"Ohio Gun Owners" is not here to help
Recently, a group calling itself "Ohio Gun Owners" has been sending fundraising emails to gun owners around the state. The emails are signed by "Executive Director Chris Dorr" and claim that the "Ohio Constitutional Carry Act" is about to be introduced. The email also directs recipients to a petition and a plea for donations.
Sounds great. We all want Constitutional Carry in Ohio. The problem is, a bill like this has been introduced (or promised) in each of the last several legislative sessions with no chance of being passed. But then, no one actually expects it to pass because these are not serious bills. The only reason they are introduced is to enable the sponsoring group to ask for donations.
These fundraising messages aren't new. In the last couple of years, we've seen direct mail letters presenting a similar sales pitch, also making claims about a pending bill (which did not even exist at the time) and asking the reader to sign a petition and donate money. This is a common fundraising tactic designed to build a database for future fundraising efforts and bank as much money as possible.
Which begs the question, who is this mysterious group claiming to be supporting a bill that will never pass or even come to a vote?
According to IAGunOwners.org, a website dedicated to exposing a similar group in Iowa, "Executive Director Chris Dorr" is none other than Christopher Dorr, brother of Aaron, who have operated in Iowa for several years as "Iowa Gun Owners," and who, along with Dudley Brown's "National Association of Gun Rights (NAGR)," are on record as having actively opposed legislation intended to improve gun rights.
According to IAGunOwners.org, the Dorrs have quite a record back in Iowa:
- In 2011, IGO opposed the NICS Improvement Amendments Act, supported by statewide groups as well as the NRA, and designed to restore gun rights to folks who had lost them for mental health reasons but had gotten better, chief among whom are veterans with PTSD issues.
- In 2012, IGO opposed a bill that had the support of statewide groups as well as the NRA, which would have legalized suppressors in Iowa. When it became apparent the bill might pass, they attempted to reverse course and position themselves to be able to claim credit if it passed.
- In 2013, IGO opposed a bill that had the support of statewide groups as well as the NRA, which would have made permit records private. Once again, they attempted to claim credit once the bill neared passage in the House. Angered by their duplicity, Iowa State Rep. Matt Windschitl called out the Dorrs and IGO on the House floor:
- In 2015, IGO opposed a large Second Amendment Rights improvement bill, which again had the support of statewide groups and the NRA, that again sought to legalize suppressors and make permit records private, among many other changes.
According to IAGunOwners.org, the Dorr's modus operandi is fear-mongering about legitimate pro-gun bills, and then fundraising on efforts to stop them.
"He spins the issues, draws inaccurate conclusions, and omits parts of stories, evidence, and facts in order to get people to think they will lose their Second Amendment rights. Of course he can protect you, if he has the money."
The Dorrs didn't stop there. According to pro-Second Amendment blogger Mitch Berg at ShotinTheDark.info, Chris Dorr started "Minnesota Gun Rights," and began the exact same havoc in the Gopher State.
The fact is, these types of actions, apparently
all [many] coordinated by the NAGR, are happening in many places. In Iowa. In Minnesota. In Indiana. In Colorado. In Mississippi. In North Carolina. In South Carolina. In Florida. In Kansas. In Virginia.
And now here in the Buckeye State.
We don't like to criticize other gun groups, even when we disagree with them on their strategy. But Ohio Gun Owners appears to be a false flag group whose only purpose is to convince honest gun owners to give them money. And what exactly are they doing with the money? Good question.
Unless you want to see the extensive progress made to improve Ohio's gun laws in the past fifteen years come to a screeching halt, you'll help spread the word about "Ohio Gun Owners" and the "National Association of Gun Rights." They're not here to help gun owners.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.
Dean Rieck is Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association, a former competitive shooter, NRA Patron Member, #1 NRA Recruiter for 2013, business owner and partner with Second Call Defense.
[Editor's Note: A previous headline for this article identified Ohio Gun Owners as a "shadow group of NAGR (National Association of Gun Rights)." While OGO founder Chris Dorr has recent ties to NAGR through both Iowa Gun Owners and Minnesota Gun Rights, he claims Ohio Gun Owners has no affiliation with NAGR.]