The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 8, 2012

Critz picks up NRA backing

Dave Sutor

— U.S. Rep. Mark Critz, D-Johnstown, has received the largest-caliber support possible in his exchange of gun-rights endorsements with Republican Keith Rothfus.

On Monday, the National Rifle Association, one of the country’s most influential and well-known lobbying organizations with more than 4 million members, officially threw its support behind Critz in the 12th Congressional District race.

Rothfus spent the same day touring parts of southwestern Pennsylvania with a representative of Gun Owners of America, a smaller group with similar goals to those of the NRA.

Later this week, Rothfus is expected to announce he has acquired backing from Firearm Owners Against Crime.

“Mark Critz has a proven record of defending the Second Amendment,” said Chris W. Cox, chairman of NRA Political Fund.

“Because of his strong support of our rights, Critz has earned an ‘A plus’ rating and endorsement from the NRA-PVF.”

Critz has supported the Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act, National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act and Veterans’ Heritage Firearms Act.

“I am proud to be endorsed by the National Rifle Association because no group in America fights harder to protect our Second Amendment rights,” said Critz. “I will

continue to oppose any effort to take away the funda-

mental right to bear arms that is guaranteed under the Constitution ... .”

Rothfus, along with GOA communications director Erich Pratt, met with gun owners at Shooters Place in New Brighton and Delmont Sport Shop on Monday.

“We are proud to endorse Keith Rothfus for Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District,” said Larry Pratt, executive director of GOA, in an earlier formal endorsement announcement. “There are some things our representatives must compromise on, but our Second Amendment rights are not one of them. Keith Rothfus is the candidate in this race that will stand the strongest in defense and support of our Second Amendment rights.”

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