Democratic Assembly candidates in the 39th legislative district attacked Assemblyman Bob Auth over an endorsement he received from the National Rifle Association.
“An NRA endorsement is not a badge of honor. It is a badge of shame,” former Westwood Mayor John Birkner said. “The only way to earn the endorsement of the NRA is to promise to oppose the common sense gun safety measures like universal background checks, red flag laws, bans on high capacity magazines, and laws against gun sales to domestic abusers. This endorsement sends a clear message to voters: Robert Auth cares more about the profits of gun manufacturers than he does about keeping our children and communities safe.”
The NRA gave Auth a 100% rating in 2017 and 2015, though the assemblyman has at times supported gun control measures.
Last year, Auth voted in favor of bills mandating background checks for all gun purchases, barring domestic abusers from purchasing guns and allowing authorities to seize guns using extreme risk protective orders.
“John and Gerry’s pandering knows no limit, and now they are blatantly lying in a desperate attempt to save their failed campaign. Assemblyman Auth supported a 2017 bill to prohibit domestic abusers from possessing a firearm and, just this year supported red flag legislation as well as background checks for private gun sales,” Auth campaign spokesman Ted Conrad said. “The people of Bergen and Passaic Counties know Holly and Bob, and know that they are parents who care deeply about the safety of everyone in our community. They are two legislators with strong records of getting tough on criminals who use guns, deep support for medical and mental health treatment for those who need it, and policies that help to keep our schools and children safe.”
Emerson Council President, Gerald Falotico, is Birkner’s running mate. Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi is running with Auth.
Guns have emerged as an issue in more than one district where Democrats are seeking to oust incumbent Republicans. Challengers in the 21st Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick on his guns record, and challengers in the 25th have attacked Assemblyman Anthony Bucco’s record on the same.
It looks like Birkner and Falotico are looking to follow the same line.
“The NRA advocates an extreme and dangerous anti-safety agenda that puts our communities, our families, and first responders like my fellow police officers at risk,” Falotico said. “Robert Auth’s newly announced A-rating and endorsement from the NRA clearly signals that he is fully onboard with that extreme agenda, which includes rolling back the gun safety rules that keep us safe in New Jersey.”