A False Flag Operation?

I received an email out of the blue yesterday evening from a supposed NRA staff member based in Fairfax. The email was sent to “undisclosed recipients”. I know one of the recipients was Jeff Knox as he had received the same email and was suspicious about it. The email alleges that private jets are still in use by NRA leaders including Charles Cotton and Randy Kozuch.

Here is the email in its entirety:

nraexposed <nraexposed@proton.me>Thu, May 2, 8:01 PM (15 hours ago)

I am a current staff member of NRA based in Fairfax. NRA President Charles Cotton frequently flies on Bill Brewer’s private jet (I don’t know if the jet is owned or chartered). Despite ILA Chief of Operations John Commerford testifying under oath that no one at ILA has flown private since Chris Cox left, this is not true, maybe he was covering for his boss Randy Kozuch, who has flown private dozens of times since Chris Cox left.

Now the question is why Jeff, I, and presumably others are getting such an email on the same day that the results of the 2024 NRA Board election are released and that reformers took three of the top five spots. Moreover, it is from a Proton Mail account in Switzerland which promises “end-to-end encryption and zero-access encryption.”

While the accusation could be true, so what? If the NRA is not charged for any of these flights do we really care if Charles Cotton flies on Brewer’s supposed jet? A check of the FAA records does not find any aircraft owned by William Brewer III. And what is the purpose of trying to implicate Randy Kozuch who seems a decent enough guy in improprieties?

What makes me really suspicious that this is some sort of false flag or disinformation campaign is what happened when I responded to the email suggesting if this really was the case then they ought to contact the NYAG’s Office.

I got this:

Address not found
Your message wasn’t delivered to nraexposed@proton.me because the address couldn’t be found, or is unable to receive mail.
The response from the remote server was:
550 5.1.1 : Recipient address rejected: Account recently deleted

The KGB was famous for running false flag operations in order to sow confusion.

What a better time to bait the reformers into making false claims than after they’ve just been elected. I don’t know who is behind this but that seems to be their aim in my opinion.

As I said earlier this week, if you are going to levy criticisms against the existing Board and its leaders, you better have documentation to back it up. An email coming in out of the blue like this making serious accusations is just the sort of thing that demands documentation and it is nowhere to be found.

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: grnc.org/join-grnc/contribute

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“.

NRA Moves Of Note

Two interesting developments concerning the NRA crossed my desk today. One was expected in the sense that the position had to be filled and the other has me wondering.

First, Randy Kozuch has been appointed to be the Interim Director of the NRA-ILA. The position had to be filled with someone after Jason Ouimet left as the Director of the ILA. There are boards and foundations within the NRA that specify the Director of the ILA must be a member. If I remember correctly, Kozuch was a candidate for the position when Chris Cox resigned. He had served as ILA head of state and local affairs.

According to the press release, Kozuch has been with the NRA for 29 years and had “overseen state lobbying efforts in all 50 state legislatures and served as the primary point of contact between NRA and the nation’s governors and state constitutional officers.” I will leave that statement there as is and refrain from any comments on his effectiveness in North Carolina.

The second development is of far more interest. A “Dear Director” email went out today from former NRA President David Keene. Under the current bylaws (Article V, Sec. 1 (a)), the president of the NRA “may not succeed himself or herself more than once, after being elected to serve a full term.” There is an exception made in the bylaws for the late Charlton Heston who was allowed to succeed himself up to four times.

A resolution is being submitted by Carol Frampton and Joel Friedman that would waive this limitation for current NRA President Charles Cotton and allow him to serve a third one-year term as President. The email from Keene is below:

Dear Fellow NRA Director.

This morning’s mail brought a copy of the resolution submitted by Carol Frampton and Joel Friedman to extend NRA President Charles Cotton’s term for another year. We will be asked to vote on this resolution at the Indianapolis Board meeting and it is my hope that you will join me in supporting it.

As a former NRA President, I can tell you that during challenging times, I know of no one in that job who would want an additional year on the firing line, but sometimes sacrifices are necessary for the good of the association membership and the Second Amendment. As a competent and careful attorney, himself, Charles has been a steady helmsman during the legal battles in which we have been enmeshed during his term. These battles should wind down over the course of the next year and he should be there to serve our interests during this crucial period. He deserves our thanks not just for what he’s accomplished thus far but for his willingness to allow us to ask him to carry on for another year.

David A. Keene

I find this quite interesting. It engenders a lot of questions as to the reasons behind this move. I don’t have any answers to them. Cotton’s term as President would normally end in April at the next Board meeting. At that time, First VP Willes Lee would be the successor to Cotton as President and David Coy would move into Lee’s position. A new Second VP would be selected at that time.

One potential reason, and the most innocent, is that the terms of office were interrupted during the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. The Annual Meeting happened later in the year which screwed things up a bit.

It could also be that Wayne and Brewer prefer to keep Cotton in the position while the New York proceedings are active. As Brewer plays Rasputin to Wayne’s Czar Nicholas II, this is believable. The shots are being called by Brewer and the Board does what they are told to do by Wayne.

Another alternative is that there is a faction who want to prevent Willes Lee from assuming the position of President of the NRA. His past actions as the leadership’s number two hatchet man (Marion Hammer holds the number one position) are coming back to bite him. I have referred to Lee as the Spiro Agnew of the NRA in the past. While that might be an insult to Agnew, Lee has served that role as Agnew did Nixon.

In the end, if this email is being sent out now, it is a fait accompli or done deal. The overwhelming majority of the Board does what it is told like obedient children. There are only a few members who have rocked the boat and they will be off the Board come the Annual Meeting. The sad thing is I have more faith in NY Assistant AG Monica Connell to represent the members of the NRA than I do in the Board.

UPDATE: Here is a copy of the actual resolution. It is a screen shot.

The resolution has been added to the agenda of the Bylaws and Resolutions Committee.