A gun-rights group is countering opposition to a bill that would nearly eliminate concealed-carry handgun permits – publishing the home addresses, photographs and other contact information for lobbyists working for gun-control groups.
Grass Roots N.C. says it blasted an email to 120,000 gun-owning voters calling on them to contact their legislators to support House Bill 746, which would eliminate the need for concealed-carry permits in most cases, and the safety training that goes with it. It would also lower the age of those allowed to carry concealed weapons from 21 to 18.
The state House is scheduled to vote on the bill Wednesday afternoon.
Grass Roots N.C. President Paul Valone emailed members the names of three employees of the lobbying and public relations firm New Frame LLC and two employees of the Brooks Pierce law firm. In 2012, Valone distributed personal information about the late WRAL reporter Mark Binker and his family lifted from his Facebook page.
Valone also says one of the gun control groups that commissioned a poll about North Carolina voters’ views on the bill is a fake grassroots group financed by former New York City mayor and millionare Michael Bloomberg.
However, the group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, was started by one woman and grew into a national organization, which later joined with Bloomberg’s own gun-control advocacy group.
Moms Demand Action and a group headed by former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Americans for Responsible Solutions, both conducted polls in North Carolina over the weekend that found widespread opposition to the bill.
New Frame doesn’t work for either of those groups, but represents North Carolinians Against Gun Violence. Founder Brian Lewis criticized Grass Roots N.C. for a dishonest and misleading campaign.
Grass Roots N.C. also singled out two lobbyists for the Brooks Pierce law firm.
The National Rifle Association is also backing the bill, and has helped pass similar laws in other states.