Alexander sided with Democrats when gun rights were on the line in 2013. When Rand Paul tried to lead a Republican filibuster of the Obama’s background check bill, Sen. Alexander joined Democrats and provided a crucial vote to allow debate. He also voted to confirm Obama’s gun-grabbing Attorney General, Eric Holder.
Several other gun groups are opposing Alexander, including Gun Owners of America and the National Association for Gun Rights.
In their endorsement of Joe Carr, GOA said: “Washington establishment insiders — who care more about their reelections than your constitutional rights — are being defeated by an electorate fed up with the status quo. It’s time for the same kind of change in Tennessee.”
Unlike Alexander, Carr has an unblemished record on gun rights. In its endorsement, GOA said:
“Time after time in the state legislature, Rep. Carr stood up for gun owners’ rights. Joe voted to protect the privacy of concealed carry permit holders, and he voted to expand concealed carry to all restaurants so you are better able to protect yourself and your family. Joe voted to eliminate the unconstitutional requirement that gun buyers submit a thumbprint to Tennessee firearms dealers."
GOA added that Alexander has a “C” rating from the group and he refuses to fill out the group’s survey.
This is far from the first time that the NRA has chosen to support a moderate Republican with a weak record on guns over a more worthy conservative challenger. The group endorsed several moderate candidates in 2014 including Mitch McConnell, Mike Simpson and Thad Cochran.
Like Alexander, Mitch McConnell won the NRA’s support despite having a history of weakness on gun issues. In 1991, McConnell voted for Joe Biden’s crime bill that imposed a waiting period on handgun sales. In 2004, he supported Barbara Boxer’s bill to prohibit the sale of guns without a safety storage device.
McConnell also voted with the Democrats to allow debate on Obama’s background check bill. Just like Alexander.
The NRA needs to go back to picking candidates according to their record on gun rights — period. If gun issues are not important to the NRA, then what is?