In Minnesota, NRA ally Sarah Anderson introduced a pair of gun safety bills she knew would never pass — and now she is demanding credit for her election-year stunt.
Minnesota state Rep. Sarah Anderson has been a longtime ally of the National Rifle Association (NRA). But since pro-gun extremism has become politically toxic in the suburbs, the Republican is now touting gun safety legislation she drafted in her bid to win re-election in House District 44A.
The reality is, however, that the bills Anderson put forward were an election-year stunt. They never had a chance of passing — and Anderson knew it.
On her official website, Anderson brags that she "authored [a] bill keeping guns away from domestic abusers."
But those eight words do not tell the whole truth of what Anderson did.
First of all, the two gun-safety bills she co-authored — one incentivizing background checks for private gun sales, and one tightening laws regarding how people convicted of domestic violence can get firearms — were terribly written, Minnesota's City Pages reports.
"They were tepid and of amateur construction, widely panned by everyone from gun enthusiasts to sheriffs to battered women activists," City Pages notes.
And what's more, the bills were put forward as the legislative session came to an end — which meant that by design, they had no chance of passing.
They had even less chance given how fiercely Anderson's fellow Republicans opposed gun safety laws, City Pages points out. In particular, Anderson would have known that her bills would never make it out of committee given the staunchly pro-NRA Republicans who lead those committees.
Anderson was trying to have it both ways by pulling this stunt: placating the voters in her district who are clamoring for better gun safety, while not doing anything substantive that might anger her backers at the NRA.
Anderson has had a 93 percent rating from the gun extremists at the NRA for multiple years, including in 2015 and 2017. She got an "A+" rating from them in 2011.
By contrast, Anderson's challenger, Democrat Ginny Klevorn, backs universal background checks and gun violence protective orders — real ones, not pretend bills designed to fail.
When it comes to gun safety, Klevorn is much more in line with Minnesota's values than Anderson. 90 percent of Minnesotans have backed mandatory background checks, including private sales at gun shows.
Anderson wants Minnesota voters to give her credit for something she didn't get done — and she's hoping they'll forget all the work she has done on behalf of the pro-gun extremists at the NRA.