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Announced takeover of Jewish gun group provokes controversy

SAF's Alan Gottlieb stands with Otis McDonald in front of the Supreme Court in the landmark case that overturned Chicago's gun ban.
SAF's Alan Gottlieb stands with Otis McDonald in front of the Supreme Court in the landmark case that overturned Chicago's gun ban.
Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

The Second Amendment Foundation will be acquiring the financially-troubled Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, writer Claire Wolfe revealed Friday in a surprise disclosure condemning the prospective deal and announcing her own resignation as a JPFO contractor.

“[T]he JPFO board of directors has hatched a plan to hand JPFO over to SAF -- a merger that is scheduled to be finalized next week if JPFO supporters don’t stop it,” Wolfe, who is also a long-time content contributor for JPFO reported. “One of the things I know -- the biggest thing I know -- is that a viable plan exists to keep JPFO healthy and independent. And so far the board won’t even acknowledge it.”

Wolfe goes on to outline irreconcilable differences with SAF, and particularly with Founder Alan Gottlieb. Among the expectations and fears are that JPFO will lose its unique voice and autonomy, and become another cog in what is seen as a fundraising machine for a group that engineers compromises. Wolfe goes on to encourage readers to contact the Board of Directors to put a stop to the deal, Additionally, a supporter created an online petition to “Save JPFO from being absorbed into SAF.”

For his part, in an exclusive exchange with Gun Rights Examiner, Gottlieb rejected the notion that JPFO will be compromised and went on to point out his group's court victories, including an ongoing effort to repeal local gun laws.

“They approached SAF,” he replied in answer to being asked who initiated the deal. “We said yes because it is important to the pro-gun rights movement to keep JPFO alive and make it grow.

“Her post will not alter any plans or kill the deal,” Gottlieb said of Wolfe's report, addressing speculation that the joining might be derailed by last-minute protests. “JPFO and SAF will issue news releases when the merger becomes final late next week or the following Monday.

“JFPO will get a new board of directors and function independently,” Gottlieb revealed. “In the past we have absorbed and Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership and kept them running as they were before coming under the SAF umbrella.”

He also corroborated something Wolfe admitted, that news of the impending merger had been shared with key staffers and volunteers, and the plans were asked to be kept in confidence.

“I respected that request until we ran out of alternatives for saving JPFO from the plan to hand it off to SAF,” Wolfe acknowledged in the ensuing discussion following her post.

In the interests of full disclosure, this correspondent is a JPFO contributing writer, and thus was included in advance disclosure conversations on the planned acquisition. Additionally, Gun Rights Examiner was honored with an award by the Second Amendment Foundation at its 2011 Gun Rights Policy Conference.

Thoughts on the pending deal have been shared on The War on Guns blog linking to Wolfe’s announcement. What remains to be seen is the effect this will have on membership and on the future of JPFO, both financially, and as a unique educational endeavor that bills itself as "America's most aggressive defender of firearms ownership."

The inescapable conclusion is, had gun owners stepped up and supported a group struggling after the passing of its founder, its rescue would have been unneeded.

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