NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The nation's largest gun-rights group has pulled out all the stops to make sure a well-known Republican lawmaker doesn't get re-elected, but State Representative Debra Maggart is fighting back accusing the National Rifle Association of trying to buy off the election.
This year the National Rifle Association will spend $75,000 in an effort to make sure that Debra Maggart doesn't get re-elected. In the world of politics that's a lot of money to go to spend on one race especially since $50,000 can many times fund an entire campaign.
Incumbent Debra Maggart is fighting for re-election against Lt. Colonel Courtney Rogers and her supporters, the National Rifle Association.
"I just think this is a Washington DC lobbyist who is trying to buy the election," said Maggart.
New campaign finance disclosure reports reveal the NRA's political victory fund donating $75,000 to beat Maggart.
"This whole issue is about a piece of legislation that is bad policy, that actually tramples on the rights of every Tennessean," explained Maggart.
The piece of legislation is the NRA's so called guns in parking lots bill. Essentially it would have allowed gun owners the right to take a firearm with them to work, provided they kept it locked up in their car. Big business owners didn't like the bill - Republican leadership didn't either and made sure it never hit the House or Senate floor for a vote.
"They tried to bully their way, they didn't get their way, we want to pass a bill about guns in parking lots, but we want to find the balance between property rights and gun rights, and we believe there is a balance there," said Maggart
NRA's Chris Cox believes Maggart caved into the interests of big business and refutes her claim that DC lobbyists are trying to buy the race.
"Debra Maggart killed the bill behind closed door," said Cox, "We are based out of Fairfax Virginia, but we have over a hundred thousand members in Tennessee, over 350,000 permit holders in Tennessee - it's laughable that she accepted our endorsement back in 2010 - but since we are not supporting her - we are not giving her money, now she's criticizing the organization,"
Cox said that Maggart chose the business interest that is funding her campaign over our fundamental principles.
With $75,000 to spend, the NRA said they expect to hear a lot more up until the August primary, about exactly what they think of Debra Maggart on t-v, radio, mail, and social media. Meantime, Maggart continues to stand by her position, and what she calls her 100 percent voting record on second amendment rights.