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In Memoriam: H.L. “Bill” Richardson, Founder of Gun Owners of America

H.L. Bill Richardson
My old friend and client, California state Senator H. L. “Bill” Richardson, a 22-year veteran of the California State Senate and founder of Gun Owners of America and Gun Owners of California, went home to be with the Lord on January 13, 2020. He was 92.

I started the Richard Viguerie Company in January of 1965 and Bill Richardson was one of the first clients of my direct mail fundraising business. I didn’t know Bill when a mutual friend recommended him as a good conservative and asked me if I would help him raise money for a special election in California.

I raised $50,000 for Bill’s first campaign for the California state Senate, which was a lot of money for a state legislative campaign in those days. More importantly, I found Bill Richardson to live up to his billing as a true conservative and Christian gentleman.

Bill Richardson served in the California state Senate for 22 years, much of Bill’s extensive career was focused on the preservation and protection of the Second Amendment. An active hunter and outdoorsman, Senator Richardson was vigorously involved on the state and national scene for more than four decades.

Bill was farsighted about the effects of California’s creeping liberalism and he grew concerned with repeated attacks on the 2nd Amendment and made the decision to form Gun Owners of California, a grassroots political action committee. We handled the direct mail for Bill’s campaign to defeat a ban on all handguns in California. He later asked me to help him with the fundraising to take the organization national and Gun Owners of America soon followed.

Bill Richardson’s skill at mobilizing single individuals toward the common goal of preserving our Second Amendment freedoms launched a very effective political movement that continues to this day – and Bill would have been proud to see Gun Owners of America at the forefront of yesterday’s Lobby Day and Second Amendment Rally in Richmond, Virginia.

In addition to GOC and GOA, Richardson organized multiple political action committees, including the “Law and Order Campaign Committee” which led the successful charge to defeat Chief Justice Rose Bird and two other liberal members of California’s Supreme Court. Following his retirement from the Legislature in 1988, he primarily devoted his time to GOC and GOA.

Richardson’s legacy, however, extends far beyond the world of politics. He was an extraordinary hunter and dedicated to the conservation of California game. He was a prolific writer, penning fictional and non-fictional books alike.

Bill and I shared much the same outlook toward politics and his book “Confrontational Politics” is the quintessential guide to approaching politics from a conservative perspective and is considered a virtual “game plan” for political wins. I recommend it to all conservatives considering a run for public office.

For additional information on the life of H.L. “Bill” Richardson, click here.

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Gun Owners Of America - H.L. Richardson

My thanks to Mr. Richardson for the important work he accomplished.

Kevin Cavanaugh, Coolidge, AZ

Twitter @AZKEV1