A gun-control advocacy group said the National Rifle Association has been more involved than previously reported in a push for Second Amendment sanctuary cities, a statement the NRA is calling a “distraction.”
Requests for public documents were filed by the Brady group, which said the NRA coordinated with sheriffs seeking to pass local resolutions that designate municipalities as sanctuaries to gun law enforcement if they deem the laws unconstitutional, Reuters reported.
“The documents Brady acquired reveal that the NRA was actively involved in the NMSA’s efforts in drafting the (sanctuary) Declaration; recruiting sheriffs to lobby state and political politicians to oppose the GVP (gun-violence prevention) bills and to adopt so-called Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions,” the group said in remarks to Reuters.
“This is a distraction being pitched to reporters by the Michael Bloomberg-financed gun control lobby in response to the public’s strong opposition to their extreme gun control measures,” Catherine Mortensen, NRA spokesperson, told The Daily Caller News Foundation Tuesday.
Second Amendment sanctuary counties are multiplying, backed by the NRA, per a new report. https://t.co/mKTSY86kPH
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) May 20, 2019
The NRA said it “only communicated with New Mexico sheriffs about defeating state gun-control legislation by drafting editorials, analyzes and fact sheets that were shared among the sheriffs,” Reuters reported.
Tony Mace, the Cibola County sheriff and chair of the New Mexico Sheriffs Association (NMSA), said he coordinated with the gun advocacy group openly, according to Reuters.
“There was nothing secret about what was going on,” he said. “You could see us talking with the NRA lobbyists in the balconies and you’d see us talking with them in the hallways. I’m not trying to distance myself from the NRA.”
“They are trying to draw attention away from the fact that the New York-style gun control they are pushing on New Mexicans will make law-abiding citizens less safe and won’t do anything to deter criminals,” Mortensen said.
A source within the NRA said its efforts were no different than what other organizations do frequently. Lobbying groups regularly distribute fact sheets, messaging points and letters, the NRA source told TheDCNF.
Twenty-five of New Mexico’s 33 counties have passed resolutions vowing not to enforce firearms laws they find unconstitutional. (RELATED: New Mexico County Makes Itself A ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary’)
At least eight states have had counties, cities or towns declare themselves sanctuaries to gun control legislation. In addition to New Mexico, affected states include Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Rhode Island and Washington, according to The New American.
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