[UPDATE] It appears that I am a credit poacher.

Update: See below.

In the run-up to Hurricane Florence, I became aware that the town of Leland, NC had issued a State of Emergency Notice which banned the lawful possession of firearms outside one’s own property. Being an advocate for individual human/civil rights, I contacted the town and pointed out that they were in violation of state law. So did other people and groups.

I thought it was a good thing for them to get hammered with complaints, to hammer the point in.

I stand corrected.

As GRNC volunteers continue to diligently monitor the state for “State of Emergency (SOE) Gun Bans,” it seems that other organizations are taking credit for our successes. No one, not credit poachers like the Firearms Policy Foundation, nor any other organization that “sends a letter” can claim credit for the work GRNC has been doing for years—work that made SOE Gun Bans unlawful and forced government entities to repeal these bans.

So I’m a “credit poacher.” And here I thought I was helping.

Yes, my TZP column did mention FPC’s letter. It mentioned my — multiple — emails with the town. I would have mentioned Grass Roots North Carolina‘s specific contacts if I’d been aware of them.

I did specifically mention — and link — GNRC’s lawsuit, which should have prevented the Leland rights grab in the first place, in my column. That was the point of my column.

But since GNRC views help as “credit poaching,” I’ll respect their turf in the future and ignore any further NC rights violations. I’ll leave GNRC alerts out of the weekly newsletter.

Update: Via email from F. Paul Valone, President, Grass Roots North Carolina:

I confess to being puzzled as to why you think the “credit poacher” term is being applied to you. I’m quite certain we didn’t mention you in the alert (particularly given that I didn’t even see your column), and I presume you were only recounting what was sent to you in a press release from the Firearms Policy Coalition, as did Ammoland.com, guns.com and other sources.

To blame you would be quite literally shooting the messenger which, of course, is why we mentioned *only* the organization which initiated the credit grab, namely the Firearms Policy Coalition.

I hope this addresses any miscommunication we may have had.

So the use of plurals — “poachers,” “Organizations,” “like the Firearms Policy Foundation, nor any other organization that “sends a letter” — only meant Firearms Policy Coalition, and he assumes little ol’ I wouldn’t have deigned to interfere in GRNC’s territory. That I merely passed on an FPC press release.

In the future, that will be true. I won’t deign to help.

P.S. The FPC also spoke with one of our volunteers asking us to join litigation against Leland, which would be ridiculous (and unsuccessful), since they immediately complied with the letter our lawyer sent them on September 11, 2018 (attached). Rather than some huge act of malfeasance on their part, I suspect it is merely the product of their lack of awareness that we changed the State of Emergency law.

When did GRNC send their letter? When was “immediately”?

I saw FPC’s press release. I congratulated them. Then I spent some time finding the actual statute on the NC state site. I tweeted that at the town since the offending SOE notice was still live, meant in support of the action by FPC (that being the only specific action of which I was aware, though I’d seen posts that suggested other were or would contacting that town).

Shortly after my tweet — after FPC’s letter — the town updated the SOE on its web site…

By changing the statute referenced, but not the offending “ban” language.

At 6:57 PM EDT, I contacted the town manager to question that. David Hollis informed me they’d fixed it.

By searching the town web site, I found a new SOE — without the ban language, and with the correct statute cite — but the edited original was still live. I pointed that out to Hollis at 7:29 PM EDT, and noted that people who bookmarked the SOE for future reference and saw that it was being actively maintained might assume it was still official, and thus would have no reason to look for a new one at a different URL. Look for something you have no reason to think exists?

At 8:01 PM, Hollis admitted the legally incorrect version was still up.

Sometime after 8:13 PM (when I posted the TZP column), it was finally deleted.

Which is why I wonder when GRNC’s letter was sent. If before FPC’s letter and my subsequent tweet, then the town may have played GRNC with the “revised” old SOE, and only fixed it when called out by FPC and I (and I’m pretty sure others).

Or GRNC sent their letter after FPC’s (and possibly after my first tweet and email) and thought they got that fast compliance.

Yes, I had an active, if minor role. Getting rid of the bogus SOE may not be terribly consequential, but I thought it was something.

And I thought that people around the country joining together to let the town know we’re watching was a good thing.

In the future I will refrain from “poaching” on GRNC’s turf. They can handle everything all by themselves.

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