Gun Rights Supporters:

    Many of you may have recently received a mailing purporting to be from the “Carolina Senate Fund” claiming some nebulous George Soros connection to Congressman Ted Budd, who is now running for the open seat being vacated by Senator Richard Burr.

     Behind the hit piece is a shadowy super PAC calling itself the “Carolina Senate Fund” (which actually hails from Virginia), actually two rich power brokers: James “Art” Pope of Variety Wholesalers and Doug Lebda, CEO of Lending Tree, each of whom have so far contributed $250,000 to the effort.

     The plot thickens when you learn that Art Pope has ties to Pat McCrory, specifically that Pope was a co-chair on North Carolina Governor-Elect Pat McCrory's transition team and served as the state budget director in the McCrory administration.

     So it appears this is an attempt to push Pat McCrory for the open U.S. Senate seat. In fairness, super PACs are (at least in theory) prohibited from coordinating with the candidate, so we can’t quite call it a Pat McCrory hit piece against Ted Budd, but ... well ... you know...

     And since we are talking about Pat McCrory, gun rights supporters should understand that we are still saddled with our Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit system because of McCrory.

     You see, when McCrory was governor, GRNC managed to get an omnibus gun bill through the General Assembly, HB 937, which contained a purchase permit repeal … at least until McCrory threatened to veto the bill if it contained the repeal. After that, then-Speaker Thom Tillis had the purchase permit repeal stripped out in committee and the remainder passed only under considerable pressure from GRNC.

     Although GRNC managed to get a bill for repealing the purchase permit system to the governor’s desk again this year, anti-gun Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed it (of course), giving us the difficult task of over-riding his veto in a legislature where Republicans lack the supermajority needed for over-ride.

     Translated, you can blame all the delays in purchase permits being suffered by gun owners in Wake, Mecklenburg, Guilford, and Buncombe counties on Pat McCrory.

     Meanwhile, to give you the measure of the target of the hit mail, Rep. Ted Budd, understand that Budd is a gun shop owner who stands strong for gun rights.

     In fact, Budd was one of only two Republicans to vote against legislation containing a “red flag” gun confiscation provision for military members.
While other NC Republicans stated their reasons for voting for the defense bill which contained the “red flag” provision, only Ted Budd and Dan Bishop had the guts to vote against the red flag gun confiscation altogether.

     The GRNC Political Victory Fund has not yet made recommendations for Burr’s open seat. They will be out in January. But I felt compelled to set the record straight on who among the two leading candidates has a history of supporting gun rights, and which one is a “RINO.”

     Meanwhile, please give the GRNC Political Victory Fund a hand in electing pro-gun candidates. As you may know, we are restricted by law from using membership money to impact elections, meaning we have to raise money separately for GRNC-PVF. Please help by going to:


Armatissimi e liberissimi,


F. Paul Valone
President, Grass Roots North Carolina

Executive Director, Rights Watch International

Radio host, Guns, Politics and Freedom


P.S. I realize you might still be burned out from the horrific 2020 elections, but the fact remains that if we lose in 2022, gun rights as you know them may cease to exist. If you can help out with $250, $100, $50, or even $25, it will help GRNC-PVF elect candidates who support your rights.