Democrats’ praise for tough gun law shakes Kansas Senate race

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Republicans circulated a video of the Democratic candidate for an open US Senate seat in Kansas on Sunday, praising Australia’s strict gun laws which she said “took them all away” to Undermine his campaign as a political moderate in what has been a surprisingly difficult race to the red state for the GOP.

Democrat spokeswoman Barbara Bollier accused Republican Roger Marshall’s campaign of being ‘duplicative’ by highlighting video of a ‘lawn chair cat’ on October 3 in a Kansas area park City. Bollier’s campaign released a longer sound of the same event which included times when Bollier said she supported the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protecting gun rights and remembered the hunt with her father .

The race appears to be close between Marshall, a two-term congressman for western and central Kansas, and Bollier, a Kansas City-area state senator who was a longtime moderate Republican before change parties at the end of 2018. As the GOP fights to keep its 53-47 majority in the Senate, Marshall and his supporters have attacked Bollier over issues that favor Republicans across much of the state, including gun rights.

Both a 2 1/2 minute video clip provided to The Associated Press by the Marshall Campaign and a longer sound from Bollier’s show that she noted that an adult girl lives in Australia and made the praise for a law that in the 1990s required owners of 700,000 firearms to sell them to the government as “that amazing thing.”

“They don’t have guns. They don’t allow them. They just took them off, ”Bollier told his audience. “And you know what? It’s damn safe.

Bollier also noted that Australia imposes licensing and training requirements on gun owners. Kansas law allows adults to carry guns openly and allows them to carry concealed firearms without a license – a policy Bollier opposed as a lawmaker when it was enacted in 2015.

“Who thinks you can just go out and have a gun?” Seriously, ”Bollier said. “You can’t drive a car without training. You can’t do anything without some sort of training. It is a deadly weapon.

As the music video began to circulate, Bollier tweeted Sunday afternoon: “I do not support firearms confiscation. I have never. I never will. “

Republicans haven’t lost a Senate race in Kansas since 1932, but Bollier flooded the airwaves with ads that included testimonials from former GOP state lawmakers.

The race had set a Kansas record of $ 32 million in advertising last week, with Marshall and his allies spent, according to media company Advertising Analytics.

Bollier’s campaign had spent more than $ 9 million, with outside groups paying around $ 8 million more. Almost 90% of the roughly $ 14.5 million in advertisements for Marshall were covered by outside groups, with the Marshall campaign spending about $ 1.5 million, according to Advertising Analytics.

Bollier’s gun remarks were first reported on Sunday by conservative The Washington Free Beacon. Marshall’s campaign manager Eric Pahls sent a 36-second clip to The Associated Press. He then provided a link to a longer video clip with Bollier’s full response to a question from a woman who said she had recently purchased a handgun and was “completely bothered” by the ease. with which she bought one and concealed it.

“It might sound good for Bollier donors in San Francisco, but for the Kansans it’s disqualifying,” Pahls said in a later text. “Even among Democrats, forced confiscation of firearms is an alarming concept.”

Bollier spokeswoman Alexandra De Luca provided nearly eight minutes of audio of the event, which included comments from the Democratic candidate minutes before the question that led Bollier to praise Australia’s laws on firearms. Bollier said she still had one of her father’s shotguns, but called the gun violence a public health crisis.

“Roger Marshall and his allies in Washington want to release Barbara’s comments completely for their political benefit,” De Luca said in a statement. “She knows we can protect the rights of gun owners and keep our communities safe.”

But Pahls suggested that Bollier’s comments in support of the Second Amendment represent “carefully crafted talking points” and that with out-of-script answers to the questions, “she is exposing herself for the radical left that she is.” .

“Her true colors started to shine,” he says.

Pahls also suggested that Bollier staff ended the event soon after because “she got rid of her repeated talking points.”

De Luca called this an “outright lie” and then provided 32 minutes of audio from the event. He showed she started to wrap up about a minute later – after answering a final question and saying she supported the background check for gun purchases.


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