NRA-ILA Picks Wrong Target

The NRA-ILA is now headed by what I consider their third string quarterback. First, Wayne and company forced Chris Cox out for supposed disloyalty. Then his replacement Jason Ouimet left when he saw the writing on the wall. Now Randy Kozuch, an almost 30-year veteran of the NRA, was appointed as Executive Director of ILA by the Board of Directors on Monday He had been the interim head prior to Monday.

Yesterday, the NRA-ILA posted a release that claimed credit for getting North Carolina’s pistol purchase permit repealed and blasting other 2A groups for taking credit for it.

However, some other 2A groups in the state have instead continued to focus on seeking credit for the legislative victory. At least one group has gone so far as to try claiming exclusive responsibility for the passage and veto override of SB41.

Not only do these laughable claims dismiss over a decade of legislative repeal efforts by NRA members, gun owners, and other 2A groups, but they also create an unnecessary distraction. This is a time when Second Amendment expansion opportunities in North Carolina are possible, including NRA’s push for constitutional carry. We would hope that all pro-gun groups share that same enthusiasm to collectively fight for pro-gun legislation in North Carolina. 

Now I don’t know if this was the work of Randy Kozuch as it reads more like something that Marion Hammer would put out. I do know that someone royally screwed up.

To paraphrase Jim Croce:

You don’t tug on superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off that old lone ranger
And you don’t mess around with Paul Valone of GRNC

It is bad enough to take credit for another organization’s hard work. The NRA has done that time and again. However, it goes beyond the pale when you then dump on an all-volunteer, highly effective, state-level gun rights organization for having the temerity to claim credit for their actual accomplishments.

As anyone who knows Paul Valone would expect, he is not taking this lying down. He issued a point by point response last night.

Gun Rights Supporters:
The failing NRA, in a desperate bid for relevance, recently made a veiled accusation against GRNC, claiming “…some other 2A groups in the state have instead continued to focus on seeking credit for the legislative victory. At least one group has gone so far as to try claiming exclusive responsibility for the passage and veto override of SB41.” Below are NRA claims, followed by the truth.

Myth: The NRA claims GRNC was the first group to claim credit for Senate Bill 41.

Truth: GRNC was not the one who first claimed credit, it was Fred Edgecomb, a past president of the NRA-affiliated NC Rifle & Pistol Assoc., who was heard to claim credit at a recent IDPA match. We merely responded by setting the record straight.

Myth: The NRA-ILA alert claimed that GRNC “dismiss[ed] over a decade of legislative repeal efforts by NRA members, gun owners, and other 2A groups.”

Truth: The first purchase permit repeal was negotiated by GRNC, Sen. Buck Newton, and the Republican-led NC Senate in 2013 and was included as part of HB 937, an omnibus bill which contained, among other things, restaurant carry. Because the Senate considerably strengthened the weak bill first passed by the NC House, it had to return to the House for a concurrence vote. Unfortunately, NRA-endorsed Governor Pat McCrory threatened to veto the bill if it contained the purchase permit repeal, causing the repeal to be stripped out in conference committee.

Next, in 2021, GRNC worked with Rep. Jay Adams to alter his bill, HB 398, by substituting language for a full purchase permit repeal. We also worked closely with then-NC Sheriffs Association President Dave Mahoney to get NCSA to endorse the repeal and got the bill passed by both chambers before Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed it.

This year, GRNC worked closely with Sens. Danny Britt, Warren Daniel, and Jim Perry to ensure that the SB 41 not only cleared both chambers, but did so without contaminating amendments. For the override vote, we hammered thousands of robocalls and automated text messages into the districts of Democrats who had voted for the bill.

Meanwhile, bill sponsors and other legislators I have asked reported no contact from the NRA lobbyist, DJ Spiker. The NRA was so utterly out of the loop that, at one point, it issued an alert which wrongly described the contents of a gun bill that had been changed in a previous committee meeting. In fact, in videos GRNC made this year of committee hearings on gun bills, you will see only GRNC testifying to the committees, not NRA and not NCRPA.

Finally, GRNC worked for nearly two decades to insert into the public consciousness the phrase “our Jim Crow-era purchase permit law” – a strategy we worked out after reading about the origins of the law in Dave Kopel’s book, ”The Samurai, the Mountie, and the Cowboy: Should America Adopt the Gun Controls of Other Democracies?”

Myth: That the NRA is “push[ing] for constitutional carry.”

Truth: North Carolina’s first permitless carry bill (then called “Vermont carry”) was introduced by Sen. Hugh Webster in 1997 as SB 810 at the behest of GRNC and GOA. We actually went as far as filing a discharge petition when Democrat Marc Basnight refused the bill a hearing. At around this time, we heard reports from gun rights groups in other states that NRA lobbyists were actively sabotaging permitless carry bills. This year, we are working closely with bill sponsor Rep. Keith Kidwell on HB 189, “NC Constitutional Carry Act.” We are unaware of any effort by the NRA on the bill. Frankly, it would be nice if the NRA did something on the bill, since the May 4 crossover deadline is fast approaching.

In closing, it’s bad enough that the NRA, consumed by its inner strife and reportedly declining membership, has been AWOL from the past two sessions of the General Assembly. Worse, however, is when the organization, facing legal challenges due to alleged corruption, siphons off resources from the group that is actually doing the heavy lifting.

Please help ensure that doesn’t happen by going to:

With your help, all-volunteer Grass Roots North Carolina will continue its 29-year history of success.

Armatissimi e liberissimi,


F. Paul Valone
President, Grass Roots North Carolina
Executive Director, Rights Watch International
Radio host, Guns, Politics and Freedom
Author, Rules for ANTI-Radicals: A Practical Handbook for Defeating Leftism

Paul Valone is the honey badger of the gun rights community in North Carolina. While the NRA may still consider itself the 800 lb gorilla, “honey badger don’t care“.

2 thoughts on “NRA-ILA Picks Wrong Target”

  1. If the NRA was so very helpful in this fight, then why did they not help here in Michigan when the midterms see an all Democrat government elected? Don’t bother to attempt an answer to that, it was due to their money being spent defending against criminal behavior by the leadership, which is quite apparent to anyone who has read the depositions given by them during the attempted bankruptcy in Texas. Their finances and their attention was focused on themselves, not the membership. Something that continues to this very day.
    A couple of bills have already been signed into law, with the so called Red Flag bill just being passed in congress and it is ready to be sent to the Empress of Lansing, for her signature. Thank you NRA for all of your help trying to stop the Blue Wave here in Michigan like you have done in so many other states. You’re simply the best.

  2. That DOES sound like something Hammer would come up with, and she’s done that before in Florida… sigh Kudos to Valone for setting the record straight!

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