Harold Reid as Minority Leader-- Pro Gun?


November 19, 2004, 08:06 AM
Looks like Harold Reid is going to be succeeding Tom Daschle as Senate Minority leader.

This morning NPR characterized him as "Pro-gun" and that he had voted for the War in Iraq. They made him out to be a more moderate Democrat than Daschle. Not taking their word for it, I checked with GOA; and they give him an "F" rating.


Doesn't sound very Pro-gun to me.

How has he voted in the past on Gun Issues? :confused:

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Bartholomew Roberts
November 19, 2004, 08:37 AM
He voted against the Kennedy ammo ban and extension of the AWB in March. However, he voted for McCain's gunshow bill and Boxer's trigger lock bill.

In general, he votes moderately pro-gun on high profile issues; but he has a whole host of votes supporting legislation by the likes of Schumer, Feinstein, etc. on smaller, less visible gun issues.

He is better than Daschle; but I wouldn't consider him either an ally or friend of gun owners.

November 19, 2004, 10:02 AM

Sounds like he's moderate on gun issues. Why did GOA give him an "F" rating? From your description of past voting, it sounds like he warrants a "D".

Baba Louie
November 19, 2004, 10:14 AM

by Benjamin Grove
Las Vegas Sun
Category: News Center
September 28, 2004

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has won the admiration of the National Rifle Association this year.

The nation's top gun lobby, a powerful and sometimes controversial election-year ally, has given Reid three $1,000 donations in the last 10 months as Congress wrestled with gun issues.

Reid has been a proven friend of Nevada gun owners, NRA executive director Chris Cox wrote to the senator in a thank-you note on Sept. 22.

"On behalf of the nearly 4 million NRA members nationwide, I wanted to thank you personally for your efforts in defending the Second Amendment during your tenure in Congress," Cox wrote.

The NRA typically throws its weight behind Republicans, but Reid enjoys more NRA support than most Democrats, aides said. Reid meets regularly with NRA officials, his chief of staff Susan McCue said. He met with them a few weeks ago to discuss Senate races, she said.

The NRA often waits to endorse candidates in the October issue of its member magazine. The group probably won't endorse Reid because of his support for background checks for buyers at gun shows, Reid aides said.

But the NRA has taken special note of the No. 2 Senate Democrat's votes this year, NRA spokeswoman Ashley Varner said.

"We know he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and we appreciate all his efforts," Varner said.

Specifically, the association notes:

* Reid was one of just six Democrats who crossed party lines in March to vote against renewing the 10-year federal assault weapons ban. The Senate approved the renewal, but it died later attached to other legislation. The ban expired Sept. 14.

* Reid supported legislation to protect gun manufacturers from lawsuits that could be brought by gunshot victims.

* Reid is one of 33 senators who signed a bill that would repeal long-standing bans on handguns and semiautomatic weapons in the District of Columbia.

Reid was unavailable for comment on his gun stances, a spokeswoman

said. Reid has long been a strong believer in the Second Amendment, Tessa Hafen said.

Reid believes the assault weapons ban and D.C. gun laws are largely ineffective and step on the rights afforded by that amendment, Hafen said.

"We can pass a lot of legislation that makes people feel good, or we can be serious about passing legislation that is effective," Hafen said.

Reid also, at times, has earned praise from gun-control groups, including the Brady Campaign in Washington, an NRA rival.

In 28 gun votes in the Senate dating back to 1991, Reid has voted with the Brady Campaign's stance 60 percent of the time, according to the group. Reid supported the group's position far more often than most Republicans, but less often than most -- all but eight -- Democrats.

Reid's record this year has been frustrating for the Brady group, a spokeswoman said. Reid's support for repealing some strict anti-gun laws in the District of Columbia is hard to understand, Brady Campaign spokeswoman Annie Rosello said.

"They (lawmakers) are not the ones who live here," Rosello said. "D.C. has worked very hard to improve and get over its 'murder capital of the world' title. It's not good for the people of this city."

Reid, who served as a U.S. Capitol Police officer while he was in law school, keeps a number of guns in his Searchlight home, including pistols, a shotgun and a rifle, aides said.

Reid has spoken publicly about taking shots at the landscape-munching rabbits at his house, which have long frustrated him, aides said.

Reid's Republican challenger, Richard Ziser, said he also enjoys NRA support and would be a stronger gun-users advocate than Reid. But he does not expect a formal NRA endorsement, either.

"They don't like to go against a sitting senator," he said.

Ziser is also a longtime gun owner and said he once worked for a

company that reloaded spent shells for police gun ranges. He faulted Reid for not pushing back gun-control activists such as Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. Ziser noted that the Gun Owners of America, another gun advocate group, gave Reid an "F" on its report card for lawmakers.

Robert Smith, president of the Nevada State Rifle and Pistol Association, said he could not comment on Reid because his group is not political. But he noted that Reid was one of the lawmakers who helped guide legislation through Congress that transferred 2,880 acres of federal land to Clark County for a shooting range.

For a Demo, he's actually a pretty good one, I think. We could do far far worse.

Brett Bellmore
November 19, 2004, 11:19 AM
This might explain the GOA rating:

GOA Blasts "Anti-business Switch Hitters" (http://www.gunowners.org/pr0503.htm)

"Assessing the wreckage of the gun liability bill considered by the Senate last week, GOA Communications Director Erich Pratt laid the primary blame on the "switch hitters" -- those eleven senators who pretended to support gun manufacturers and dealers, but voted for a majority of the "killer amendments" designed to destroy the legislation.

"There are certainly senators who have made no secret of their hatred for business -- any business, but particularly the gun business," said Pratt. "At least there is a certain consistency in their across-the-board loathing of the private sector."

But, said Pratt, "the eleven 'switch hitters' -- those senators who cosponsored pro-gun legislation, while secretly plotting to kill it -- those senators have earned the special contempt of the Second Amendment community."

The eleven "switch hitters" are Senators Breaux (D-LA), Daschle (D-SD), Lincoln (D-AR), Collins (R-ME), Dorgan (D-ND), Gregg (R-NH), Hagel (R-NE), Landrieu (D-LA), Reid (D-NV), Smith (R-OR) and Snowe (R-ME)."

They also marked him down for McCain/Feingold, and a few other things.

November 19, 2004, 11:56 AM
NRA gave him a B, so if you average that with GOA's F, it's a D+/C-.

Not great, but better than, say, Feinstein. From an RKBA perspective, the dems could probably have picked someone worse.

November 19, 2004, 12:45 PM
There seems to be an assumption that GOA ratings are dynamic. I think the latest ratings are actually through the end of 2003. The ratings are partly based on civil rights generally, not just gun votes.

If Reid leads the Democrat vote, don't expect him to be independent. There are no "pro-gun" Democrat Senators. Let's call them anti-gun to varying degrees, mostly absolute. Don't forget that the RKBA is anathema to the Democrat's government-is-God philosophy. Believing there are exceptions among the leadeship is wishful thinking.

Whatever the Republicans support or propose, the Democrats will try to find a contrasting position, the more polar the better. Never let it be said that the GOP is doing a good job and there is common ground.

Bartholomew Roberts
November 19, 2004, 02:07 PM
As noted above, the GOA rating for the 108th Congress doesn't include votes from 2004, so Reid's stance during those votes wouldn't affect his GOA rating.

Standing Wolf
November 19, 2004, 08:07 PM
The N.R.A. has sold out our civil rights more often than the G.O.A.

I'll trust the G.O.A.'s F rating.

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