By: Teresa Mull
The founders of March for Our Lives (MFOL), the gun control advocacy group founded in the wake of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting, just proposed a plan for even more extreme restriction of firearms in America.
The proposal is called “A Peace Plan for a Safer America,” and one of MFOL’s founders, Jaclyn Corin, described it as the "Green New Deal, but for guns.”
Fox News reports:
March for Our Lives had already called for universal background checks but the new proposal is more comprehensive than their previous list of demands.
In addition to background checks, the group is now calling for a multi-step approval process for gun ownership that includes "in-person interviews, personal references, rigorous gun safety training, and a waiting period of 10 days for each gun purchase."
It also looks to impose much stricter limits on purchases by raising the minimum age for gun possession to 21 and limiting Americans to one firearm purchase per month. It's unclear how the plan will be implemented as that purchase limit would seem to preclude its other goal of imposing higher fees on bulk firearm purchases.
These fees, along with annual fees for firearm licenses, would be directed toward addressing gun violence. The plan also called for a national licensing and registry system. Although an exact figure is impossible to pin down, researchers believe that there are more guns that people in the United States.
I reported last year for GPM on the mysterious funding source and backers of MFOL:
Following the lead of the students marching for their lives, and for all of ours, we will end this epidemic. I support their Peace Plan For A Safer America—and I call on everyone else in this race to do the same. https://t.co/6BlGa3IWkb— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 21, 2019
MFOL’s website says the group was “created by, inspired by, and led by the students of Parkland,” but that doesn’t explain who has been funding the organization’s bus tour, media blitzes, and other promotional events. The group’s march in Washington, D.C. in March reportedly cost $5 million alone.
Marchforourlives.com itself is curiously vague on this subject. The “Info” tab directs one to a “Partners and Supporters” page, which, rather than listing partners and supporters, as one might expect, simply says,
March for Our Lives is looking to partner with organizations with a history of working on issues related to gun violence prevention in this effort. We’re also interested in hearing from organizations looking to generally support our efforts in coming on board as supporting organizations. If you’d like to partner or offer support, please reach out here:
There’s no phone number I can find by which to call the group – just contact boxes that require the media person trying to get in touch to provide his organization or affiliation, and a message warning “it may take a while for you to receive a response because of the volume of requests we are receiving.”
The source of MFOL’s funding is a topic others have wondered about and investigated, and some questions surrounding who exactly is funneling the money remain.
NPR reported in March the group had said its funding came from “crowdfunding and other donations — including from household name celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney,” and that the MFOL board of directors was “comprised of adults,” due to legal restrictions.
The Washington Free Beacon reported that on March 8, MFOL had “registered a 501(c)(4) nonprofit advocacy organization that is not required to disclose its donors.”
“[MFOL] decided to incorporate as a ‘social welfare’ organization, and a non-profit, but not a 501(c)(3), a designation which would have allowed those who donated to the March to claim their contributions as tax deductions, but which would have required the March itself to submit a list of their contributors to the IRS,” the Daily Wire reported at the time.
Even the notoriously liberal Huffington Post smelled a rat and “criticized the group for its lack of transparency and grassroots veneer, when structurally the March for Our Lives bears the hallmarks of professional activists,” InfluenceWatch.org reported.
“…There is little publicly available information about the March for Our Lives Action Fund or who’s running it,” HuffPo reported. “…As a 501(c)(4) group, March for Our Lives Action Fund is subject to few public disclosure requirements regarding donors or expenditures, meaning the Parkland students and the board aren’t obligated to be fully transparent.”
A Capital Research Center article further reported earlier this year that:
Besides coordinating the D.C. rally in conjunction with Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group, Everytown for Gun Safety, as of this month, March for Our Lives now sports a 501(c)(4) lobbying nonprofit of its own—the March for Our Lives Action Fund. Filings with the D.C. Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs shows registration in Delaware, with an Encino, California, business address shared by Wishnow Ross Warsavsky & Company, an accountancy. Those filings also reveal the group’s treasurer: Jeri Rhodes, former Greenpeace CFO and currently an associate executive secretary at the Friends Committee on National Legislation (a left-of-center Quaker group).
“Everytown has been criticized for using high school students to promote gun control activism under the guise of spontaneous student demonstrations,” InfluenceWatch.org reported. “One of these students, David Hogg, tweeted on March 10 for gun control supporters to utilize a call script produced by Everytown for Gun Safety to pressure Congressional lawmakers into passing stricter gun control laws.”
What do Bloomberg and his cronies have to hide, if they are not ashamed of their very public exploitation of children? Why the secret donors and under-the-radar behavior?
Time will tell.
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.