Columbus — The top lobbyist at Ohio’s Buckeye Firearms Association will not be representing them at the capital this coming legislative session.
Jim Irvine, both the group President and longtime lobbyist, is out of both jobs. This move from Buckeye Firearms comes after a board meeting on Monday, January 6th. Following the meeting, the group announced that Irvine will be leaving Buckeye Firearms Association to pursue other interests.
In an email to reporters, Executive Director Dean Rieck confirmed Irvine’s departure and said that Irvine might go on to do other work related to guns, but it would not be for Buckeye Firearms Association.
There Are Political Games Afoot
But insiders know that this departure is just one more play in the battle over how to move gun bills in Ohio.
Buckeye Firearms Association had recently published a post opposing House Bill 354. The bill, sponsored by Republican Representatives Phil Plummer and D.J. Swearingen, was a terrible gun bill by all accounts.
Buckeye Firearms’ published a post on their website shredding the bill — and rightfully so. The bill “creates a train wreck of problems for Ohioans and may be the single worst piece of legislation we have seen in a very long time,” they wrote.
HB354 is supposed to be the Ohio House Republican’s hard-hitting response to gun-control militant-turned-governor Mike DeWine’s recent proposal.
Back The Bill or Get Lost
But instead of pulling no puches, it was a sellout bill from the get go. Designed to enhance the Federal NCIC database created by Dianne Feinstein in the 1990’s, HB354 increases the size and scope of the centralized Federal database gun owners believe will be used for a confiscation attempt in the future.
According to reports from insiders, the board of Buckeye Firearms Association was in agreement to oppose HB354, but President and lobbyist Jim Irvine refused to oppose it, reportedly arguing BFA would lose friendships and capital at the Statehouse for doing so.
Chris Dorr, director of Ohio Gun Owners, commented on the Buckeye scandal: “Jim Irvine finally just got what he has deserved for a very long time. He should have been canned years ago, because for many years he has worked to advance himself to the politicians in Columbus rather than fight for the membership of BFA. The article BFA published about House Bill 354 was spot on, it is rotten to the core and needs to be killed.”
So to recap, Jim Irvine wanted BFA to back the most pernicious piece of compromised garbage legislation gun owners could possibly have faced — so BFA fired him!
Dorr went on: “This is very good news for gun owners in the Buckeye State. For years, Irvine maneuvered himself into position to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Just this year he helped DeWine write his awful gun-control bill, and last year he was the guy who gutted Ohio’s chance at becoming a Stand-Your-Ground state. He’s a terrible human being, and I hope he stays gone for good.” Dorr leads the day to day operations of Ohio Gun Owners, which was started in 2016 and is the largest gun rights organization in the state of Ohio.
Trimming the Dead Weight
We’ve been saying this sort of thing for ages. You either fight fire with fire, or you get put out. Irvine’s corruption and self-advancement was apparent for all to see, and his card got called.
But this sort of controversy is good for gun owners. No more “we’re all on the same team!” with sellouts. No more pretending that one millimeter’s progress every decade is enough. We don’t buy it that as long as a politician says they like guns and hunt once a year, that they’re on our side. They’re our enemy until they’ve advanced our gun rights or have proven they’re willing to try.
It is go big or go home. So long, Irvine.