New Pro Second Amendment Organization Launched In Minnesota

The organization pledges to fight gun control advocates that are largely funded by out of state sources

On Tuesday, a new political action committee, The Minnesota Gun Owners PAC, was launched with the goal of supporting pro-Second Amendment candidates in Minnesota elections. The organization plans to raise and spend money to rate and endorse candidates based on their position on gun control. Enhanced gun restrictions that were attempted to be passed during the 2013 legislative session inspired the PAC’s formation. Following the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, similar legislative battles took place across the country.

Conservative Democrats and Republicans blocked the gun laws that included regulations on ammunition magazines and the type of firearms available for sale as well as an expansion of background checks. Gun control advocates said they would reintroduce the measures next year despite their failure this year and supporters of the Second Amendment pledge to defend their rights. Chairperson of Minnesota Gun Owners PAC, Mark Okern, reflects on the spring hearings, “Over multiple days of hearings, law abiding gun owners heard proposal after proposal that would impact their ability to protect themselves, hunt, and enjoy the shooting sports while having no impact whatsoever on gun violence.”

The political group was founded by Okern as well as its new website, MNgopac.org, which includes event listings collector events, upcoming firearms safety courses and a page allowing gun enthusiasts to donate to the organization. Okern is a professional gun safety instructor and his partner at the organization, Bryan Strawser, a global crisis management executive at Target Corporation, will act as PAC’s treasurer. Okern has worked “on campaigns for both Democratic and Republican candidates,” he says in his online biography.

Strawser is a prolific blogger that has written on issues from gun rights legislation to national security issues. He has often taken up issues with Protect Minnesota, a local gun control advocacy group. Strawser claims lobbyists and gun control activists in Minnesota are funded by out of state organizations. “The Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee… is supported and led by the same Minnesotans that showed up at the legislature by the hundreds this year to protest against ineffective gun control proposals that would have adversely impacted their civil rights,” said Strawser.

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