NRA endorses Blunt

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Missouri gubernatorial candidate Matt Blunt accepted the endorsement of the National Rifle Association during campaign stops in Cape Girardeau and elsewhere around the state Tuesday.

NRA chief executive officer and executive vice president Wayne LaPierre accompanied Blunt on the campaign stops, which began with an 8 a.m. gathering of about 30 Blunt and NRA supporters at the NRA shelter at Arena Park in Cape Girardeau.

"Missouri sportsmen will have a friend in Jefferson City with Matt Blunt as governor," LaPierre said.

He said Blunt, the Republican candidate, supports the rights of sportsmen and women and believes that Missourians should have the right to carry concealed weapons to protect themselves from violent criminals.

LaPierre said Blunt's Democratic opponent, Claire McCaskill, opposes right-to-carry laws and has vowed to seek the repeal of that right in Missouri.

"The efforts to improve public safety and to protect the rights of hunters will be jeopardized if Matt's opponent is elected," he said.

LaPierre said Americans need to speak out in support of the Constitution's Second Amendment right to bear arms.

"If we don't stand up for this freedom we will lose it," he told the crowd.

Blunt said he is committed to defending the rights of gun owners. He accused McCaskill of being supported by trial lawyers who want to use the courts to attack gun manufacturers.

He said the NRA's endorsement is important because the November election for governor is expected to be close.

"It will have real meaning in this race," Blunt said.

Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, said the NRA will urge all its members in Missouri to vote for Blunt.

Cox said the NRA isn't opposing McCaskill because she is a Democrat. He said the NRA is a bipartisan group that supports politicians who support the Second Amendment.

mbliss@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 123

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