For her extraordinary efforts fighting for hunting rights, conservation and preservation of the Second Amendment, Janet Nyce of Elliottsburg, Pa., was presented with the first NRA Patriot of the Year award at the NRA Great American Outdoors Show (GAOS) in February.
“Janet has, and always will, stand strong on her principles and values,” said Joseph P. DeBergalis, NRA executive director of General Operations, who presented the award. “She has worked tirelessly over the years to protect the Second Amendment to leave a legacy for future generations. She stands above the rest when it comes to protecting and advancing our Second Amendment freedoms and our cherished hunting heritage.”
While accepting the award, Nyce told the GAOS audience, “When I got married [to Jim] at the age of 19, we got our marriage license, and then we went to the game commission, and I got a hunting license. My question was ‘What for?’ His answer was ‘You are going to hunt with me.’ And that opened a whole world for me.” The couple shot grouse on their honeymoon.
Since then, Nyce has been a hunter, teacher and activist leader for the Second Amendment, and has won a long list of awards nationwide for her efforts.
She has been heavily involved in NRA youth education, including the Youth Hunter Education Challenge and Youth Education Summit. Many of the youth she has instructed have later taught others in the same programs.
Nyce has also been heavily involved in women’s programs, including teaching Women On Target and Refuse To Be A Victim seminars, serving as national volunteer Co-Chair of the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum and participating in the NRA Women’s Policies Committee.
“I love teaching young people and women to shoot,” Nyce said. “They often come in looking nervous, but then they leave with a shopping list!”
Many legislators know Nyce on sight since she has lobbied for years on issues surrounding the Second Amendment. Nyce was previously appointed by Gov. Ed Rendell (D-Pa.) to the Pennsylvania Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation and to be the coordinator for the governor’s Youth Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation.
When it comes to lobbying, Nyce said others have described her as being “tough as nails,” but she doesn’t see herself that way. She does see herself as tenacious, though. “They might say ‘No’ today, but I’ll be back,” Nyce said. “And I’ll be back until I get my ‘Yes.’ It’s who I am.”
Nyce said the Founding Fathers who wrote the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights are her heroes. Noting their extraordinary sacrifices, Nyce said, “It’s time to stand and fight. We can’t let that freedom slip away. We need to keep America as we were given it.”