The NRA has endorsed three candidates.
It endorses Gov. Pete Ricketts over Krystal Gabel, Bob Evnen over Debra Perrell for Secretary of State, and state Sen. John Murante over Taylor Royal for Treasurer. Perhaps the most significant of the endorsements is that of Murante since there is no Democrat in the race and the primary will decide who succeeds Treasurer Don Stenberg.
State NRA Director Chris Kopacki rejects charges leveled since the fatal Parkland, Florida shootings that the NRA has been an obstructionist in finding solutions to the violence.
“Being obstructionist, I don’t think would be the proper term, but advocating for the rights of the individuals,” Kopacki tells Nebraska Radio Network. “If a small amount of freedom is taken away, it’s very difficult to get that back.”
Kopacki acknowledges the NRA has come under increasing scrutiny in wake of the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Former student Nikolas Jacob Cruz is charged with shooting to death 17 students February 14th.
First National Bank of Omaha dropped its a co-branded credit-card with the National Rifle Association in wake of the shootings.
Though many have criticized the political power of the NRA, claiming the association has consistently blocked gun control measures, Kopacki defends the organization. Kopacki even expects the NRA itself to be an issue in the elections, but he says the NRA won’t take a defensive position.
“We’re going to make it very well known to our membership and our supporters in every state, not just in Nebraska, of where candidates stand on the issues and those that are willing to continue to fight for the Second Amendment rights,” according to Kopacki.
Kopacki says he hasn’t seen much change in the political landscape for the NRA in Nebraska. Rather, he claims there has been a groundswell of support over the last two months from NRA members for the association’s mission.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]