(2nd Add: Includes comments from Tommy Milner, president of Remington.)
(CNSNews.com) - Sen. John F. Kerry has earned a "Labor Day goose egg" from a Second Amendment group, for being a "first-class hypocrite."
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) was responding to a Labor Day picnic in Racine, W. Va., at which Kerry received a shotgun as a gift from the United Mine Workers of America.
The Associated Press circulated a photograph of the Democratic presidential candidate holding the gun.
After receiving the shotgun on Monday, Kerry was quoted as saying, "I thank you for the gift, but I can't take it to the debate with me" -- an apparent reference to his upcoming political debate with President George W. Bush.
John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA public affairs director, accused Kerry of pandering to pro-gun-rights voters by portraying himself as a gun owner and hunter, but also saying he would never consider shooting a deer with an AK-47.
"This does not wash with America's gun owners," Snyder said. "The Second Amendment isn't about duck hunting. It is about the right to keep and bear arms for defense of life and property. Some gun owners are doing that right now in Florida as they protect their property from looters in the wake of Hurricanes Charley and Frances," Snyder noted.
Snyder said Kerry, just like his fellow senator from Massachusetts, Edward Kennedy, "has been a reliable vote for the anti-gun special interests.
"Just this spring, he came back from the campaign hustings to vote for a measure by anti-gun Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Charles Schumer of New York to extend a ban on the manufacture and importation of certain semiautomatic firearms beyond next week's scheduled sunset date. He also voted for a measure that would have outlawed the private sale of firearms at gun shows unless the buyer agrees to a background check," Snyder said.
"Kerry's not fooling us," Snyder added. "His 100 percent ratings from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the anti-gun American Bar Association's Special Committee on Gun Violence, and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence just add up to a big goose egg from CCRKBA."
As CNSNews.com reported, Sen. Kerry has adopted a new strategy when it comes to firearms. His desire to be viewed as a gun-toting Democrat has left the gun control lobby noticeably silent during the 2004 presidential campaign, relegated to the sidelines on an issue that played a significant role in the election four years ago.
Gun enthusiasts do not support gun presentation to Kerry
"Rest assured, we were neither aware of this presentation in advance nor in any way supportive of its intent to support Senator Kerry," wrote Tommy Milner, president of Remington, in a National Shooting Sports Foundation's weekly Bullet Points industry email.
"In fact, the Company remains amused by ongoing photos of Senator Kerry shooting without either ear or eye protection while discharging a firearm," Milner added.
"As you know, federal election law prevents any company from endorsing a candidate. Later today we will send out a press release clarifying any confusion that Remington in any way endorses through this gift (by union representing some of our employees) the candidacy of Senator Kerry."
Kerry cosponsored bill that would have banned shotgun
Meanwhile, Kerry cosponsored a bill last year which would have banned the gun he received from the United Mine Workers of America this week.
S. 1431, the Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2003, would have made it illegal to own, among other things, a "semiautomatic shotgun that has a pistol grip."
Opponents of the bill successfully argued that nearly all guns have "pistol grips," including Browning Auto-5 shotguns produced since 1903.
See Earlier Stories:
Kerry Reshapes Agenda for Gun Control Lobby (20 Aug. 2004)
Kerry Sharpens Aim on Gun Vote in Red States (12 Aug. 2004)
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