NRA Lobbyist Comments Attract Controversy

Jul 30, 2014

Supporters of a Washington gun control measure on the November ballot may have just gotten a mid-summer boost. They’re capitalizing on an audio recording that recently surfaced. They say it captures the NRA’s Northwest lobbyist mocking Jewish people who support stricter gun laws. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

NRA lobbyist Brian Judy, addressing Congress in 2013.
Credit eyeontheworld9 / YouTube

The hard-to-understand audio recording first appeared on the left wing blog “Horses Ass.” The blog’s author says the audio is of NRA lobbyist Brian Judy speaking recently to a pro-gun group. He questions Jewish people who are anti-guns.

Recording: “Any Jewish people I meet who are anti-gun I think, ‘are you serious?’”

The speaker suggests gun control measures led to the rise of Nazi Germany. Then he seems to mock Jewish-Americans who support stricter gun laws.

Recording: “Hello is anybody home here?”

The audio surfaced on the eighth anniversary of a deadly shooting at Seattle’s Jewish Federation. Shooting survivor Cheryl Stumbo is the official sponsor of Initiative 594 on Washington’s fall ballot. It would expand background checks for gun sales. The campaign quickly tweeted a link to the audio and a statement from Stumbo calling Brian Judy’s remarks “offensive rhetoric.” He did not immediately return a phone call. Two Democratic state lawmakers also issued a statement. Then the Jewish Federation called for Judy to resign. Soon the media picked up the story.

Todd Donovan is a political science professor at Western Washington University. He sees technology as the key driver here – from the recording device planted in the audience to Twitter as a means of quickly disseminating the audio and transcript.

Donovan: “Think even just 10 years ago, you couldn’t probably do this much in a one or two day news cycle, right?”

Donovan adds this incident may not affect the November election. But it could have the effect of mobilizing supporters of Initiative 594. A sort of July jolt in the dog days of summer.

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