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Nicole Goeser wins NRA’s Sybil Ludington Women’s Freedom Award

FAIRFAX, VA- The National Rifle Association has selected Nicole R. Goeser of Nashville, Tennessee, to receive the 2012 Sybil Ludington Women’s Freedom Award. This award recognizes exceptional accomplishments of modern heroines through their legislative activism as well as advocacy, volunteerism, and education of others to the goals of the Second Amendment and the NRA on a national level.

Nicole Goeser. Photo courtesy of NRA

Nicole “Nikki” Goeser has personally experienced the importance of advancing our Second Amendment rights. On April 2, 2009, she witnessed the brutal murder of her husband Ben at a local restaurant. Though a “right to carry” permit holder in Tennessee, state law prohibited her from bringing a handgun in the establishment. It was time for a change.

Taking on the legislative battle, Nikki was instrumental in changing Tennessee’s restrictions against carrying firearms in restaurants. Following her success, she then testified before the Ohio State House and Senate committees. A little more than a year later, Goeser was back in Ohio to witness the bill signing that put restaurant carry into effect.

Nikki speaks at Second Amendment events, writes articles, appears on international television, and makes guest appearances on radio, TV and NRANews. At the 2010 NRA Annual Meetings in Charlotte, Ben and Nikki’s story was featured during the Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum.

As a legislative aide in the Tennessee Statehouse, Nikki works to help protect our firearm freedoms every day. She also belongs to pivotal organizations including the National Rifle Association (as a Life Member and NRA-ILA Election Volunteer Coordinator), the Tennessee Firearms Association (as a member and spokesperson) and the Second Amendment Sisters (as the Tennessee spokesperson).

Since Ben’s death, Nikki has made tremendous efforts to educate people on the importance of the Second Amendment. A modern day heroine, Nikki has never lost sight of her mission.

“The founders of our great country saw that people who wish to do us harm would not be so successful if we as a citizenry were armed,” said Goeser. “It is a right to self-defense, not a privilege.”

As a testimony to her hard work, Nikki received the Tony Gordon Memorial Award (2010), given to those who go above and beyond while working to further gun rights. She continues her tireless efforts today while writing her first, pro-Second Amendment book.

Founded in 1995, the award is named for Sybil Ludington, a heroine of the American Revolution who made a night ride to alert colonial forces in the same way as Paul Revere. On the night of April 26, 1777, Sybil was putting her younger siblings to bed when her family received word that the British had begun burning Danbury, Connecticut, a town only 25 miles away. Her father was a colonel in the local militia at the time and his men were spread out over a large area around the Ludington house. Sybil persuaded her father to let her ride out and alert his men so they could attempt to drive the British back. Riding alone, she covered over 40 miles on dark, unmarked roads, warning militiamen of the approaching threat while avoiding British soldiers and loyalists in the area. The men she helped gather were able to assemble just in time to help drive the British force back to their ships in the Long Island Sound and save many American lives.


Nicole and Ben Goeser. Submitted photo

To learn more about the Women’s Awards and other programs for women offered by the NRA, visit http://www.nrahq.org/Women/ or call 1-800-816-1166.

  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.


The Conversation

  • Dana Binkley says: August 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I have only met Nikki Goeser once, but we have been Facebook friends ever since. I can’t think of any one woman is is more deserving of this award than her. For what she has been through, she has taken something devestating and turned around to honor the memory of her late husband, Ben Goeser. It has taken courage, and dedication and strength to carry on her fight for the rights given to us by the 2nd Amendment. She fought hard in Tennessee, and then came to Ohio to change the laws concerning concealed carry in an establishment that serves alcohol as long as the permit holder is not drinking. Meaning that if my husband and I want to go into a business for dinner that also serves adult beverages, we are now free to do so and know that we can protect ourselves if something goes wrong. Nikki is a role model for me and an extraordinary woman whom I am proud to call my friend. God bless her and her fight for all of us gun owners. And I hope that she now has peace with the final sentencing of her husbands murderer.

    • Barbara Baird says: August 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      Welcome to The WON. We were so delighted to read of the Sybil Ludington Award going to Nikki Goeser. After reading more about her, we asked if we could interview her and she will be featured here soon, in an interview with Britney Starr. Thank you for your comments. We need to build each other up and apply more common sense to the freedoms we enjoy in this country, such as what Nikki espouses and fights for.