Staring down the barrel of open revolt from its conservative members (i.e. all of them), the National Rifle Association (NRA) has decided not to endorse Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The official statement (after the jump) doesn’t offer much in the way of explanation: “The vote on Elena Kagan’s confirmation to the Court, along with the previous year’s confirmation vote on Sonia Sotomayor, are critical for the future of the Second Amendment. After careful consideration, the NRA-PVF announced today that it will not be endorsing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for re-election in the 2010 U.S. Senate race in Nevada.” According to the New York Times, the NRA won’t endorse Reid’s opponent, either . . .

“The group will not endorse Mr. Reid’s Tea Party backed challenger, Sharron Angle, either, despite her work to win members over. (She even set up a special Web site called ‘N.R.A. members for Sharron Angle.’)” Reid’s spinmeisters went into immediate damage control mode . . .

Keenly aware of the blow, a spokesman for Mr. Reid’s campaign responded quickly, noting that the N.R.A. donated nearly $5,000 to Mr. Reid and nothing to Ms. Angle and that the group’s vice president, Wayne LaPierre, once called Mr. Reid a “true champion of the Second Amendment.” Mr. Reid was one of just two Senate Democrats to receive N.R.A. money this cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. (The N.R.A. has donated nearly $14,000 to Mr. Reid throughout his career.)

No wonder then, that the NRA’s statement was a little . . . vague.

Statement From NRA-PVF Chairman Chris W. Cox On The 2010 Nevada U.S. Senate Race

In the coming days and weeks, the NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) will be announcing endorsements and candidate ratings in hundreds of federal races, as well as thousands of state legislative races. Unless these announcements are required by the timing of primary or special elections, the NRA-PVF generally does not issue endorsements while important legislative business is pending. The NRA-PVF also operates under a long-standing policy that gives preference to incumbent candidates who have voted with the NRA on key issues, which is explained in more detail here.

The U.S. Senate recently considered a number of issues important to NRA members, including the confirmation of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Out of respect for the confirmation process, the NRA did not announce its position on Ms. Kagan’s confirmation until the conclusion of her testimony before the Senate Judiciary committee. Her evasive testimony exacerbated grave concerns we had about her long-standing hostility towards the Second Amendment. As a result, the NRA strongly opposed her confirmation and made it clear at the time that we would be scoring this important vote.

The vote on Elena Kagan’s confirmation to the Court, along with the previous year’s confirmation vote on Sonia Sotomayor, are critical for the future of the Second Amendment. After careful consideration, the NRA-PVF announced today that it will not be endorsing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for re-election in the 2010 U.S. Senate race in Nevada.

NRA members and other interested parties are encouraged to visit www.NRAPVF.org for more information as Election Day draws near.

5 Responses to Breaking: NRA Won’t Endorse Harry Reid

  1. I wasn't one to shout "I'll cancel my membership" if they endorsed Reid, but I'm quit pleased as a conservative to hear this news.

  2. I'm pleased that the NRA isn't endorsing Reid. (Make that "glad I don't have to resign my membership in disgust, especially just after I ponied up $500 to pay for a lifetime membership.") But I hope that they endorse Sharon Angle. Looks to me like all Reid's hush money won him a consolation prize of muzzling the NRA in his re-election bid. Which is really no small thing. If you can't get a large, powerful lobby to support you, the next best thing is to get them to stay out of the fight altogether.

  3. I think it's a good idea for the NRA to back gun-friendly Democrats (especially those with ample funds and powerful committee positions), instead of automatically endorsing their GOP challengers. There will always be plenty of Democrats in congress, and backing the gun-friendly ones helps to freeze out other anti-gun Democratic challengers.

    And who else can name the shotgun in the photo? Hint: it's not a Mossberg.

  4. Its a J.C. Higgins bolt-action, at least a 16-guage by its appearance. They were very comfortable-shooting guns, but their actions weren't very strong (the only locking lug was the bolt handle) and they were only slightly faster than a single-shot because they didn't feed terribly well. J.C. Higgins, IIRC, was the Sears store brand back when Sears wasn't afraid to sell guns.

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