Walz to Donate NRA Money to Charity

Comes after his record on guns is hit by gubernatorial primary rival

Rep. Tim Walz speaks with guests during a campaign event for Rep. Rick Nolan at the University of Minnesota Duluth in October 2016.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz announced he would donate campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association to charity after the shooting in Las Vegas that left 59 people dead.

Walz’s pledge came after one of the congressman’s opponents in the Democratic primary for Minnesota governor called on Walz to give back any contributions from the NRA, CBS Minnesota reported.

According to a tabulation from The Washington Post, Walz has received more than $18,000 from the gun rights organization.

Like many Democrats from rural states, Walz has a more mixed record on guns than more liberal Democrats.

His website says he supports universal background checks and more money for mental health services.

But as a member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, Walz previously had an “A” rating from the NRA.

Similarly, he was notably absent when Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor last year after a mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando. Walz said he had stayed in Minnesota after his brother was killed and his nephew critically injured in a camping trip accident.

Walz represents Minnesota’s 1st District, which, according to the liberal website the Daily Kos, was one of only 12 districts held by a Democrat that voted for Donald Trump.

State Rep. Erin Murphy, who is also running for governor, called on all candidates to return any contributions from the NRA. She singled out Walz in particular.

“I’m calling on Congressman Walz and other candidates running to be the next leader of Minnesota to return any campaign contributions they’ve received from the NRA so that we can come together and act so no family experiences this tragedy again,” she wrote.

Walz accused Murphy of trying to “gain a political edge” in the governor’s primary.

“It’s also a distraction from the task at hand, which should be acting to stop tragedies like the attack that just took place in Las Vegas from happening again,” he said.

Walz said he would donate his campaign cash to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which helps families of military members killed during their service.

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