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Second Amendment Foundation acquires Jewish gun group

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While acknowledging “powerful disagreements and no small amount of vitriol” at the prospect of merging with the Second Amendment Foundation, the Board of Directors of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership announced the acquisition has been completed in a late Thursday media advisory.

“[T]he Stalking Horse of poor cash flow was always there,” the announcement explained, detailing problems plaguing the group since the passing of founder Aaron Zelman in December, 2010. “We came to realize that JPFO needed one or more major supporters to break through to the next level.

“Many inquiries yielded nil, it became clear that the most logical and efficient solution was to ally with another 2A organization, while preserving our identity,” the release continued. “To solve these problems, the JPFO Board of Directors sought out and elected to merge with the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF).”

The move has not been without controversy and opposition, expressed most profoundly by longtime Zelman associate and JPFO contributing writer Claire Wolfe, who released details of the proposed merger along with her resignation two weeks ago in a surprise disclosure condemning the deal. Supportive of the Wolfe’s position was a petition where those opposed to the merger could make their views known to the JPFO board.

Dave Workman, affiliated with the SAF’s Alan Gottlieb as senior editor of The Gun Mag and communications director for the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, received notice of the merger being finalized in advance of JPFO’s release, and broke that story Thursday afternoon in his Seattle Gun Rights Examiner column.

“Gottlieb assured Examiner that he intends to maintain JPFO’s independence, although operations for the group will move from Wisconsin, where it was headquartered under Zelman, to SAF’s Bellevue headquarters in Washington state,” Workman wrote. “There are some advantages for JPFO under the new arrangement, including becoming a member organization in the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR), thus expanding its reach internationally.”

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.

How the gun owner community will react to the merger remains to be seen. At this writing, it does not appear those opposed to the acquisition are doing anything other than expressing strengthened resolve, while those intent on helping JPFO through the transition remain hopeful. Based on interest expressed in limited venues where the development is being discussed, it appears many are either unaware or else unconcerned.

Time will tell if perceptions will change and interest will grow, and if JPFO will emerge a stronger and more influential organization, maintaining the same uncompromising spirit, intent and mission that infused Aaron Zelman’s life work.