A Top Gun Control Group Just Endorsed a Republican Gun Rights Defender

A Top Gun Control Group Just Endorsed a Republican Gun Rights Defender

The March for Our Lives gun control rally in Washington, DC, on March 24, 2018 Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Last week, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick received a coveted endorsement that no other Republican has obtained this election cycle. Fitzpatrick, the GOP incumbent in Pennsylvania’s highly competitive 1st Congressional District, won the approval of Giffords, the gun control organization founded by Gabby Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who was severely injured in a 2011 shooting. The group lauded the freshman lawmaker’s support for expanding background checks and for restricting assault weapons sales. It also praised his across-party-lines vote against a bill that would require states to recognize the validity of concealed-carry permits issued by other states—a top legislative priority for the National Rifle Association. “Congressman Fitzpatrick is a leader in the Republican caucus on the issue of gun safety,” the Giffords group wrote. The Giffords announcement has raised more than a few eyebrows, putting Democratic operatives at odds with a gun control group they usually view as an ally. In part, that’s because Fitzpatrick’s record hasn’t always aligned with Giffords’ portrayal of him. Here’s how the Giffords endorsement describes Fitzpatrick’s vote on the concealed carry measure: In 2017, Congressman Fitzpatrick voted against concealed carry reciprocity, which would force Pennsylvania to allow potentially untrained, unlicensed individuals to carry hidden, loaded guns in its communities. But in a letter Fitzpatrick drafted late last year, he provided a very different explanation for his vote against the concealed-carry reciprocity legislation, saying that he opposed it because […]

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