Maria Heil

Maria Heil (Board Member)

Maria Heil - NRA Board Member
Weight Watchers International / Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Heil, a resident of New Freedom, Pennsylvania, joined the Second Amendment Sisters (SAS) in 2000 and served as the organization’s Pennsylvania Coordinator before becoming its National Spokesperson. In 2007, Heil served as the White Rose Friends of the NRA Committee Co-Chair. Heil was elected to the National Rifle Association Board of Directors in April 2012. She also currently serves as a member of the White Rose Friends of the NRA committee; a member of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing, and Conservation; and as the Treasurer for the York County Republican’s Club.

Controversial Actions and Statements

Controversial Actions and Statements:

Maria Heil (Board Member)

On September 29, 2012, Heil spoke at the 27th Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference in Orlando, Florida on a panel entitled “The Most Dangerous Election of Our Lifetime.” Heil spoke about the November 2012 presidential election, stating, “I contend that this is the most dangerous election of our lifetime … Let’s talk about judges. I’ve got a thing to say about them: they’re getting old. The Supreme Court and the Circuit Court of Appeals … During the next presidential term, three of the Supremes will turn eighty. We’ve had Second Amendment victories on the Supreme Court by one vote. One vote. Can you imagine what [President Barack] Obama will do if he’s unchained, if he gets a second term? Appoint radicals to the Supreme Court. Can you imagine two more of [Justice Sonia] Sotomayor and ]Justice Elena] Kagen? Or possibly three more? What else is he gonna do, do you think? Executive Order the Small Arms Treaty … He’s gonna try to push having guns as a health issue. He’ll ban them through Obamacare. I have no doubt about it … What I would like to happen is, when we all wake up on November 7th, assuming we can actually go to sleep that Tuesday night, I want to hear that Americans have overwhelmingly chosen the pro-Second Amendment candidate, the one that’s always been proud to be an American. And I also want to hear that the American people have spoken loudly and clearly and have said, ‘Mr. Obama, you’re fired.’” Heil was referring to a U.N. Small Arms Treaty which would set only international standards for the import/export of conventional weapons—leaving it to individual countries to “regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through national constitutional protections on private ownership.”

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) | Health Care

Maria Heil (Board Member)

On June 8, 2012, Heil spoke at a Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) event in Chicago on a panel entitled “Defending Self-Defense: The Liberal’s Shadow War on the Second Amendment.” According to Heil, there isn’t just a “shadow war” on the Second Amendment. “There’s a shadow war on SUVs, too. ‘The SUV went off the road and killed people,’ not the truck,” she mocked. Heil added, “I’d…like to thank the American Conservative Union for holding CPAC Chicago here in Chicago in Obama’s state of residence. I know a lot of you who are Illinoisans cringe at that, but you know what? That’s OK, because Illinois is the birthplace of Ronald Reagan.” Heil also spoke about her roots in Illinois, stating, “I hope that it really makes some people in Oak Park cringe that one of their home-born people is on the NRA Board of Directors … And also with [Northern Illinois University], they’ve turned anti-gun, of course, because of the tragedy there. But I graduated from NIU. I hope that makes some of those people cringe as well.” The tragedy Heil was referring to was a 2008 mass shooting at the school in which a mentally ill student (who was a legal gun purchaser) shot and killed five students, wounding 21 others, before killing himself. Heil also told the following story: “When I was a kid in Oak Park, that’s actually when they started their anti-gun nonsense because I vividly remember as a kid the Sinclair station on, is it Austin, and the Eisenhower … My dad used to get the gas tank filled up there and I vividly remember one of the workers there, after some of this anti-gun stuff started, having a gun on his hip while he was pumping the gas. That stuck with me. I wasn’t pro- or anti- as a kid, I didn’t know anything, but that’s a vivid memory. That’s one thing that that gentleman did that stuck with me and now I’m a member of the NRA board of directors. You never know what kind of impact just a little bit is going to have.” Referring to the 2000 “so-called” Million Mom March on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., which was attended by approximately 750,000 people, Heil said, “Who would be against a bunch of moms wanting to protect their children? You know, that’s what they portray it. Well, they wanted to take away guns is their ultimate goal. And, you know, to counter that you would think of that young mother…just after New Year’s, she was a new widow and young baby. She had to use a gun to protect herself and she did everything she could to not do that, but in the end she had to use a gun to protect herself. The Million Moms would have disarmed her. They would have disarmed her.” In fact, there is nothing in the reform proposals advocated by the Million Mom March that would prevent law-abiding mothers from owning firearms. Heil also identified the following movies as “anti-gun”: “The Lorax,” “Lethal Weapon 3,” and “Lethal Weapon 4.” Finally, Heil warned, “You know and we know if the Second Amendment goes, the rest of everything else that we hold dear is going to go as well.”

Conspiracy Theory | Republican Party (GOP) | Political Violence

Maria Heil (Board Member)

In a July 1, 2001, during a speech at a United Nations protest in New York City, Heil stated, “Waiting periods for guns are killing women … A woman has to depend upon herself for protection. The police cannot be there; her father, her brother, her boyfriend, or husband all cannot always be there to protect her. Are we willing to trade the right every women should have to self-defense in exchange for so-called governmental security? Are you willing to subject your wives, daughters, mothers, and aunts, to the mercy of rapists? Because that's what it boils down to.”

Vigilantism | Women’s Rights

Maria Heil (Board Member)

At a seminar held by the NRA’s “Women on Target” program in May 2000, Heil stated “I choose to own a gun because I am a good mother.”

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