BY WESLEY P. HESTER
Just a day ahead of the second GOP U.S. Senate debate, former Gov. George Allen trotted out another high-profile endorsement, this one from the National Rifle Association.
With more than four million members, the NRA is the leading gun organization in the nation.
“George Allen is committed to protecting our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage,” said Chris W. Cox, chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund, noting Allen’s “A” rating with the group.
“George Allen knows that further regulation of firearms owned by law-abiding Americans will not reduce violent crime and will only embolden criminals who prey on honest victims,” Cox added, urging all members to support Allen in the June 12 primary.
As a senator, Allen co-sponsored the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, designed to stop frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers. He also sponsored National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity legislation and co-sponsored the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act to prohibit gun confiscation during states of emergency.
As governor, Allen supported and signed Virginia’s Right-to-Carry law, abolished and promoted truth-in-sentencing legislation.
“My friends in the sportsmen community who enjoy the natural beauty of Virginia’s fields, forests, streams and lakes can count on me to be a strong and steadfast advocate for their freedom to hunt and fish,” said Allen in response. “And all Virginians have my commitment to stand up for their God-given rights. The way to reduce crime is to crack down on criminals, not disarm our law-abiding citizens.”
Allen faces three challengers for the nomination: state Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, Chesterfield County tea party activist Jamie Radtke and Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson.
The winner will face former Gov. Timothy. M. Kaine in the general election to fill the seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va.