Girding for election year battle, grassroots gun groups getting busy


gun disarmament Second Amendment
Second Amendment groups are gearing up for a battle this year. (Dave Workman)

While billionaire-backed gun control lobbying groups are touting their big bucks efforts to flip the Texas legislature and maybe some congressional seats, two of the nation’s leading gun rights organizations are showing signs of preparation for what could become a battle royal at the grassroots level.

The Second Amendment Foundation and its sister organization, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, have hired veteran grassroots organizer Glen Caroline, recently departed from the National Rifle Association, where he spent nearly 30 years. Most recently, Caroline had been managing director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action Grassroots Programs and Campaign Field Operations division, according to a joint SAF-CCRKBA announcement.

Caroline is well-liked in the firearms fraternity, and more importantly, according to several sources, he knows his stuff. That could be critical this year as the 2020 presidential and congressional elections seem to have the Second Amendment up for grabs. The right to keep and bear arms could be in jeopardy if anti-gunners gain control on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures around the country more than they are now. If the White House changes hands, gun owners will be in trouble.

“Initially, Glen’s work will consist of a series of web-based grassroots trainings in the coming weeks,” according to SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “He will also build our Second Amendment Family coalition and Second Amendment First Responder program.”

Caroline’s move comes at a time when gun sales have hit records for the second month in a row, according to a report at Fox Business. Data says sales spiked by more than 70 percent over the number in April 2019, which follows the record set in March. Fox Business estimated that 1,797,910, which are largely linked to the coronavirus pandemic panic. Even gun control lobbying groups are noting the high sales, but for different reasons.

In an email blast to alarm its members, the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility lamented, “People across the country are stockpiling guns and ammo in response to fears about the coronavirus. This surge in gun purchases along with social isolation, financial stress, and uncertainty heighten the risk of gun violence—particularly suicide, domestic violence, and unintentional shootings. Our work has never been more important.”

It’s that kind of emotionalism CCRKBA and SAF hope to counter at the grassroots level with fact. They will likely use the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference in September to energize activists as the fall campaign swings into high gear.

“My entire professional life has been dedicated to the cause of the Second Amendment and the preservation of Americans’ liberties,” Caroline said. I’m excited for the opportunity to continue my efforts to educate and empower America’s gun owners in this fight.”

“I have known and worked with Glen for more than two decades,” said Gottlieb, who also serves as CCRKBA chairman. “He brings years of important experience in grassroots organizing and communications at an important moment in the Second Amendment movement. Grassroots engagement to protect our right to keep and bear arms is at a critical juncture.”

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