In last night’s debate between Phil Berger Jr. and Mark Walker for the 6th Congressional District runoff election to be held Tuesday, Walker mischaracterized the recommendation made by the Grass Roots North Carolina Political Victory Fund in the race. Following is the response from GRNC President Paul Valone:

“The GRNC Political Victory Fund looks for candidates who will not only vote right, but will be leaders for the right to keep and bear arms. To that end, in early March objective candidate surveys were sent to more than 500 candidates for state and federal office. Candidates who lack gun-related voting records and who fail to return the survey are assumed to be hiding their positions. Unfortunately, Mark Walker failed to return the GRNC survey by the March 26 deadline.

“By contrast, Phil Berger Jr. reached out early to gun rights supporters not only for support, but also for counsel. He submitted GRNC’s survey with a near perfect 98%, earning GRNC’s highest four star (****) evaluation. Since then, Berger has come out against the gun registration scheme Harry Reid is trying to sell the American public under the misnomer “universal background checks.” Just yesterday, Berger called on the General Assembly to oppose increased penalties for accidental violations of our concealed handgun law – something which could put otherwise law-abiding people in jail.

“During the debate, Walker justified his previous support for the Reid scheme by saying: ‘The reference was to the E-Verify system, that somebody has felonious background, that somebody has some mental health issues, there are some times we need to be able to check some of those people.’ Given the debate involves the computerized National Instant Background Check System (NICS), not E-Verify, and that many thousands of people without ‘mental health issues’ might be denied gun ownership, Walker seems to have a poor understanding of the issue.

“Of greater importance, however, was Walker’s mischaracterization of the GRNC-PVF recommendation for Berger as something that “came out of Raleigh, and we all know the works in Raleigh”, implying some sort of sordid political quid pro quo. In truth, GRNC is comprised entirely of volunteers, not career politicians or lobbyists. Volunteers did the candidate evaluations resulting in the recommendation for Berger, and they did so fully three months before Berger opposed increased penalties for accidental gun violations. Walker had an equal chance to submit GRNC’s survey. He failed to do so, submitting it only after the May 6 primary election. To now blame volunteers for his failure insults hard-working gun rights supporters across the state. Walker should immediately apologize.

“Walker seems to place great importance on the fact that he scored only two points higher on his GRNC survey than Berger – a small difference GRNC regards as insignificant for candidate evaluation purposes. But actions speak louder than words. Berger has sought the counsel of gun owners, spoken out against universal gun registration and called upon the General Assembly to protect gun owners from accidental violations. By contrast, Walker did not reach out to gun owners, did not return GRNC’s survey, and now seeks to denigrate the actions of hard-working volunteers by sneering, ‘…we know the works in Raleigh.’

“With each passing day, it becomes more obvious that Phil Berger, Jr. is the candidate best suited to represent the people of the 6th Congressional District.”

This message supporting Phil Berger, Jr. for Congress was authorized and paid for solely by the
Grass Roots North Carolina Political Victory Fund.

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