Former Gun Control Colleagues ‘Shocked’ by Mary Lou Sapone’s ‘Malicious Duplicity’

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States United to Prevent Gun Violence, where gun lobby spy Mary Lou Sapone served until recently as the director of federal legislation—the organization’s chief federal lobbyist on gun control issues—has issued a press release on the “malicious duplicity” of their former colleague:

Members of States United to Prevent Gun Violence were profoundly disturbed to learn of the malicious duplicity of a longtime gun violence prevention activist. An investigative article published online on the Mother Jones web site reported that Mary McFate, the legislative director for States United to Prevent Gun Violence, was in actuality a mole for the gun lobby.

Information received by reporters for the online journal revealed that the person known as Mary McFate is also Mary Lou Sapone, a “research consultant” who was hired by the NRA. Sapone has a long history of infiltrating animal rights and environmental activist groups as well.

“Mary’s long history of working with gun violence prevention groups, her knowledge of the issues, and her willingness to work as a volunteer lobbyist in Congress made her appear to be a good choice for States United’s legislative director,” stated the organization’s Executive Director, Barbara Hohlt. “Unlike the NRA, which obviously has plenty of money to spend paying spies for years at a time, States United relies heavily on dedicated volunteers to accomplish the work of the organization.”

McFate had earned a position of trust among members of the gun violence prevention community, many of whom are survivors or family of victims of gun violence. Many expressed shock and outrage at the news. Toby Hoover, Executive Director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, has worked in the area of gun violence prevention since the shooting death of her husband many years ago during a robbery. “It is beyond my comprehension how someone could have listened to my story and expressed desire to help prevent others from having to experience the agony I went through, all the time collecting money as a gun lobby spy,” said Hoover.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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