Walz gets NRA support

Published 9:50 am Monday, October 4, 2010

First District Congressman Tim Walz talks with Doyle Lammey of Albert Lea on Saturday at the Oak Grove Gun Club. -- Michelle Haacke/Albert Lea Tribune

First District Congressman Tim Walz was in Albert Lea Saturday to announce that he had received an endorsement for Congress from the National Rifle Association.

“I grew up hunting and spent 24 years in the Army National Guard. I know how important Second Amendment rights are to the people of southern Minnesota,” said Walz. “I’m proud to stand with the NRA to protect our Second Amendment rights, and I’m truly grateful for their endorsement.”

Walz is running for a third term representing Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District against Republican challenger Randy Demmer and Independence Party candidate Steven Wilson.

First District Congressman Tim Walz spent Saturday afternoon skeet shooting at the Oak Grove Gun Club in Albert Lea. Looking on are Doyle Lammey of Albert Lea and Randy Anderson of Twin Lakes. -- Michelle Haacke/Albert Lea Tribune

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Earlier last week, Walz also picked up endorsements from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Political Action Committee and Republican Sen. David Durenberger.

He said the NRA endorsement was a reflection of his ability to get the job done in Congress.

“Folks who care about Second Amendment rights don’t care about the political idealogy. They care if you’re true to the Second Amendment and getting things done,” Walz said.

To celebrate the endorsement, he met up with a handful of friends and associates at the Oak Grove Gun Club Saturday afternoon.

Randy Anderson of Twin Lakes, a member of the gun club, said he supported the endorsement.

“The NRA is for gun rights, which is important for shooting sports and important for young people hunting,” Anderson said. “It was nice he wanted to come do this. It shows us he cares.”

Doyle Lammey of Albert Lea was also in attendance on Saturday to show his support. “He supports guns, working people and veterans in particular,” he said. “For us veterans, he’s the No. 1 guy.”

The NRA’s Political Victory Fund said in a press release that it chose to back Walz because he is a strong defender of Second Amendment freedoms. While it also gave Demmer an A grade, it chose to back Walz because of a number of his votes in support of gun rights.

Walz co-sponsored and voted for the Second Amendment Enforcement Act and signed the pro-gun congressional amicus brief to the Supreme Court supporting the individual right to keep and bear arms in the 2008 Heller case.

He also co-sponsored legislation to reform the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Walz serves on three committees in the U.S. House of Representatives: Agriculture, Transportation and Infrastructure and Veterans Affairs.

He also is one of nine House members to serve on the Congressional Executive Commission on China and was the president of the Democratic freshman class.

The NRA says it endorses candidates based not on their party but on their views on gun rights. Most of its Senate endorsements have gone to Republicans, but it’s backing several Democrats in U.S. House races.

— The Associated Press contributed to this story.