retrieving, organizing, and donating Mike McNulty's Waco cover-up files to a university in Texas whose library is building a collecting on the Waco matter.
  • At the April 10, 2015 meeting; $15,000 grant to David Hardy to fund various Second Amendment research and writing projects.
  • At the September 11, 2015 meeting; $20,000 grant to David Hardy to fund various Second Amendment research and writing projects.
  • At the September 11, 2015 meeting; $6,000 grant to David Hardy to fund litigation against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) arising out of his FOIA requests.

An educational grant of $15,000 was provided at the April 25, 2003, meeting. It has resulted in the publication of a book: Clayton E. Cramer, Armed America: The Remarkable Story of How and Why Guns Became as American as Apple Pie (2007).

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Papers were submitted for the 2015 academic year writing contest by students enrolled in an elementary, junior high, or high school. Winners were selected by a committee made up of NRA Assistant General Counsel Skipp Galythly, NRA Assistant General Counsel Morgan Shields, Paralegal Emily Freeman, and Paralegal Steven Brantley. The Fund received 546 Senior entries and 34 Junior entries for 580 total essays. Prizes are awarded, in each category, as follows: First Place, $1,000; Second Place, $600; Third Place, $200; and Fourth Place, $100.

Congratulations to the following 2015 Winners!

Senior Category (Grades 9 through 12)
First Place
Bianca Antunez, Miami, FL
Second Place
Jaycey Beard, Eagle, CO
Third Place
Ian Nathaniel Peterson, Sharpsburg, GA
Fourth Place
Joshua Hano, Fitchburg, WI
Honorable Mentions
Jenna Tomarelli, Limerick, PA
Paige Bain-Vrba, Abrams, WI

Junior Category (Grades 8 and below)
First Place
Rachel Becker, Boyceville, WI
Second Place
Sylvia Nica, Cincinnati, OH
Third Place
James Corley Sanders, Trout, LA
Fourth Place
Taris Mister, Toledo, OH
Honorable Mentions
Avery Abigail Shope, Fort Mill, SC
Don Loos, Springfield, VA
Esther Woelfel, Cole Camp, MO
Hannah Siegel, Newington, CT
Riley Shope, Fort Mill, SC
Ruth Wallace, Bozeman, MT
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Papers were submitted for the 2013 academic year writing contest by students enrolled in an elementary, junior high, or high school. Winners were selected by a committee made up of NRA Assistant General Counsel Skipp Galythly, Paralegal Noelle Dowd and Paralegal Jackie Husar. The Fund received 387 Senior entries and 48 Junior entries for 435 total essays. Prizes are awarded, in each category, as follows: First Place, $1,000; Second Place, $600; Third Place, $200; and Honorable Mention, $100.

Congratulations to the following 2014 Winners!

Senior Category (Grades 10 through 12)
First Place
James Lochte, Baldwin, MD
Second Place
Katelyn Cerciello, McDonald, PA
Third Place
Dylan Brewer, Flint, MI
Fourth Place

Jacob Thomas, Springfield, TN

Junior Category (Grades 9 and below)
First Place
David Oks, Ardsley, NY
Second Place
Zaiba Khan, East Windsor, CT
Third Place
Nichelle Witt, Faxon, OK
Fourth Place
Colton Copeland, Gaston, NC

Congratulations to the following 2013 Winners!

Senior Category (Grades 10 through 12)
First Place
Samantha Keng, Smyrna, GA
Second Place
Nicole Servais, Green Bay, WI
Third Place
Annette Droddy, Hemphill, TX
Honorable Mention
Jacob Dalen, Westminster, SC

Junior Category (Grades 9 and below)
First Place
Anna Kate Haverly, Mancos, CO
Second Place
Reagan Bush, Roaring Spring, PA
Third Place
Antonio Ferris, Mesa, AZ
Honorable Mention
David Alarcon, Houston, TX
Jake Hodges, Coral Gables, FL
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2012 NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund Youth Essay Contest

Senior Category (Grades 10 through 12)
First Place
Amanda Sopkin, Lakewood, CO
Second Place
Dalton Kalas, Paw Paw, MI
Third Place
Spencer Shaw, Grayson, GA
Honorable Mention
Eli West, Omaha, NE

Junior Category (Grades 9 and below)
First Place
Franklin Hang, San Diego, CA
Second Place
Gabrielle Marie Lewis, Ashburn, Virginia
Third Place
Kennison Blackerby, Waverly, GA
Honorable Mention
Crosslyn Lusk, Plainview, Texas

2011 NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund Youth Essay Contest

Senior Category (Grades 10 through 12)
First Place
Julianne M. LeFebvre
Serena, IL
Second Place
Paige Timberlake
Shenandoah Junction, WV
Third Place
Casey Christensen
Orem, UT
Honorable Mention
Jay Turner
Ashby, MN

Junior Category (Grades 9 and below)
First Place
Elizabeth Telford
Ashburn, VA
Second Place
Frankie Bowers
Escalon, CA
Third Place
John Forest Thweatt
Hisperia, CA
Honorable Mention
Cassandra Miller, Oxford, CT

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2010 NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund Writing Contest

Papers were submitted for the 2010 academic year writing contest by students enrolled in an elementary, junior high or high school. The papers were graded by Attorney Skipp Galythly. In the year 2010, we had 668 Senior entries and 58 Junior entries for 726 total entries. Prizes are awarded, in each category, as follows: First prizes are $1,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds; second prizes, $600 in Savings Bonds; third prizes, $200 in Savings Bonds; and honorable mention, $100 in Savings Bonds.

Senior Category (Grades 10 through 12)
First Place
Caleb Gibson, Lincoln, Montana
Second Place
Rosa Nguyen, West Warwick, Rhode Island
Third Place
Samuel Olm, Benicia, California
Honorable Mention
Rasmeet Singh, Sterling Heights, Michigan

Junior Category (Grades 9 and below)
First Place
Isabella Penola, Cooperstown, New York
Second Place
Scott Ely, Byron Center, Michigan
Third Place
Yanna Gong, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Honorable Mention
Stephanie A. Mitchell, Doylestown, Pennsylvania

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2009 NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund Youth Essay Contest

Papers were submitted for the 2009 contest by students enrolled in an elementary, junior high or high school. Nearly 1,500 essays were submitted for the contest setting a new record for entries. The papers were graded by Attorney Skipp Galythly. The winners were selected by a committee made up of attorneys Skipp Galythly, Matt Bower, Lindsay Charles, and Legal Assistance Ashleigh McFadden.

Senior Category (Grades 10 through 12)
First Place
Alyssa Moore, 12th Simi Valley, CA
Second Place
Caleb Valentine, 11th Grade Aurora, IL
Third Place
Katharine M. Poe , 12th Grade Midlothian, VA
Honorable Mention
Te Chen, 12th Grade Grand Rapids, MI

Junior Category (Grades 9 and below)
First Place
Jessica Busker , 9th Grade
Charlotte, NC
Second Place
Rachel Grech, 9th Grade Fenton, MI
Third Place
Grant Carson, 5th Grade Fairfield, CA
Honorable Mention
Ira Ko, 9th Grade Staten Island, NY

First prizes are $1,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds; second prizes, $600 in Savings Bonds; third prizes, $200 in Savings Bonds; and honorable mention, $100 in Savings Bonds.

Law Student Writing Contest for 2006-2007. The papers were graded by Professor Robert J. Cottrol. The winners were James Andrew Salemme, Duquesne University School of Law; Mary Elizabeth Parrilla, Thomas M. Cooley Law School; and Daniel J. Huyck, University of Minnesota Law School.

Law Student Scholarship Writing Contest for 2006-2007. The papers were graded by Professor Robert J. Cottrol. The winners were Craig M. Hoehns, Oklahoma City University School of Law, and Dylan Orton, University of Idaho College of Law.

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2008 NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund Youth Essay Contest

Papers were submitted for the 2008 contest by students enrolled in an elementary, junior high or high school. Nearly 1,200 essays were submitted for the contest setting a new record for entries. The papers were graded by Attorney Skipp Galythly. The winners were selected by a committee made up of attorneys Skipp Galythly, Matt Bower, Lindsay Charles, and Legal Assistance Ashleigh McFadden.

Senior Category (Grades 10 through 12)
First Place
Henry Hoffman, 12th Grade Batavia, OH
Second Place
William L. Pinson, 12th Grade Colorado Springs, CO
Third Place
Lauren Carolyn McLeod, 12th Grade Sunrise, FL
Honorable Mention
Sophie Arlow, 12th Grade Medina, WA

Junior Category (Grades 9 and below)
First Place
Skyler Gabel, 8th Grade
Cody, WY
Second Place
Stacie L. Kozachuk, 7th Grade Syracuse, NY
Third Place
Corinne Iffland, 8th Grade Jacksonville, FL
Honorable Mention
Vincent Tian, 9th Grade Fremont, CA

First prizes are $1,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds; second prizes, $600 in Savings Bonds; third prizes, $200 in Savings Bonds; and honorable mention, $100 in Savings Bonds.

Law Student Writing Contest for 2006-2007. The papers were graded by Professor Robert J. Cottrol. The winners were James Andrew Salemme, Duquesne University School of Law; Mary Elizabeth Parrilla, Thomas M. Cooley Law School; and Daniel J. Huyck, University of Minnesota Law School.

Law Student Scholarship Writing Contest for 2006-2007. The papers were graded by Professor Robert J. Cottrol. The winners were Craig M. Hoehns, Oklahoma City University School of Law, and Dylan Orton, University of Idaho College of Law.

For more information about submitting an entry to an NRACRDF writing contest, please click here.

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2007 NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund Youth Essay Contest

Papers were submitted for the 2007 contest by students enrolled in an elementary, junior high or high school. Nearly 700 essays were submitted, the second highest total ever received. The papers were graded by Attorney Skipp Galythly.

Senior Category
First Prize
Aaron Middleton of Humble, TX $1,000 savings bond
Second Prize
Anna Roberts of Walnut Shade, MO $600 savings bond
Third Prize
Kenton Sena of Hebron, KY $200 savings bond
Honorable Mention
Mariah Bell of Chehalis, MI $100 savings bond

Junior Category
First Prize
Kelsey Johnson of Billings, MT $1,000 savings bond
Second Prize
Priya Purewal of Irving, TX $600 savings bond
Third Prize
Victoria Gu of Wakefield, RI $200 savings bond
Honorable Mention
Rishi Kapadia of Cerritos, CA $100 savings bond
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2006 NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund Youth Essay Contest

Papers were submitted for the 2006 Civil Rights Defense Fund Youth Essay Contest by students enrolled in elementary or secondary school. The CRDF received an unprecedented 900 essays this year. The papers were graded by Attorney Skipp Galythly with the assistance of Attorneys Sarah Gervase and Matthew Bower and intern Karen Mellor. The winners are as follows:

Senior Category
First Prize
Sunjay K. Gorawara of Buffalo Grove, IL
Second Prize
Katherine Lynn O'Keefe of Pleasant Hill, CA
Third Prize
Benjamin Tannenwald of Overland Park, KS

Honorable Mention
Byrel Mitchell of New Paris, IN

Junior Category
First Prize
Matthew Dlabich of Chester, MD
Second Prize
Kjirstin Almos of Clear Lake, SD
Third Prize
Lisa Liang of Morgantown, WV
Honorable Mention
Abbie Tonello of Sagamore Beach, MA

An additional 100 students received Special Awards for their efforts.

Samantha Allen
Benjamin Anderson
Danielle Austin
Sequoya Balboa
William Ballance-Walsh
Philip Baugh
Elizabeth Beckett
Andrew Bonin
Karissa Brahler
Zachary Bright
Sara Brummer
Bonnie Buckingham
Katie Bush
Aislynn Cannon
Alex Chandler
Molly Cook
Lindsey Cornum
Scott Coryell
Jaclyn Crumbley
Evan Davis
Jason Paul Davis
Tess DeLean
Aryelle Delgado
Anna Lynn Doster
Emily Drewel
Zachary Dunn
Kirk Erickson
Ashley Erskine
Dan Ewert
Sebastian Florez
Kelsey Friedrichsen
David Foster
Matthew Gerken
James Gibson
Alicia Graf
Eric Grant
Lisa Guerra
Abbie Hall
John Hammons
Alexandra Harrison
Clacey Henry
Toni Henry
John Hixson
Rachel Horning
Susan Hwang
Sara Ingle
Matthew Jeppesen
Charles Johnson
Benjamin Johnson
Christine Kim
Andrew Kischner
Stephanie Kover
Jonathan Krisko
Krystal Kunz
Lee Anne LaPlue
Emil Liakhovetski
Kyle MacFarlan
Chelsea Madrang
Wilfred Manzano
J.B. Marek
Andrew Matsumoto
Coy Matthews
Melissa McCann
Melinda McDonald
Michael Mendis
Douglas Menton
Elizabeth Munago
Joseph Muscarella
Adrienne Myers
Thomas Neeck
Lucas Nevola
Sabrina Norton
James Pappas
David Pasquazzi
Sabra Perry
Amber Pratt
Stephen Ragno
Jacob Reed
Kyle Alexander
Stephen Rondone
Ravi Sankar
Grant Scwertzing
Joe Shadduck
Alexander Stephens
Ashley Strain
K. Michelle Springer
Sanaz Talaifar
Ethan Touzjian
Aparajita Tripathi
Jennifer Turri
Jaime Varela
Shannon Veyon
Bill Waldrep
Kevin Wandrei
Jessica Wasson
Meghan White
Emily Williams
Bailey Williams
Kirsten Williamson
Victoria Yee

Law Student Writing Contest for 2006-2007. The papers were graded by Professor Robert J. Cottrol. The winners were James Andrew Salemme, Duquesne University School of Law; Mary Elizabeth Parrilla, Thomas M. Cooley Law School; and Daniel J. Huyck, University of Minnesota Law School.

Law Student Scholarship Writing Contest for 2006-2007. The papers were graded by Professor Robert J. Cottrol. The winners were Craig M. Hoehns, Oklahoma City University School of Law, and Dylan Orton, University of Idaho College of Law.

Law Student Writing Contest for 2005-2006. The papers were graded by Professor Robert J. Cottrol. The winners were, First Place: Peter J. Linken, Fordham University School of Law, $5,000; Second Place: Dylan Orton, University of Idaho College of Law, $3,000; Third Place: Benjamin Shapiro, Harvard Law School, $2,000; Fourth Place tie: Peter Caleb Faerber, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, $1,000; Fourth Place tie: Andrew K. Taylor, Seton Hall University School of Law, $1,000.

Law Student Scholarship Writing Contest for 2005-2006. The papers were graded by Professor Robert J. Cottrol. The winners were Christopher L. Zealand, University of Michigan Law School, first place $12,500; Lindsey L. Kiser, Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University , second place $5,000; Christopher A. George, Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University, third place $2,500.

Northern Illinois College of Law Writing Contest for 2005. The papers were graded by Attorney Skipp Galythly. The winners were Carrie Lynn P. Vine, Ph.D., first place $1,200; Daniel Greco, second place $800; Nathan Ihnes, third place $500.

For more information about submitting an entry to an NRACRDF writing contest, please click here.