Update: On Wednesday morning, 9/19/2018, I received a response from GRNC’s Paul Valone. A response from myself is warranted, but considering the hardship and stress of hurricane and flood recovery, to which Valone must be subjected, I will delay that for a couple of days.
Consider this Part 2 of the “credit poacher tale: TL;DR (but do): Grass Roots North Carolina issued a press release criticizing… well, read the first paragraph.
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. (bold emphasis added; you’ll why-cb)
I’ve been asked, “Where did they point at you?”. GRNC President F. Paul Valone said, “Since you seem to think it’s fun to print my response and still claim (absent any evidence) that we were referring to your blog…”
Note the use of plurals. FPC and other organizations. That is, FPC and more than one other.
I’m not FPC, but I was another activist, with another organization, who contacted the Town of Leland, NC; who sent a letter. If I am not one of those “other organizations,” perhaps Valone should identify the ones to whom he objects, for clarity’s sake.
(Oh, and my assumption of being one of those wasn’t based on believing you were referring to my blog, Mr. Valone. I rather thought it might have more to do with The Zelman Partisans report.)
With that out of the way, let’s move on to current business.
F. Paul Valone, President of Grass Roots North Carolina, wants me to publish a statement from him, and the letter which GRNC emailed to the Town of Leland, North Carolina. He intends to distribute my email to him to “our 127,000 email alert subscribers.”
That should boost my blog traffic.
I told him that I’d be happy to publish his letter and statement, but that I’d hold off on that a bit, for him to digest that same response; that was at 9/15/2018, 3:29 PM EDT.
I gave him a full day, including a night to sleep on it.
Why Grass Roots North Carolina should object to RKBA activists assisting in getting towns to comply with the law and Constitution beats the heck out of me. If my little town tried the same thing as Leland, I’d be jumping with joy when people across the country stepped up to tell them it was unacceptable.
As best I can tell, Valone’s position is we had this covered; stay out of our business.
Freedom and rights are everyone’s business. Or so I thought.
Valone’s emailed statement, September 15, 2018, 2:28 PM EDT:
Since you seem to be unaware of the time frame in which our letter to the Town of Leland was sent to and received by town officials, perhaps you could recheck the top of the letter, which I forwarded to you the first time, where it says “SENT VIA EMAIL” and that the date on the letter was September 11, 2018. In fact, you might consider publishing the letter in its entirety.
As for Leland’s response, I confess that I am also perplexed by those who claim the change in language made by Leland isn’t enough and that their ordinance somehow still prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition. Here is what our lawyer has to say about that:
“Gun sales during an SOE? That is not illegal. NCGS § 166A-19.22 authorizes local officials to declare an SOE, and exercise the powers listed in 166A-19.31. Those include,
“’prohibitions and restrictions . . . Upon the possession, transportation, sale, purchase, storage, and use of gasoline, and dangerous weapons and substances, except that this subdivision does not authorize prohibitions or restrictions on lawfully possessed firearms or ammunition.’
“The ‘prohibitions and restrictions’ in the second sentence refer to the same ‘prohibitions and restrictions’ in the first sentence. That is, ALL lawfully possessed firearms and ammunition are EXEMPT from any SOE ban on possession, transportation, sale, purchase, storage, and use.”
Here is a link to GRNC’s letter to Leland. Please read it, and note that it mentions 1) the original SOE with language not compliant with current law, 2) the revised SOE with the statute reference changed to Chapter 166 (not 166A, nor the more precise 166A-19.31)
But did GRNC have this covered when FPC and I entered the fray?
I began my own contact with Leland when I saw the original version of the SOE on September 11, 2018, at 1:26 PM EDT, and tweeted:
You’re a little vague on the Constitution and NC General Statutes Chapter 166A, eh?
At 3:24 PM EDT, I noted that the statute reference had been changed to Chapter 166, but that the language had not been corrected. I tweeted again:
True, but they still have “This restriction does not apply to…” without noting that it also doesn’t apply to lawfully possessed firearms. Misleading to those who don’t know the statute. Will the police be aware?
By 6:57 PM EDT, the SOE still referenced Chapter 166 and still had the offending language. I emailed Town Manager David Hollis.
I see you have revised your “State of Emergency” notice to reflect NCGS 166
But I note that your text has disclaimers for whom this does not apply (“This restriction does not apply to…”) without noting that it also doesn’t apply to lawfully possessed firearms. Misleading to those who don’t know the statute. Will the police be aware?
Â§ 166A-19.31.Power of municipalities and counties to enact ordinances to
deal with states of emergency.
(b) Type of Prohibitions and Restrictions Authorized. – The ordinances
authorized by this section may permit prohibitions and restrictions:
(4) Upon the possession, transportation, sale, purchase, storage, and
use of gasoline, and dangerous weapons and substances, except that this
subdivision does not authorize prohibitions or restrictions on lawfully
possessed firearms or ammunition. As used in this subdivision, the term
“dangerous weapons and substances” has the same meaning as it does under
G.S. 14-288.1. As used in this subdivision, the term “firearm” has the
same meaning as it does under G.S. 14-409.39(2).
Perhaps an explicit statement in the Emergency notice, and a word to law enforcement, is in order.
At 7:21 PM EDT, Mr. Hollis wrote and claimed, “We have revised the statement earlier today to clearly state that it does not apply to lawfully possessed firearms and ammunition.”
I checked, and found that the flawed SOE was still up, despite that claim. I emailed Hollis again at 7:29 PM EDT. At 8:01 PM EDT, he replied, “Thanks for letting me know the website is in error. I will have it corrected asap.”
Let that sink in.
The Town of Leland had two State of Emergency Notices on their official web site. One which unlawfully said firearms were banned except on one’s own property, and one which complied with the state law. Which might the police use, and which might the town use to deflect lawsuits?
I published a column about this on The Zelman Partisans at 8:13 PM EDT. At that time the flawed SOE was still up, but my column noted that the town was beginning to correct it. Sometime later, the flawed SOE was deleted.
So you know what times I was seeing the fatally flawed SOE, and attempting to get the town to correct it.
I do not not know what time FPC sent their letter, but I had read their press release and tweeted about it at 1:27 PM EDT at FPC and Leland.
Get em! Between the Constitution and NC General Statutes Chapter 166A, they’re screwed in court.
I considered my minor contribution to be in support of FPC’s. I would have considered it in support of GRNC as well, if I’d known they were doing anything. I saw stories and blog posts about Leland’s action. I saw FPC’s response. I didn’t see anything from GRNC, but what with a hurricane bearing down, that doesn’t seem surprising; all the more reason to help. The first indicator I saw that GRNC had been actively involved in this, rather than wisely engaging in hurricane preparation, was their after the fact GRNC-PVF Alert.
GRNC’s Valone insists they got the town to comply on “September 11, 2018” and that FPC’s action — and by extension my own (that ‘nor any other organization that “sends a letter”‘ part) — was unnecessary. Unless Mr. Valone will tell me what time their attorney sent their letter, and what time the town claimed to have complied, we may never know. I’ve asked.
But the language of their letter implies that it was sent only after the statute reference change to Ch. 166, which came after I had already reached out to the town (else it couldn’t have mentioned that change). In short, it appears that FPC and I contacted the town before GRNC. It must have been a shock to Leland leadership to get called out on their unlawful SOE by FPC, then myself, and then GRNC, too. Yes, the whole world is watching, Leland. Maybe this time, they’ll
Why Valone believes anyone but GRNC reaching out to the town is a bad thing beats me. This might be a clue, if I give in to cynicism:
(from the same 9/15/2018, 2:28 PM EDT email)
“Clearly, you are free to depict yourself among credit poachers who seek to raise money on the efforts of the organizations which actually effect change (despite being now twice informed it didn’t refer to you), and you are equally free to not relay to your readers the important gun rights alerts sent by GRNC (although that might suggest you consider your apparently easily bruised ego more important than the gun rights movement itself).” (emphasis added-cb)
“seek to raise money”. I invite you to read the Firearms Policy Coalition press release again. There is no solicitation for donations there. No fundraising in that release. No mention of money at all.
Admittedly, my TZP column does include this:
Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could really use the money, what with truck repairs and recurring bills. And the rabbits need feed. Truck insurance, lest I be forced to sell it.
That’s a standard blurb — the language has varied somewhat — which I’ve been putting on my TZP columns since November 2017. You might note that the message mirrors the “Tip Jar” pitch here on this blog. I receive no wage, salary, or reimbursement for my RKBA work unless someone does happen to find it useful and has something spare. I will not apologize (except to TZP’s leadership, if they object to it) for that personal “fundraising” which has been so lucrative that I do need to sell the truck. (Anyone looking for a ’96 Ranger with just @80K miles? Runs, but nNeeds some work. Looks decent, especially for its age.)
But do you know who is fundraising on this”
For those who are out of harm’s way, and are confident things will stay that way, please consider a donation to GRNC-PVF, our political victory fund, to combat the anti-gun crowd attempting to take over in November. To contribute Click here or go to https://www.grnc.org/grnc-pvf/donate-to-grnc-pvf .
And that’s fine. The anti-rights crowd is putting a lot of money into the elections. We need to counter them.
As for “you are equally free to not relay to your readers the important gun rights alerts sent by GRNC (although that might suggest you consider your apparently easily bruised ego more important than the gun rights movement.”
Incorrect. My decision to end that assistance is not based on my ego; it based on Valone’s rather clear objection to others helping them. I am complying with his wish that others stay out of GRNC’s business. Or is it his position that I should stay out of his business except to give him free publicity?
My “easily bruised ego”? Not so much, Mr. Valone. GRNC appears to be concerned about “credit poachers,” not I. I’m just shocked that they object to support from other RKBA activists. I thought we needed to work together.
Comments are open. If someone can offer a rational explanation of why RKBA activists across the country should not have tried to help NC, and why I should not be shocked that GRNC objected to help, I’ll listen. I’ll not debate, unless someone has new facts.