Dec 8, 2015 6:10 PM
Landrigan: NH1 Exclusive- Leading firearms group pans 2016 GOP candidates Chris Christie and John Kasich on protecting gun owners
CONCORD [-] A leading group defending Second Amendment rights criticizes Republican presidential contenders and Governors Chris Christie of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio as undeserving of support from gun owners.
NH1 News exclusively obtained an advance copy of the critical e-mail alert to be blasted out before Christie returns for town hall meetings on Friday and Saturday.
Kasich returns to the state on Thursday with stops at the Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College and a town hall in Merrimack.of campaigning on Dec. 20-21.
"Since he became a presidential candidate, Governor Christie has been bragging about all of the people who were convicted of crimes under New Jersey's draconian gun laws that he has subsequently pardoned,’’ says the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition.
"Don't be fooled! This is not the pro-gun act that Gov. Christie wants you to think it is.’’
The group also faulted Christie’s administration for defending what it considered to be a restrictive law requiring residents to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
And it even goes back to the early 1990s in Christie’s career claiming the New Jersey Republican got into party politics in support of gun control.
"The issue which has motivated me to get into this race is the recent attempt by certain Republican legislators to repeal New Jersey’s ban on assault weapons,” Fox News reported that Christie said at the time.
Christie’s campaign responded their candidate has a record of supporting gun owners and released this statement from a leading gun rights group in his home state.
“Garden State gun owners owe Governor Christie a huge debt of gratitude – his historic vetoes, pardons, and executive actions have disrupted the gun ban agenda in New Jersey,’’ said Scott L. Bach, executive director with the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs.
The Christie camp notes as governor their candidate vetoed bills to restrict gun owner rights such as a ban on an entire class of rifles, on high capacity magazines and to ban state investments in firearm manufacturers.
The firearms coalition is critical of Kasich because as a congressman in 1994 he voted for the assault weapons and magazine ban.
And the group claims Kasich’s support of Medicaid reform makes it easier for someone with a mental health history to lose their gun owner rights.
Governor Kasich is simply another politician who will excuse criminal behavior as mental illness and by extension would likely void the Second Amendment rights of anyone who sees a "shrink,’’ wrote the coalition’s Vice President Scott Krauss.
A Kasich campaign spokeswoman says he's got a very pro-gun owner record.
"The governor received an "A" grade from the NRA just last year and the NRA endorsed him in his re-election. It's possible this group was unaware of that,'' says spokeswoman Emmalee Kalmbach."
Last week, Kasich told NH1 News that gun control was not the solution to the mass murder in San Bernardino, CA
Kasich also supported in Congress making an instant background check be completed within 24 hours rather than 72 hours which was the law back in 1999.
Alan Rice, a member of the coalition’s board, said there are several GOP White House hopefuls who have a good record on gun issues.
"We are two months out now and felt this was the appropriate time to let folks know which candidates Second Amendment supporters should be very wary of,’’ Rice said during a telephone interview.