Why Does the NRA Endorses Sen. Lamar Alexander Despite His Pile of Anti-Gun Votes

By Bluegrass Bruce

Sen. Lamar Alexander
Why Does the NRA Endorses Sen. Lamar Alexander Despite His Pile of Anti-Gun Votes
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Kentucky –  The NRA is supporting moderate Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander in his primary against Tea Party challenger Joe Carr, despite Alexander’s poor track record on gun issues in Congress.

Alexander is merely the latest in a string of questionable endorsements that the group has made in this year’s Republican primaries.

Alexander sided with Democrats when gun rights were on the line in 2013. When Rand Paul tried to lead a Republican filibuster of the Obama’s background check bill, Sen. Alexander joined Democrats and provided a crucial vote to allow debate. He also voted to confirm Obama’s gun-grabbing Attorney General, Eric Holder.

Several other gun groups are opposing Alexander, including Gun Owners of America and the National Association for Gun Rights.

In their endorsement of Joe Carr, GOA said: “Washington establishment insiders — who care more about their reelections than your constitutional rights — are being defeated by an electorate fed up with the status quo. It’s time for the same kind of change in Tennessee.”

Unlike Alexander, Carr has an unblemished record on gun rights. In its endorsement, GOA said:

“Time after time in the state legislature, Rep. Carr stood up for gun owners’ rights. Joe voted to protect the privacy of concealed carry permit holders, and he voted to expand concealed carry to all restaurants so you are better able to protect yourself and your family. Joe voted to eliminate the unconstitutional requirement that gun buyers submit a thumbprint to Tennessee firearms dealers.”

GOA added that Alexander has a “C” rating from the group and he refuses to fill out the group’s survey.

This is far from the first time that the NRA has chosen to support a moderate Republican with a weak record on guns over a more worthy conservative challenger. The group endorsed several moderate candidates in 2014 including Mitch McConnell, Mike Simpson and Thad Cochran.

Like Alexander, Mitch McConnell won the NRA’s support despite having a history of weakness on gun issues. In 1991, McConnell voted for Joe Biden’s crime bill that imposed a waiting period on handgun sales. In 2004, he supported Barbara Boxer’s bill to prohibit the sale of guns without a safety storage device.

McConnell also voted with the Democrats to allow debate on Obama’s background check bill. Just like Alexander.

The NRA needs to go back to picking candidates according to their record on gun rights — period. If gun issues are not important to the NRA, then what is?

About Bluegrass Bruce
Bluegrass Bruce is a hunter, political blogger, and UK basketball fan from Kentucky. His opinions on gun rights and politics are posted on “Bluegrass Bruce” and shared on websites and blogs across the United States. Visit: www.bluegrassbruce.blogspot.com

  • 10 thoughts on “Why Does the NRA Endorses Sen. Lamar Alexander Despite His Pile of Anti-Gun Votes

    1. Most “bang for your buck” is Gun Owners of America, by far. Many fence sitters who have ended up voting in favor of gun rights have cited GOA’s efforts as a big reason for their awakening. GOA’s position is to never give an inch. They use their very limited budget to excellent effect, and I for one am proud to be a member. If you haven’t already, I recommend you check them out and consider joining.

    2. The NRA has some hard and fast rules about endorsements. One of them is that they favor the incumbent if they have been mostly responsive to the NRA’s concerns and voted mostly as the NRA recommended.

      Why this policy? Simple: If someone votes with you 80-90% of the time, and you abandon them to back a challenger who promises to vote with you 100% of the time, then you are going to have a very hard time getting lawmakers to listen to you. After all, I voted mostly with you and you abandoned me…..

      As for the background check bill – that bill was so heavily amended that we would have to know what version we are talking about. They were so desperate to pass something that they added a whole bunch of pro-gun provisions – including the right to buy a gun in any state, a new crime of creating a firearms registry (with a 15 year penalty!), a requirement that false arrests in violation of FOPA carry civil damages. Those are just the ones I remember. As a result, some pro-gun activists and organizations – such as CCRKBA – opposed the initial version, but supported the final version. They saw it as a net gain. There’s no question that by the time that final version passed – which exempted family transfers – was defeated, it was heads we win – tails you loose. That’s why they gave up.

    3. When I heard that the NRA was getting involved in a republican primary to support McConnell, when his opponent was just as strong a 2A supporter, I called them to express my dismay. I never got so much as an e-mail back. Needless to say, I will never support them again, knowing that my money could be used against a good conservative candidate instead of in the general election. I, now, only donate directly to solid candidates.

    4. One more reason to tell the NRA to kiss off. I have been a member off and on for several years, but after reading this good-by NRA.

    5. “If gun issues are not important to the NRA, then what is”? In a word, HEGEMONY. The NRA cares about one thing, raw political power. To further that end, the NRA cares about raking in the bucks, hence your bi-monthly mailbox molestations. Gun owners’ rights are, at best, a third string priority. Furthermore, these guys at ILA make an enormous amount of money, so they have to protect their cushy jobs. THAT means keeping the fight open. Not too much success please, we still need a boogeyman. Worst of all, the NRA is run BY its lobbyists. The last two EVP’s, Lapierre and Warren Cassidy, both came from the ILA. The front runner to replace LaPierre? Chris Cox at, well, you know. The lobbyists HAVE to answer to the organization, NOT the other way around. It is a recipe for stalemate. That’s why my time and effort go to my state group.

    6. Except NRA isn’t endorsing Lamar Alexander. This is a complete fabrication. NRA made no endorsement in the race. You can see their ratings for TN US Senate race here: http://nrapvf.org/grades-endorsements/2014/tennessee.aspx NRA gave Joe Carr and “A” and Lamar Alexander an “A-“.

      As for NAGR, they have zero accomplishments and are simply a fundraising organization that masquerades as a gun rights group. If you support NAGR, you are actually undermining our gun rights. https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Truth-About-the-National-Association-for-Gun-Rights-NAGR/325633370820160

    7. Right now the anti-gun minions are portraying the NRA as ‘right wing extremists’. The NRA, probably concerned about image, probably feels backing an ‘establishment Republican’ is a better option than backing a ‘Tea Party’ conservative. Like the NRA, the ‘Tea Party’ is also portrayed as a bunch of ‘right wing extremists’.

    8. I’m surprised this article didn’t mention the fact that the NRA supported ‘dirty’ Harry Reid (D) NV for many many years…Some times I wonder what in the heck is the NRA thinking by supporting political leaders especially liberal Democratic politicians who they suspect or who have proven themselves to be about as anti-gun (2nd amendment rights) as can be found anywhere within the cess pool or corruption in Washington DC…NRA members deserve better transparency on who the NRA chooses to support in the political ring of things.

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