NRA Attacks Republican For Supporting Business Owners’ Right To Ban Guns On Their Premises

A billboard in the district

The National Rifle Association is throwing down nearly $200,000 to defeat a very pro-gun Republican candidate, simply because she does not support one controversial bill that would effectively make it illegal for businesses to ban guns on their premises.

State Rep. Debra Maggart (R-TN) will face off against opponent Courtney Rogers in today’s primary in the state, and even though the Republican leadership agrees with her, the money is not in her favor. The NRA, seemingly to test its own power, has put its forces behind defeating Maggart.

Despite her entirely pro-gun, anti-gun control record, the group insists that Maggart is trying to take away peoples’ guns. They’ve even placed billboard ads comparing her to President Barack Obama, though the two couldn’t be more different on policy stances — except that neither has proposed any gun control legislation:

“We’ve put up ads and billboards comparing Debra Maggart and Barack Obama. That’s because while both say they support our second amendment rights, they both worked against our freedoms behind closed doors,” said Chris Cox, with the National Rifle Association.

The NRA believes Maggart worked behind closed doors to defeat a bill that would have allowed people to keep guns in their vehicles while at work. It’s a claim she’s long denied, saying she only wanted to study the issue further.

“I think Debra is taking heat for doing something where she was really trying to find the right answer of supporting business interests, as well as second amendment rights, which she believes in both. If the decisions were easy we’d go into session and be done in a week, and I think Debra worked hard to get to that answer,” said Governor Haslam.

“I am not against guns I have a gun permit, my family owned a business that sold guns, I sponsor a skeet shoot every other year, I am very pro second amendment, but I am also pro property rights,” explained Maggart.

The bill that Maggart will not support would make it legal to carry a firearm in a vehicle at any time, including when that vehicle is on private property. Since major companies in Tennessee have come out against the bill, it’s put Republicans into a bit of a bind, pitting two of their favored lobbies — big business and guns — against each other.