No criminal charges for Beavercreek-based gun group leader

Comment after Dayton’s mass shooting sparks concern from governor’s staff.

An Ohio State Highway Patrol official said Monday that the leader of a Beavercreek-based gun-rights group will not face criminal charges after making incendiary comments toward politicians — including Ohio’s governor — who are asking for certain firearms restrictions in the wake of Dayton’s mass shooting.

If politicians like Gov. Mike DeWine tighten gun laws, “there could be political bodies laying all over the ground. Maybe not this election, maybe the next election,” said Chris Dorr, leader of Ohio Gun Owners.

“But you’ll get yourself added to a list that, my friend, at some point, when you come across a target field, we gun owners will pull the trigger and leave the corpse for the buzzards,” Dorr said, pounding a table and pointing his right hand like a gun.

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Brought to its attention by the governor's executive protection unit, the Ohio State Highway Patrol reviewed the 80-minute video but plans no further action based on this recording, said Lt. Craig S. Cvetan on Monday.

“At this time, a criminal investigation has not been initiated due to the fact circumstances so far have not met the elements of a criminal offense,” he said.

Dorr’s comments came last week on Facebook as he criticized DeWine’s 17-measure gun package proposed two days after a shooter took nine lives and injured others in the Oregon District. He also mocked Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

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Dorr makes multiple pitches for money during the video and similar pleas in a recording on the day following the mass shooting.

“We need resources,” Dorr said. “We need to spend money hand over fist right now.”

He also claimed in one video to be in the crowd at the Oregon District vigil Sunday evening standing not far from DeWine.

Dorr appears associated with similar groups in Iowa, Minnesota and other states. The groups have been labeled money-making schemes by those even advocating for fewer gun restrictions.

Sixteen pro-Second Amendment Minnesota legislators, five Democrats and 11 Republicans, alleged in a 2015 letter to gun owners and constituents that the group was “fake” and said it did very little real work.

In 2017, Ohio Gun Owners reported $89,483 in revenue and expenses of $80,784, according to its federal Form 990. During 2016, the organization brought in $112,923 in 2016 and spent $99,936, more than $53,000 on direct mail, according to that year’s return.

MORE: A 30-second reign of terror: How the Oregon District mass shooting unfolded

A shotgun-carrying former Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor joined Dorr on the Statehouse steps when she signed a pledge last year as a gubernatorial candidate to oppose any new forms of gun control.

Dorr, in the current video, also criticized the Buckeye Firearms Association, an established gun rights group, for working with DeWine on the proposals, including a “red flag” law that would provide a way to remove firearms from those ruled dangerous to themselves or others by a judge.

Dorr, who moved to Ohio in 2013, operates the organizations with his brothers, Ben and Aaron, according to a report by Fox 9 in Minneapolis.

A phone call and text message to Dorr from this news organization went unanswered Monday.

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