May 20th, 2010 19:12 EST
Larry Pratt Discusses Gun Owners of America with Judyth Piazza
Lawrence D. Pratt was born November 13, 1942 in Camden, New Jersey. Pratt`s wife is Priscilla. Larry Pratt is most well known as the executive director of Gun Owners of America, a U.S.-based firearms lobbying group.
Pratt was awarded a B.A. in Political Science from American University. Pratt is also a Presbyterian.
Pratt has appeared on numerous national radio and TV programs such as NBC`s Today show, CBS` Good Morning America, CNN`s Crossfire and Larry King Live, Fox`s Hannity & Colmes, MSNBC`s Phil Donahue show and many others. Pratt was elected to the state legislature of Virginia, as a Republican member of the 1981 session of the Virginia House of Delegates, elected from the 19th District in Fairfax County. Pratt was a Reagan delegate to the 1980 Republican National Convention.
In the 1996 U.S. presidential election, Pratt served as a co-chairman of Pat Buchanan`s campaign. In February 1996, the liberal Center for Public Integrity issued a report that claimed Pratt spoke at meetings organized by white supremacist and militia leaders. Pratt denied any tie to racism, calling the report a smear aimed at hurting Buchanan before the New Hampshire primary election. However, Pratt was forced to resign his position with the Buchanan campaign.
Political Research Associates` website lists several organizations that Pratt has founded: English First, Gun Owners of America, U.S. Border Control, and Committee to Protect the Family. In 2001, TIME Magazine reported Pratt to be president of English First, an organization within the English-only movement. The organization was founded in 1986, and works to pass English Only amendments at both state and federal levels. Pratt also helped found and served as secretary of the Council for Inter-American Security, which was founded in 1976. Pratt has served as a board member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, founded by Paul Weyrich.
Larry Pratt has also been listed as a member of the Council for National Policy (CNP). A January 13, 2001 article in The Guardian explored Pratt`s relationship with then-Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft, stating they knew each other from the CNP. The January 11, 2001 edition of TIME Magazine included an article on Pratt and Ashcroft`s relationship.
In October 1992 at Estes Park, Colorado, Pratt addressed a three-day meeting of neo-Nazis and Christian Identity adherents organized by Pete Peters in the wake of the Ruby Ridge incident. Pratt shared the stage with Richard Butler and Louis Beam.
Pratt addressed delegates at the 1996 national convention of the U.S. Taxpayers Party/Constitution Party.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Pratt used his Committee to Protect the Family organization to raise $150,000 for the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue which paid $50,000 in court-imposed fines. The Southern Poverty Law Center also reports that Pratt "was a contributing editor to a periodical of the anti-Semitic United Sovereigns of America, and that his GOA had donated money to a white supremacist attorney`s group."
Pratt is the author of Armed People Victorious (1990), Safeguarding Liberty: The Constitution and Citizen Militias (1995) and On the Firing Line: Essays in the Defense of Liberty (2001).
In January 2006 Larry Pratt visited South Africa on invitation of Gun Owners of South Africa (GOSA) as a guest speaker for their public launch and also to see the effects of the new firearms control legislation in that country.
Pratt`s first meeting was a preaching engagement in a Black township church in Khayelitsha, near Cape Town.
Larry Pratt and Abios Khoele, chairman of the `Black Gun Owners Association of South Africa` were the guest speakers at the public launch of GOSA.
Pratt also met with Congolese missionary, Pastor Oscar Wakandwa, in Johannesburg and has subsequently been invited to preach at the Come and See Church in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo.
GOA web site is: gunowners.org. Pratt`s weekly talk show Live Fire is archived there at: www.gunowners.org/radio.htm