Giuliani Seeks NRA Support; Once Called Group Extreme


Rudolph Giuliani asks the National Rifle Association leadership tomorrow to support for his Republican presidential campaign, the Washington Post reports. Giuliani once likened the group to “extremists” for its efforts to repeal the ban on assault weapons. Coincidentally, a federal judicial panel in New York City will be hearing arguments on the lawsuit that Giuliani filed seven years ago aimed at punishing the nation’s gun manufacturers for violent crimes involving firearms. A spokeswoman for Giuliani’s campaign declined to say whether he still supports the lawsuit. She said he believes that “the best way to deal with gun-related crime is to prosecute the criminals and enforce the laws already on the books.”

Like his support for abortion rights, the mayor’s earlier words on guns are likely to haunt his campaign. A recent Washington Post poll found that 57 percent of Republicans oppose stricter gun control laws. In a 1995 interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose, Giuliani said “the NRA’s, in essence, defense of assault weapons, and their unwillingness to deal with some of the realities here that we face in our cities is a terrible, terrible mistake.” Giuliani has worked to soften his stance on guns. His Web site states that “Rudy understands that what works in New York doesn’t necessarily work in Mississippi or Montana.”


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