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The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

September 8, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Democrat lawmakers send letter to NRA over lobbyist’s remarks

We wrote in late July about comments made by a National Rifle Association (NRA) lobbyist who compared the proposed background checks initiative to the beginning of Nazi oppression of Jews before World War II.

Neither the lobbyist, Brian Judy, nor the NRA have commented on that episode.

Now, four Democrat legislators have sent a letter to the NRA demanding that the organization dissociate itself from the remarks.

“We are dismayed that both Mr. Judy and the National Rifle Association have chosen to remain silent for four weeks on this subject,” reads the letter, dated Sept. 2. “These views, left unaddressed, have the potential to jeopardize the effectiveness of your representatives in working with many legislators and staff in Olympia.”

The letter is signed by Sen. Jamie Pedersen of Seattle, Rep. Laurie Jinkins of Tacoma, Rep. Reuven Carlyle of Seattle and Rep. Brady Walkinshaw of Seattle. Read a copy of the letter here.

Jinkins said she hasn’t heard anything back yet from the NRA. The chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Jinkins said if remarks like that were made in a committee session, odds are they would not have been tolerated.

“Mostly that’s the kind of thing that gets somebody gaveled down,” Jinkins said. “We usually try to keep a sense of decorum.”

The letter is addressed to Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA’s lobbying and political arm. Cox, who is also listed as campaign manager for the NRA’s independent expenditure campaign against I-594, did not return a phone call Monday seeking comment.

Carlyle, who said he also hasn’t heard anything back. “We were hoping to hear something back the day after [Judy] made those remarks, ” Carlyle said.

If passed, I-594 would require background checks for all gun transfers, including between private citizens.

Comments | More in 2014 elections, Gun initiative, State Legislature | Topics: 2014 elections, i-594

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