BELLEVUE, WA – Recalling that the late former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was a firm, if not outspoken, advocate of personal defense – she campaigned for civil rights in 1958 in Tennessee with a pistol on her car seat – the Second Amendment Foundation today is inaugurating a new award honoring women who use firearms in lawful defense against a criminal attack.

SAF Founder Alan M. Gottlieb announced the award’s first recipient will be a Mississippi grandmother who fatally shot a would-be robber in October. But it was Peggy Tartaro, editor of Women & Guns, the nation’s first firearms publication devoted to women, who explained the significance of the award. The magazine is owned by the foundation.

“Eleanor Roosevelt was a remarkable woman in many ways,” Ms. Tartaro said. “She was probably the first truly activist First Lady, and a firm believer in the civil rights cause. What is less known about Mrs. Roosevelt is that she was no wallflower when it came to the subject of self-reliance, and it is well documented that she often carried a handgun, even while living in the White House.

“Mrs. Roosevelt had many advantages, but unlike today’s name-brand feminists, she knew everyone – even a First Lady – was ultimately responsible for their own safety and freedom,” Tartaro continued. “That is why the Second Amendment Foundation is establishing this award in her honor and in her memory.

“I am proud to announce that the 2006 recipient is Mrs. Beth Greer of Saucier, Mississippi,” Tartaro said. “On Oct. 16, she and her husband, Tommy, were confronted by an armed robber when they returned home from their business. When a fight broke out between Tommy and gunman Bobby Hardy, Beth – thinking that her husband had been murdered after hearing a gunshot that grazed her husband’s head – retrieved her handgun from the car and shot Hardy as he emerged from the house. The robber fled with an accomplice to a nearby hospital, where he died. Mr. Greer has recovered from his wound.”

“We’ve spoken to Harrison County Sheriff George Payne,” Gottlieb added, “who said he is proud of Beth Greer and that she is doing well in the aftermath of this traumatic incident. In defending herself, this courageous lady set an example for others to follow. In the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt, Mrs. Greer demonstrated that when someone has the will and the means to fight back, they can overcome and win.”