Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Walz and his Republican challenger, Allen Quist, have snagged dueling gun group endorsements.
The National Rifle Association endorsed Walz in the First Congressional District race while the Gun Owners of America, another pro-Second Amendment group, endorsed Quist. The candidates are vying to represent the state's First Congressional District, which stretches across southern Minneosta.
Leaders of the 4.3 million NRA said Walz earned an ‘A’ rating for his voting record, including his support of bills that would promote “America’s hunting heritage” and provide an “amnesty period during which veterans and their family members could register firearms acquired overseas between 1934 and 1968 without fear of prosecution.”
The choice for gun owners in this election is clear,” the NRA’s chief lobbyist Chris Cox said in a release. “Tim Walz will protect our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage.”
The 300,000-member Gun Owners of America has often publicly criticized how the NRA endorses and rates candidates.
“Allen Quist is a rock-solid Second Amendment supporter who will always stand up for your gun rights,” GOA vice chairman Tim May said in a release. “His opponent in this race, Tim Walz, claims to support gun rights but his record tells a different story.”
The group criticized Walz for voting to maintain a gun ban “on millions of acres of National Park Service land” and for the supporting the Affordable Care Act “despite concerns of gun owners that government bureaucrats could use information gleaned from a medical records database to strip away people’s Second Amendment rights.”
In Minnesota, the NRA also endorsed Republican U.S. Reps. Michele Bachmann, Chip Cravaack and John Kline.

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