NRA candidate questions provide test of new gun politics

NRA candidate questions provide test of new gun politics

TALLAHASSEE – The National Rifle Association has been sending out questionnaires to candidates for years, but the 2018 version is already drawing ire from Democrats appalled at the timing and tone of the questions. But it’s the responses from Republicans that could provide an early test of the gun-rights organization’s influence in the Legislature in the post- Parkland political climate. “I received that candidate questionnaire a week before the two-year mark of Pulse,” said Anna Eskamani, a Democratic activist running for House District 47, which includes Pulse nightclub. “As we’re planning and continuing to mourn those who we’ve lost, I get that questionnaire in my inbox. Just completely tone deaf to the community and the impact of gun violence.” The questionnaire asks candidates to “give their word” in responding to the inquiries, and if they interpret the Second Amendment as a “fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms.” The next question asks if a vote for a bill that violates the constitution is malfeasance. “Looking at the language of the questionnaire itself . . . you were either anti-gun or you were pro-gun,” Eskamani said. “It’s not that simple.” The questionnaire was sent by the NRA and the Unified Sportsmen of Florida. Marion Hammer is the longtime lobbyist for both in Tallahassee. She did not return calls and emails for comment Wednesday. Democrats came out forcefully for strong gun control measures after the Pulse nightclub massacre June 12, 2016, left 49 dead and 53 wounded. Most of those […]

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