It appears that the merger of Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership with the Second Amendment Foundation is an actuality. It is a move that will please some and disappoint others. David Codrea, the National Gun Rights Examiner, has been following the whole process. His article last night announcing the merger pointed out some of the controversy over the merger and that only time will tell if the merger will strengthen JPFO.
Writer Claire Wolfe has spoken out strongly against this merger. She had been a writer for JPFO and resigned her position with them to go public with her opposition to the merger. She terms the merger as a sell-out of the ideals of JPFO founder Aaron Zelman. The whole series of her posts on her Living Freedom blog at Backwoods Home magazine can be found here.
Speaking out in favor of the merger has been Second Amendment stalwarts such as Gary Marbut of the Montana Shooting Sports Association and Massad Ayoob. Both men agree that the financial strength of SAF will be essential to keeping JPFO from going down the drain.
Frankly, it is hard to keep any organization going when its charismatic founder and leader suddenly dies. While the message is ultimately the most important aspect of the organization, it and the founder are so intimately intertwined that it is hard to have one without the other. I don't know the whole history of JPFO nor do I know the details of any animosity that Aaron Zelman might have had for Alan Gottlieb. I do know that both organizations support the Second Amendment and that anything that helps both survive to keep on fighting for it can't be all bad.
The announcement from Alan Gottlieb and SAF on the merger is below:
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today announced that Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) has become part of the SAF family, bringing together two stalwart gun rights organizations under one banner. “We’re both delighted and proud to announce this merger,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “JPFO was founded 25 years ago by the late Aaron Zelman, and it has become a strong voice in defense of the Second Amendment. I'm personally confident that bringing JPFO into the SAF extended family will benefit firearms owners at many levels.”
Zelman passed away in 2010, and for the past four years, the JPFO has worked hard to maintain its position in the gun rights community.
“We see this as a tremendous opportunity,” said Gottlieb. “With SAF’s resources, we expect JPFO to continue its important work and grow to meet new challenges, educating people about the pitfalls of gun control, and the benefits of gun ownership and personal protection.”
Gottlieb said JPFO operations will be transferred from Wisconsin, where it was founded by Zelman in 1989, to the SAF offices at Liberty Park in Bellevue, Wash. JPFO editorial support staff will stay on and help maintain organizational continuity, he added.
“A few years ago,” Gottlieb noted, “Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership also merged into the SAF family and it has proven to be a great benefit to the gun rights community.”
By joining with the foundation, JPFO will also become a member organization of the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) and expand its reach internationally.
JPFO will be operated independently as a project of SAF and current members and contributors to the organization will continue to receive all benefits promised, Gottlieb added. JPFO’s website will continue to run independently as a stand-alone entity but will now include links to it from TheGunMag.com, KeepandBearArms.com, as well as SAF.org.