(Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand speaks during introductory news conference where Gov. David Paterson named her as replacement for Hillary Clinton in U.S. Senate. At left is former Republican Sen. Al D'Amato. AP Photo / January 23, 2009)
In contrast to Ms. Clinton's anti-gun record and positions, Ms. Gillibrand, just beginning her 2nd term in the U.S. House of Representatives, has garnered an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association.
Gunowners of America (GOA) gives Ms. Gillibrand a "C" on gun rights, which is mighty good for (1) a Democrat (2) from New York. Indeed, to put that "C" in perspective, of the 25 New York reps rated by GOA, the vast majority were rated "F" or "F-". In fact, for her state Ms. Gillibrand ranked in the top three on gun rights (an "A", an "A-", and her "C" grade, and I’ll bet the other two were Republicans or Libertarians).
By contrast, the woman she’s replacing, Hillary Clinton, has an “F-“ rating from GOA. (See here for Ms. Clinton's GOA grade)
In addition, Ms. Gillibrand was a co-signatory to the pro-individual rights congressional amicus brief filed with SCOTUS in the Heller case.
Now, Ms. Gillibrand is currently serving only her second term in the U.S. House of Representatives, so she doesn’t that have much of a voting / legislative record to scrutinize, and I haven’t in my very brief search uncovered her positions on, e.g., cosmetically-impaired firearms. But given that New York Governor Patterson is a Democrat, in an anti-gun state, her appointment seems at this point to be a net win for gun rights supporters. A pleasant surprise, you might say.
Here are some other links:
From her website:
Congresswoman Gillibrand grew up in a family of hunters and strongly supports the rights of all hunters and gun owners. She has been an ardent opponent of legislation that will curb the Second Amendment for responsible gun owners and currently has a 100% voting record with the National Rifle Association (NRA). As a Member of the Agriculture Committee, she sponsored an amendment to the Farm Bill that will expand public lands dedicated for conservation and hunting.
For her positions on other issues, see here.
From an Albany Times Union article, dated 06-Oct-2008 [emphasis added below]:
Today, local Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand announced that she received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association. Gillibrand has a 100% voting record with the NRA, and an “A” lifetime rating by the organization. Gillibrand is one of only two New York Democrats on the federal level endorsed by the NRA.
“As a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, it is a privilege to have the endorsement of the NRA and the support of Upstate New York’s gun owners and hunters,” said Gillibrand. “I come from a family of hunters, and preserving this strong Upstate tradition is a priority of mine in Congress. I will continue to oppose legislation that will restrict the rights of responsible gun owners and I will continue to advocate for policies that will keep our rivers, land and air clean, so that future generations can enjoy hunting and wildlife in our region.”
The NRA has more than four million members nationwide. Gillibrand’s district has the most NRA members out of New York’s 29 Congressional Districts.
“Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand has earned the endorsement of the NRA’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) by consistently voting for the rights of law-abiding gun owners and hunters in the 110th Congress. She believes that the Second Amendment is an individual right and she co-signed the congressional amicus brief in support of our individual right to keep and bear arms in the historic Heller case earlier this year. We are pleased to endorse this friend of freedom and fully support her reelection,” said Chris W. Cox, chairman of NRA-PVF and NRA’s chief lobbyist.
During her first term in Congress, Gillibrand sponsored legislation that would open up more federal lands for hunting and fishing. Gillibrand, a Member of the House Agriculture Committee, was able to have this provision included in the new Farm Bill that was signed into law.
For GOA bio and voting scores, see here.
All in all, a little bit of good news from a usually anti-gun state.