[Republican Tennessee Gubernatorial] candidate [Bill] Haslam has said that he joined the Bloomberg group [Mayors Against Illegal Guns] to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but that he left after he determined the group was going “in a different direction.” Ronnie Barrett, owner of the Barrett Firearms Manufacturing plant in Murfreesboro, which Haslam visited Thursday, said in a phone interview that he can look beyond Haslam’s former membership in the group. “As soon as Haslam realized what it was all about, he got out of it and told them to hit the road,” Barrett said. “That’s all in the past. He’s clarified that and has distanced himself from it.”


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