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Larry Pratt, September 2011
|Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 19th district
November 13, 1942 |
Camden, New Jersey
Constitution Party (1996)
|Alma mater||American University (B.A.)|
|Committees||Conservation and Natural Resources; Labor and Commerce|
|Religion||Presbyterian Church in America|
Lawrence D. "Larry" Pratt (born November 13, 1942) is the executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, a United States-based firearms lobbying group, and a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates. He is also Vice Chairman of the American Institute for Cancer Research.
Pratt was born in Camden, New Jersey on November 13, 1942. His father was an electrical engineer. Several years after graduating from American University with a degree in political science, Pratt took the helm of Gun Owners of America in 1976, one year after the organization was founded.
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. He was also a Reagan delegate to the 1980 Republican National Convention.
In October 1992, at Estes Park, Colorado, Pratt was noted as a moderate conservative presenter at a three-day meeting organized by Christian Identity pastor Pete Peters in the wake of the Ruby Ridge incident. In 1994, Pratt unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the Nevada State Assembly as a Libertarian, winning 27% of the vote.
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 was forced to resign his position with the Buchanan campaign.
Pratt is the 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.
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 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.
Radio and television appearances
Pratt has appeared on numerous national radio and TV programs such as the Today Show, Good Morning America, The Political Cesspool, Crossfire, Larry King Live, Hannity & Colmes, Piers Morgan Live and The Phil Donahue Show.
In reference to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, Pratt declared that Martin was at fault for not running away after knocking down George Zimmerman, who was following Trayvon under suspicion "[Martin] should have run away," Pratt said. "He had his stalker on the ground. Once Martin had neutralized the threat, that's when he should have taken off to get out of there. He doubled down, and he started to really beat the tar out of the guy." Pratt also claimed that Martin was on top of Zimmerman after Zimmerman tried to make a "citizen's arrest" of Martin. The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur posed a hypothetical scenario in which he stalked Pratt, and Pratt proceeded to assault Uygur after Uygur approached him. Pratt insinuated that Uygur had the right to shoot Pratt once Pratt assaulted him..
The day after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Pratt stated: ""Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands. Federal and state laws combined to ensure that no teacher, no administrator, no adult had a gun at the Newtown school where the children were murdered. This tragedy underscores the urgency of getting rid of gun bans in school zones. The only thing accomplished by gun free zones is to ensure that mass murderers can slay more before they are finally confronted by someone with a gun."
In May 2016, Pratt suggested that the loss of a conservative majority in the Supreme Court through a Democratic victory in the 2016 Presidential elections might lead him and other gun owners to use violence in order to resist any judicial ruling supporting gun control, saying 'we may have to reassert that proper constitutional balance, and it may not be pretty. So, I’d much rather have an election where we solve this matter at the ballot box than have to resort to the bullet box. '
- Armed People Victorious (1990).
- Safeguarding Liberty: The Constitution and Citizen Militias (1995).
- On the Firing Line: Essays in the Defense of Liberty (2001).
- "American Institute for Cancer Research – Our Leadership".
- Bruni, Frank (September 26, 1999). "Speaking Up for Guns, Lots of Them, for Nearly Anyone". The New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
- "Lawrence D. Pratt". Institute for First Amendment Studies. 1998. Retrieved September 23, 2008.
- Frederick Clarkson, Eternal Hostility (Common Courage Press: Monroe, Maine, 1997), p. 21.
- Leonard Zeskind, "Armed and Dangerous", Rolling Stone; November 2, 1995.
- "Southern Poverty Law Center: Bombs, Bullets, Bodies". Splcenter.org. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
- "Larry Pratt Drops From Buchanan Campaign". Anti-Defamation League. June 19, 1996. Retrieved September 23, 2008.
- "j. – News Analysis: Buchanan dogged by links to extremists". Jewishsf.com. February 23, 1996. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
- "Buchanan Co-chair Resigns After CAUSE Foundation & Other White Supremacist/Militia Connections Revealed". Western North Carolina Citizens For An End To Institutional Bigotry. Retrieved September 23, 2008.
- Shasha Abramsky, "'When God laughs, it's not funny,' the U.S. Taxpayers Party prepares for doomsday", The Progressive; October 1996.
- "US extremist calls for NI Protestants to be armed". Nuzhound.com. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
- "PublicEye.org – Anti-Immigrant Organizations". Archived from the original on February 9, 2004.
- Elain Shannon, et al., "John Ashcroft's Dubious Pen Pal", TIME; Thursday, Jan 11, 2001.
- "Council for National Policy Unofficial Information Page". Archived from the original on July 13, 2005.
- "Lawrence D Pratt". NameBase. Archived from the original on January 17, 2012. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
- The Council For National Policy
- Kettle, Martin (January 13, 2001). "Bush's choice linked to 'guns for pupils' group". The Guardian (London). Retrieved May 7, 2010.
- By Frederick Clarkson. "Southern Poverty Law Center: Anti-Abortion Extremists". Splcenter.org. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
- "Operation Rescue" (PDF). Montana Human Rights Network. Retrieved September 23, 2008.
- "Gun advocate to Cenk: 'Martin should have run away' (Part 2)". Current.com. Archived from the original on March 25, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- Harris, Paul (15 December 2012). "Tearful and angry, Americans target gun control after Newtown shooting". The Observer (Guardian News and Media Limited). Retrieved 24 December 2012.
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