Just one day after Republican Sen. John Cornyn won the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, his tea party primary challenger Rep. Steve Stockman has received the support of another prominent national gun group.
In their tit-for-tat endorsement showdown, Stockman, a diehard gun-rights advocate, has been given the backing of Gun Owners of America, the Dallas Morning News reports
The two men are engaged in an increasingly contentious GOP primary battle for the Senate seat in Texas that Cornyn, has held for 12 years
Erich Pratt, a spokesman for GOA, suggested that Cornyn had not done enough to demand Second Amendment rights in the Lone Star state while Stockman has been tireless in his work for gun owners.
"On the one hand, you've got a guy with a perfect 100 percent score who’s been an absolute hard charger," Pratt said of Stockman. "Cornyn is generally there, but we find sometimes we have to push him. Our feeling is, in Texas, we shouldn’t have to push anyone.
"We certainly don’t have to push Ted Cruz," he added, referring to the state's other senator.
The GOA noted that Stockman has introduced a handful of pro-gun bills in the House, including legislation pushing for a ban on federal gun-free zones around schools and military bases so that people could be free to carry firearms to protect themselves and others from possibly deranged shooters.
Stockman, who served in Congress from 1995-1997 and then got elected to Ron Paul's old seat last year, has been actively going after the backing of gun owners during his campaign to oust Cornyn in the March primary.
"I’m not just voting pro-gun 100 percent of the time," Stockman said about gun bans earlier this month. "I’m filing bills to take back rights the D.C. gun grabbers have stolen from you."
In April, Stockman raffled off a Bushmaster AR-15 while explaining that it's "the No. 1 firearm on the gun banners' wish list."
Stockman even sends out bumper stickers to supporters who donate to his campaign that says, "If babies had guns they wouldn’t be aborted," which not only underlines his gun-rights position but also shows that he's fiercely opposed to abortion.
After Cornyn received the backing
of the NRA on Wednesday, he released a statement, saying, "No organization in the country works harder on behalf of gun owners than the NRA, and I look forward to continuing to stand alongside them on the front lines for years to come."
The senator, who is seeking a third full term, has touted his own record as a gun-rights champion, pointing out that he had been particularly active in attempts to expand concealed carry permits.
"John Cornyn is a consistent and passionate champion of our Second Amendment rights,” said Chris Cox, chairman of the NRA’s Political Victory Fund.
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