Public Hearing and Testimony Preparation

You are about to testify at your very first public hearing before a legislative committee, or maybe want to learn how to do it better. So let our experienced team help you through that preparation. 

The very first thing you should understand that, to a great extent, our nation is far different from those around the world. As American citizens we absolutely have the right to petition and address our elected officials. Far too few people take advantage of this hard won civil right, even more are not sure how to do it. So let's help you get started on this exciting act of citizenship!


Most people are naturally nervous about speaking in public let alone in front of a committee of elected officials. Don't be you the right to be there and the right to be heard. Here are a few pointers to help you get this done.
  • Testifying in teams: Most committees will allow you to sign up as a "panel". This is great, especially for first timers so they are not sitting alone.
  • Speak from the heart: Speaking from the heart creates authenticity and validates your emotion. Testimony is always received better when you are speaking from a personal story or experience.
  • You are not a robot: Talking directly from a paper sounds scripted. This is why if you are the type of person that must read, make bullet points, and print in a bigger font so you can read easily from.
  • Responding to questions: Say what you know, remember you probably know more about the subject you are testifying on than the elected officials in front of you. 
    • If a member of the committee asks you something and you don't know the answer, be honest. ("I'm sorry I don't that answer for you, but let me find out and I will follow up with you at some point.") This also gives you an opportunity to research a good response and reconnect with them. Sort of a second bite of the apple.
    • Normally if a committee member asks you a question, there is no time limit to answer it the best you can.
    • If a question, or the manner in which it was asked, makes you uncomfortable simply inform the chair running the hearing.

  • Put numbers on the page: just in case you drop it. This makes it easier for you to get back on track.
  • Work on delivery: Tempo, Pitch. Emphasis. Etc. (Slow down and breath Remember they work for you)
  • Time is not on your side: You have limited time. Typically (3 min) So, practice your speech and time yourself.
BREATH! YOU GOT THIS: You are not alone.

Samples and Thoughts on prepping your testimony.

Ladies and gentlemen of the committee, my name is _______________, and I am the ______ advocacy Director for GOAL (Gun Owners Action Leauge) we are a non profit orientation that fights for our civil Rights and more, representing Massachusetts. I am  writing you to oppose Bill H.4139. Here is the reason why. 

Bill #: H 4139, An Act Modernizing Firearm Laws.

As you hopefully know, the Bill H.4139 has a long list there are 135 Sections and is 129 pages long.

I want to discuss Section 29 of the bill ( Prohibited Areas).

  • As a Woman (Equalizer):This section would essentially make Massachusetts a "SOFT TARGET," making it very difficult to exercise my right to keep and bear arms to protect myself and my family. As women, we are smaller in stature. And putting a firearm on my hip creates an equalizer.
  • As a Mom (Family Protection):  my priority is my family's safety. Carrying a firearm can give you the means to protect your loved ones in situations where the police may not be immediately available.
  • As a Nurse (Occupational Hazards:): Carrying a firearm can provide peace of mind and a sense of security when working in unfamiliar environments or Carrying a firearm can give an added layer of protection, especially in situations where you may feel vulnerable, such as late-night shifts as a nurse or carpenter.

·      As a Teacher:

ü  Protection at School: Teachers are responsible for the safety and well-being of their students. In the unfortunate event of a school shooting or other security threat, a teacher carrying a firearm may have the means to protect themselves and their students until law enforcement arrives.

ü  Response Time: In some rural or remote areas, response times for law enforcement can be longer. Carrying a firearm can provide a quicker response to potential threats, potentially saving lives.

ü  Security Measures: While schools often have security measures, they may not always be sufficient. Carrying a firearm can be seen as an additional layer of security to help safeguard the school community.

ü  Deterrence: The knowledge that some teachers may be armed can act as a deterrent to potential attackers, making the school less of a target for violence.

ü  It Is A Choice: It's important to note that the decision to carry a firearm as a teacher in a school setting is a complex and controversial issue, with varying opinions and legal considerations. If considering this option, it is crucial to thoroughly understand and comply with local laws, school policies, and regulations regarding firearms on school premises. Additionally, proper training and ongoing education on firearm safety are essential to ensure responsible firearm ownership.

·      As a Man:

ü  (Community Safety): Being trained and responsible with firearms can make you a valuable asset in your community in emergencies or threats. You might be seen as someone who can assist others during crises.

ü  Equalizing Factor: Carrying a firearm can level the playing field in situations where physical strength might not be enough to defend oneself or others.

Prohibited areas, as described, include places owned, leased, or controlled by state, county, or municipal government for government administration, judicial proceedings, or correctional services. This could extend to private rental or lease agreements, restrictive covenants, and homeowners' associations, potentially limiting law-abiding citizens' ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights within their own homes or private property.

Additionally, the prohibition of firearms in educational institutions, from elementary schools to universities, may inadvertently disarm responsible individuals who have undergone the necessary training and background checks to carry firearms legally. This restriction may leave individuals vulnerable in situations where immediate self-defense is required.

I would also like to draw your attention to the exemptions and additional provisions mentioned in this section. While I appreciate the inclusion of certain exceptions, such as state-owned public land for hunting, it's crucial to strike a balance between public safety and the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Furthermore, the provision allowing secure storage of licensed firearms in vehicles within prohibited areas provides a reasonable compromise that recognizes the need for self-defense while maintaining safety measures. However, I believe that the section could benefit from further refinement to ensure clarity and consistency.

In conclusion, I urge you to reconsider the language of Section 92 to strike a better balance between public safety and the rights of responsible gun owners. I believe that responsible gun ownership and the ability to defend oneself and their loved ones should not be unnecessarily restricted. As someone who values both the Second Amendment and the safety of our communities, I hope we can find a solution that addresses legitimate concerns without infringing upon the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to your thoughtful consideration.


 Kerrie Ann Auclair

Please vote no on H. 4139. 


Thank you so much for allowing me this time today. 



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