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South Bend Tribune - Walorski: Donnelly Soft on Gun Rights

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Location: Mishawaka, IN

She says he's not leading on 2nd Amendment issues.

When U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly ran for re-election in 2008, the National Rifle Association endorsed him and gave him an A rating for his record of voting for Second Amendment rights.

When Republican state Rep. Jackie Walorski ran for re-election the same year, the NRA graded her as an A+ for both voting in favor of and promoting gun rights.

But Walorski, who is running against Donnelly this year for Indiana's 2nd District seat in Congress, says her record on the Second Amendment is "night and day, apples and oranges ... not even on the same page" as her Democratic opponent.

Why?

Because Donnelly has voted to keep U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who the NRA rates an F, as speaker of the House.

"There's a difference between hiding behind votes and leading. I've been a leader in the state of Indiana," Walorski said during a news conference Tuesday at Midwest Gun Exchange on Grape Road.

Walorski noted that in 2006 she helped author a bill allowing lifetime handgun licenses in Indiana. She also supported the "castle doctrine" in 2006, giving Hoosiers the legal right to use deadly force to defend their homes, and a new law this year that prohibits employers from banning firearms in their parking lots as long as the guns are stored out of sight in locked vehicles.

In response, Donnelly's campaign manager, Mike Schmuhl, emphasized the congressman has a solid record of supporting Second Amendment rights, and that's why the NRA endorsed him over Republican Luke Puckett in the 2008 election.

The NRA has not yet issued endorsements for this year's general election, but another firearms group, Gun Owners of America, is supporting Walorski.

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners, traveled to Mishawaka on Tuesday to endorse Walorski for the 2nd District seat.

Pratt said Donnelly's support of Pelosi trumps his voting record on gun rights.

"If you vote for Nancy Pelosi, you just cast your first anti-gun vote," Pratt said. "She's going to set the agenda. She's not going to allow anything that's pro-Second Amendment to come out and be voted on, because a lot of the House would actually vote for it if it's on the record."


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