NRA Reportedly Seething Over Elimination Of ALEC Task Force

Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

The fallout continues over the American Legislative Exchance Council's support of the National Rifle Association's "Kill at Will" self-defense laws. On his site, CNN contributor Erick Erickson reported today that an "NRA representative took issue with ALEC getting rid of his public safety section" at last Wednesday's weekly conservative discussion hosted by NRA board member Grover Norquist.

Last Tuesday ALEC announced that they were eliminating their Public Safety and Elections task force, which drew fire for its role in promoting NRA-backed gun laws and voter restrictions, and refocusing solely on economic legislation. Over the previous week at least 10 companies had left the organization in the wake of Color of Change's campaign to encourage corporations to end their association with the group due to their promotion of those laws.

Erickson reported:

At Grover Norquist's Wednesday meeting a discussion about the ongoing assault against ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, came up. Multiple sources (there are hundreds in the room) tell me that the NRA representative took issue with ALEC getting rid of his public safety section. That section has drafted a model "stand your ground" law, which Florida passed.

The NRA representative claimed that if ALEC was going to run away from the fight on these public safety issues, ALEC might just run away from other issues too, e.g. immigration.

Erickson further reported that an ALEC representative present at the meeting complained that the NRA had refused to help his organization push back on attacks they were receiving.

Erickson wrote:

At that point the ALEC representative pointed out that ALEC had actually sought help from the NRA on "stand your ground" laws, but the NRA decided, yet again, to play it safe and wound up letting ALEC take the bullet.

The NRA did not publicly weigh in on the Martin shooting until April 14, when NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre attacked the media for covering the case, claiming they are "manufactur[ing] controversy for ratings." The same day, NRA chief lobbyist Chris W. Cox said that the group doesn't "apologize" for its support for such legislation in the wake of Martin's killing, adding, "We will defend our efforts. We will defend those laws."

Erickson is a long-time critic of the NRA on the grounds that the organization is not sufficiently partisan, saying that instead he supports the even more extreme Gun Owners of America, which he calls "a consistent and uncompromising defender of the second amendment, not a weak little girl of an organization protecting itself while throwing everyone else under the bus."

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