Normally an “F” rating from the National Rifle Association would not play well in front of a crowd of outdoors and gun enthusiasts. That was not the case on Saturday when Republican candidate for Minnesota Governor Tom Emmer tried to use the NRA’s rating against DFL candidate for Governor Mark Dayton. Dayton struck back, pointing out the NRA rating was for his opposition to legalizing armor piercing “cop killer bullets”.
“How many of you use own cop killer bullets and use them against police officers? Raise your hand.”, said Dayton. “Nobody’s, Representative Emmer, nobody. Nobody.”
Ron Schara: Do you have a question for one of the candidates tonight? I will ask you to keep the question short and sweet and the response short and sweet.
Tom Emmer: I do. I do. Ah, Senator Dayton you talk about deathbed conversions. I’ve explained why I do the things I do. Ah, if you could just explain to me and everybody else here in the state of Minnesota, how is it that you can have an F rating from the NRA and you can sit up here and tell us that you’re gonna defend sportsmen’s rights, you’re gonna defend my right and my children’s right to hunt and fish in this state when you got an F from the NRA? Have you had one of your own ah, deathbed conversions? Well, we won’t call it deathbed, but one of your own conversions that you’re sharing with us today?
Mark Dayton: Well, I had a D rating from the NRA in 1982 when I ran for the Senate. I had a two- an A rating in 2000. There were two principal votes you can look ’em up ah, when I was a Senator.
One was ah, banning Cop Killer bullets. And, ah, one reason that I have the endorsement of the Minneapolis Police and Peace Officers Association, Representative, is because I respect the law enforcement men and women. I was on a ride-along last week to, as I’ve been several times with a police officer in St. Paul. And those guys wear bulletproof vests every time they go out there. Men and women. And anybody who wants to go out there and see them put their lives on the line to protect us. And when the police chiefs and the police officers of this state and this nation send to us and say, “Those bullets are made to kill us,” then yeah, I’ll vote to ban ’em.
Does that prevent a law-abiding hunter or fisher, a hunter in this state from, from going out and hunting and fishing? Absolutely not.
How many of you, how many of you own Cop Killer bullets and use ’em against police officers? Raise your hand. How many ever fire a Cop Killer bullet against a police officer in this state? Raise your hand.
Nobody’s, Representative Emmer, nobody. Nobody. And they shouldn’t ever happen.
Now I’m going to a, a service, I’m sure you are too sir, next week for a sheriff, a deputy sheriff, in this state, who gave his life, a Maplewood police officer who gave his life. Men and women who die. And their children and their wives suffer for the rest of their lives And if I can prevent one police officer in this state from dying through a Cop Killer bullet I will do so as governor of this state. And I will at the same time support the right of every law-abiding Minnesotan to bear arms, to possess firearms as I do, use those for lawful purposes. And to insinuate otherwise is just, just untrue. (Applause)
Full debate below: