There are a lot of Second Amendment groups. .

Some – the NRA, the GOA, the Second Amendment Foundation – are big national groups that’ve been fighting the good fight for decades.

Others are laser-focused on state-level Second Amendment issues.



Gun control is a big issue these days.

Oh, not with most of the American people, it isn’t.  In fact, that’s the big problem gun-grabber groups are finding; while many Americans claim to support gun control, it’s not that big a deal to the vast majority.  In the meantime, Second Amendment Rights supporters consider the issue one of their short list of issues for which they donate time, passion and, occasionally, money.

It’s more accurate to say the left wants to make gun control a big issue among the 30% of the American people who might be inveigled to support it.  And they’re willing to pay big bucks.

The left?  They’ve got money.  The Joyce Foundation and Michael Bloomberg are pouring tens of millions into the issue, largely supporting astroturf groups and buying friendly media coverage around the country (as they’ve done with ProtectMN, Moms Want Action, the MinnPost and MPR here in Minnesota).

And when there’s money, there’s consultants.  “ProtectMN” has hired Richard Carlbom, the guy who ran Public Relations for the Gay Marriage campaign.  It’s not that Carlbom is necessarily a big anti-gunner; nobody I know has run into him in re the issue.  But he’s got a consulting company, and he’s looking to burnish his (well-earned) reputation as a messaging Hessian…

…and there’s just so freaking much money being poured into Minnesota to support stifling liberty, he’d be stupid not to try to grab a piece while he can.

Money brings them out of the woodwork.


There’s not nearly as much money being tossed around Minnesota on the other side, the Human Rights side. But it’s out there. A lot of Minnesotans, concerned about the extremist Metrocrat gun grab agenda that surfaced this past session, are starting to vote with their pocketbooks, as well as their feet and their, well, votes.

Every pro-second-amendment group is courting members very aggressively.

That’s where the story starts.


A few weeks ago, Minnesotans active in Second Amendment issues got this package.  It was led off by a cover letter from Glenn Gruenhagen, a Minnesota state Representative  – who, I stress right now and up front, is one of the absolute best in the Legislature on gun rights, and is utterly solid on the gun rights issue.  Gruenhagen is one of the good guys. 

The entire package – with the recipient’s name redacted – is shown below:

MGR_letter (1) (1).pdf

The package introduces us to “Minnesota Gun Rights”.  They’re soliciting donations to fight the battle for gun rights.

Now, I keep my finger in the air about gun rights in Minnesota. I stay familiar with the players on both sides.

I’ve never heard of Minnesota Gun Rights.

Who is this group?

We’ll come back to that.


Who are the “Iowa Gun Owners” (IGO)?

They make big claims.  The National Association for Gun Rights – which has itself come under, er, fire for barking more than it bites, and is itself under investigation for various ethics complaints – said:

On the local level, NAGR has assisted various grassroots state organizations in everything from helping form the group to professional and financial assistance. These groups include: Wyoming Gun Owners, Iowa Gun Owners, South Dakota Gun Owners, & New Hampshire Firearms Coalition, to name a few. Many of these groups are truly on the front lines when it comes to defending individual’s rights in their home states.


For example…Iowa Gun Owners has been working diligently to get a true Concealed Carry law passed.

The group claims…:

In Iowa, NAGR’s boots-on-the-ground ally Iowa Gun Owners (IGO) introduced the bill in 2011 and came within 2 votes of passing it.

Let’s look at Iowa for a moment.  This video is of Iowa state rep Matt Windschitl.


“This morning I saw an email from a so-called Second Amendment organization.  That organization, in a roundabout way, was trying to take credit for helping to get this [pro Second Amendment] bill to the floor and working it through the process.  It’s not the first time this organization has done that.  I want to be clear to Iowans – I want to be clear to anyone that’s watching this video right now; that organization’s executive director is Aaron Dorr; he’s the executive director of Iowa Gun Owners. Here’s the message; he did not lift a single finger to move this [pro second amendment] legislation forward. In fact, he never even chose to register on the original house file, House File 81. And he did not choose to register on this [pro second amendment] legislation before us now. The organizations that have brought this legislation to us today, to protect Iowans, are the National Rifle Association, the Iowa Firearms Coalition, the Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association, and the Iowa Police Association. Those are the organizations that have spent time and effort to make sure we’re doing right by Iowans. So for those Iowans out there who have been getting these deceptive, misleading emails, rest assured – we are doing your business in an up front, honest manner…

So what?  It’s Iowa, right?

He’s talking about the group “Iowa Gun Owners”.

Yep.  Totally Iowa.

More tomorrow.


UPDATE:  Corrected a couple of typos.  It was early.

14 thoughts on “Carpetbaggers

  1. The Minnesota Gun Rights letter looks like they scanned an NRA letter and did Find/Replace with their name – pathetic. Hopefully people don’t get taken by this sham.

  2. A lot of alleged law enforcement groups make a lot of cash this way, too. I wouldn’t donate to any of them, legit or not, beyond my tax dollars. However a lot of well intentioned people, seniors in particular, get taken by groups who strongly imply a relationship to certain law enforcement entities.

    I’m sure the time is ripe for the same scam to be retooled for second amendment issues. Stick to who you know. GOCRA (even if they won’t talk to me) and the NRA have established credentials and track records. I hope the same is happening on the anti- side too.

  3. MNRKBA – I’ve had no luck with it. Left a number of phone messages at the number and numerous e-mails. Just wanted to be sure they got my $30. I gave up after a while. I know they’re out there as I’ve been to a few events at the capitol and am impressed with their ability and in-person accessibility. Mr. Berg said they were having so type of technical problems. Maybe I’ll give it a try again. It’s been a few minths since my last attempt … not the end of the world. Thanks …

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  5. I have been to the hearings and no one from any of these groups were more present and effective as the Minnesota @Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance. (GORCA). They work along side the NRA and Larry Pratt of the GOA. Never seen the NAGR or the Iowa guys at any important hearings this last year, just the room flooding with GOCRA’s Maroon shirts and locals supporting their rule of law, culture, and Heritage.

    You want the only deal in MN local alliances, its these guys.

    @Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance

  6. I’ve known GOCRA – or at least its key members – going on 20 years now. They’ve driven an awful lot of good change.

    Shelly Leeson’s “MN-RKBA” does a lot of good. I think that’s her, posting up above.

    The NRA, to its credit, is finally doing work on the ground here in MInnesota. Thank goodness.

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