The American Firearms Association filed, for the first time, disclosure forms necessary to lobby Congress on gun issues and criminal justice. The new registration, filed on January 18, 2022, signifies that the controversial network at lobbying for state Stand Your Ground bills, led by Aaron Dorr, Chris Dorr, and Ben Dorr are joining forces with Patrick Parsons, former chief of staff for U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), was also listed on the disclosure.
“The Dorr brothers have built a brand on being the no-compromise gun lobby, using extreme rhetoric to pressure state lawmakers of all political stripes,” explained Karen Goll, executive director of the Moonlight Foundation. “The divisive tactics deployed by the Dorr brothers likely end the chances for any meaningful bipartisan gun reform legislation."
Parsons and Chris Dorr published a YouTube video, explaining how they’re supporting the “National Stand-Your-Ground Act” introduced by U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) in December 2021. In the video, Chris Dorr tells gun owners, “It’s time for Republicans to go to war against the left. It’s time to act. It’s time to start fighting back and going on offense.”
Goll continued, “By partnering up with Mr. Parsons, the American Firearms Association is set to increase the temperature around gun reform, criticizing Democrats and many Republicans for not supporting the group's agenda. We’ve seen the Dorr brothers use these tactics in state legislators across the country, often resulting in greater division and alienating their own supporters."
The American Firearms Association is known for posting divisive material on social media. For instance, on January 6, 2021, the American Firearms Association’s official Facebook and Instagram account posted a Tweet supporting the January 6 riots.
The relationship between the Dorr brothers and Parsons has an interesting history. In June 2021, Representative Greene introduced a bill that would abolish the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Aaron Dorr lauded the bill. In September 2021, Parsons announced his resignation from Representative Greene’s staff. And by October 2021, Parsons was announced as vice president of the American Firearms Association.
ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND ON THE DORR BROTHERS/ AMERICAN FIREARMS ASSOCIATION —
The Dorr brothers made national news by leading many of the earliest anti-mask protests against Covid-19, though they have spent the last decade setting up nonprofits to latch onto various conservative issues.
In January 2019, Chris Dorr registered the American Firearms Coalition in Ohio and changed the name in December 2022 to American Firearms Association, according to Ohio incorporation records. In 2020, the organization had a budget of $457,385.
Of the 13 affiliated organizations listed on the American Firearms Association website, 12 have direct ties to the Dorr brothers. In a YouTube video from December 2021, Ben Dorr claimed that the state affiliates passed legislation in Stand-Your-Ground states, and now the organization was “going federal.”
Local officials have often raised issues, questioning whether the Dorr brothers deserve all the success and praise they claim. One pro-gun legislator from Iowa once said, “Aaron Dorr is a scam artist, a liar.” This criticism has been echoed in other states. Critics have suggested the Dorr brothers fundraise off of scare tactics but do not create real progress.