By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walt Maddox has received the distinction as a “”Gun Sense Candidate” from the group Moms Demand Action, and Gov. Kay Ivey’s campaign is attempting to use that to its advantage.
Moms Demand Action was formed after the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting to support “common sense gun laws” to stop the “escalating epidemic of gun violence.”
The group previously endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and has gone on to support mostly democratic candidates who favor more gun control measures.
Alabama’s gun ownership rate is at least 48 percent and conservative voters are known to value their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
Maddox’s Communication Director Chip Hill downplayed the endorsement saying, “Moms Demand Action, like Walt, supports the Second Amendment. Walt was proud to receive their gun-sense candidate designation.”
Ivey has said recently that the reason she won’t debate Maddox is that he will not say definitively what he stands for when it comes to issues like gun control, abortion and the Supreme Court nomination. Hill recently spoke with AL.com about Ivey’s avoidance of debates and defended Maddox’s stances on abortion and gun rights.
Maddox has stated before that he will not simply support certain legislation just to earn the support of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Ivey’s campaign said in a statement on Monday that, “even Alabama Democrats have historically supported gun rights and received endorsements from the NRA.”
In his explanation as to why he didn’t fill out an NRA candidate questionnaire, Maddox said, “I will never favor taking any existing constitutional right away from any American unless we, as a people, come to the conclusion that restraint of some rights helps ensure the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by all.”
Such statements could make conservative pro-gun Alabama voters nervous, yet it is a far cry from the alarming call for strict gun control other national Democratic politicians have leaned toward recently.