BLP has covered the exploits of the American Firearms Coalition, a newly formed No Compromise gun organization. They made noise at the 2019 NRA Convention and also had a strong presence during the short-lived Virginia Special Session.
AFC has been at the forefront in the battle against red flag gun confiscation laws and has made it a part of their focus for 2019 and beyond. BLP had the pleasure of getting in touch with Aaron Dorr, the Vice President of Political Operations for AFC.
We asked him several questions about their organization and the challenges they face.
1. When was AFC founded?
AFC was founded last summer, in response to the ever-growing number of gun owners, nationwide, who are furious with the NRA’s open support for ‘Red Flag Gun Seizure’ legislation.
2. What are AFC’s main goals?
AFC has three main objectives.
First, to hold the line on federal gun control.
With the NRA fully supporting ‘Red Flag Gun Seizure’ legislation (not to mention their previous support for the Bump Stock Ban and FIX-NICS legislation,) a growing number of Republican lawmakers are tempted to go along with this legislation, assuming they will face no blowback from gun owners. We intend to make sure they know that they will pay a price for supporting ‘Red Flag Gun Seizure’ legislation at election time, regardless of the NRA’s support for the bill.
Second, to work with state level organizations that are fighting to defeat gun control or pass pro-gun bills in their state capitol.
We have active chapters in Ohio, North Carolina, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Georgia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, New York, Idaho and we anticipate having several more affiliates yet this year. From stopping ‘Red Flag Gun Seizure’ and universal gun registry legislation, to helping to fight for Constitutional Carry law, our state groups are relentless.
Third, to expose the gun control being pushed by anti-gun Democrats and weak-kneed moderates at the state and federal level.
Most organizations that claim to fight for gun owners are little more than front-groups for their pet lawmakers or some state political party.
And while AFC and our state affiliates will always expose anti-gun Democrats as needed (like we did last week in Virginia, where we confronted Gov. Northam and mobilized Virginians to ensure his gun control agenda failed,) there is a growing threat from weak Republicans that needs to be exposed, as well.
3. What separates AFC from other gun lobbies?
Virtually every gun owner in the country now knows that the NRA is a dumpster fire. From their loud support for ‘Red Flag Gun Seizures,’ not to mention the bump stock ban and FIX-NICS legislation, they have betrayed gun owners repeatedly.
And as their financial kickbacks are being made public for everyone to see, it’s obvious to most that the only thing Wayne LaPierre has been fighting for is his next $250,000 clothes shopping junket, paid for by the well-meaning donors to the NRA.
The fact that everyone inside the organization who tries to sound the alarm — from their former President Ollie North, to a growing number of board members — further proves that the NRA’s primary concern is protecting LaPierre’s multi-million dollar annual salary.
And while there are other groups out there besides the NRA, in some cases they are hopelessly out-of-touch with how to fight today’s gun-grabbers and are stuck in the 90’s, while others are clearly only interested in raising money to ensure their own paychecks. Neither rarely step out from behind a computer screen to actually lead the battle for gun owners.
4. 2019 has been a big year for AFC. What fights were you guys involved in? Did you guys score any big victories?
Our primary focus has been mobilizing gun owners in opposition to S. 7, Senator Marco Rubio’s ‘Red Flag Gun Seizure’ legislation, which is substantially similar to the legislation that the NRA has been supporting.
We recently delivered over 115,000 signed petitions in opposition to this legislation (from AFC members in all 50 states) to President Trump, and have had policy meetings with his advisors in the West Wing.
Our team has also been active on Capitol Hill, recently meeting with the staff of over a dozen Republican Senators, focusing on Senators like Joni Ernst, Josh Hawley and others who are on the Judiciary Committee.
At the state level, our affiliates are the tip of the spear in the fight for gun rights. For example, in Minnesota, our affiliate Minnesota Gun Rights stopped a massive push for a ‘universal firearms registry’ that was being supported by both Democrats AND Republicans!
In Ohio, Ohio Gun Owners has brought Constitutional Carry to the forefront of the state, amassing almost 30 cosponsors and getting the bill passed through a crucial committee just last week.
And in Iowa, after ranking Republicans went on TV and expressed support for a ‘Red Flag Gun Seizure’ bill, Iowa Gun Owners poured on the heat and hammered the issue so hard that Republicans ran away from the issue.
5. Where do you see the state of gun rights in America?
While Constitutional Carry and Stand-Your-Ground law had a good run over the last couple of years, things are definitely changing. The anti-gun Democrats of today are not like those of even five years ago. They don’t just want minor adjustments to our gun rights, they want to utterly crush our gun rights and literally overturn our great Second Amendment.
At the same time, thanks to the NRA’s support, Republicans in a growing number of states (at the state and federal level) are lining up in support for ‘Red Flag Gun Seizure’ legislation. This includes states like Pennsylvania, Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, Tennessee, Arkansas and more.
If gun owners adopt the methods of the past and blindly trust their Republican leaders, they will begin to lose ground quickly. If that happens, it will create a domino effect. The American Firearms Coalition and our state affiliates will always expose gun control, especially when it’s being pushed by our ‘friends.’
6. Are there any politicians at the state or federal level that you admire?
Senator Eric Burlison has been a champion for gun owners in Missouri for years, spearheading the effort of our state affiliate, the Missouri Firearms Coalition, in passing Constitutional Carry and Stand-Your-Ground law!
In Ohio, Representative Ron Hood has been nothing short of fantastic in our fight to advance Constitutional Carry. Between leading the bill through committee and helping us line up almost 30 cosponsors, Rep. Hood has stood tall for Ohio gun owners.
And in Wyoming, Senator Anthony Bouchard has battled long and hard for the Second Amendment alongside our state affiliate, Wyoming Gun Owners. Not only did he sponsor the Stand-Your-Ground bill that we recently passed, he’s also helping us expose the Republicans who have killed our legislation to end deadly ‘Gun Free Zones.’
BLP plans on keeping a close eye on AFC’s latest moves. The gun rights community needs a quick boost, and AFC might be the organization to provide it.
White Pill: Montana House Moves Constitutional Carry Bill Forward
Constitutional Carry is one ray of hope for the Right.
On January 20, 2021, the Montana House of Representatives passed Constitutional Carry legislation, HB102.
Weingarten provided some context to the significance of this bill’s progress:
The bill is the accumulation of a decade and a half of struggle against Democrat Governors, who have repeatedly vetoed reform legislation passed with large majorities in the legislature. Numerous sections in the bill show the Montana legislature has learned the lesson from other states as they restore the right to keep and bear arms.
Montana’s Senate is made up of 31 Republicans and 19 Democrats and Governor Greg Gianforte is a Republican, so the passage of this bill augurs well. If passed, HB102 would make Montana the 17th Constitutional Carry state.
Montana is already a very gun-friendly state, and represents a low-hanging fruit for Second Amendment activists to tap into.
Constitutional Carry has been one of the most successful movements on the Right over the past twenty years. It’s easy to complain about the corrupt status quo, but there are still plenty of ways right-wingers can score victories. Constitutional Carry is one of them.
It would behoove the Right to analyze existing trends and build off movements that are already producing results. There’s no need to embark on quixotic campaigns that end up being total fools’ errands. Find what’s already working and run with it.
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