NRA comes to the Democratic convention

Not only are there more people at the democratic state convention in Las Vegas this year than in 2002, there are some faces many wouldn't expect to see.

Specifically, the National Rifle Association.

"It's the first time we've been to a Nevada Democratic Convention," said state and local affairs liaison Carolyn Herbertson.

She said they were invited by John Cahill, who earlier this year founded the Nevada Outdoor Democrats.

"There are a lot of Democrats out there, good NRA members, who are very disappointed because of the high profile Democrats who are anti-gun," said Cahill.

He said there are also too many people who see the NRA as allied with the Republican Party and those issues helped convince him to form the outdoor Democrats and push to invite NRA to attend the state convention this weekend.

Herbertson and NRA regional spokesman Jason Osborn said they have been "extremely well" received by delegates to the convention.

"There is a misconception that we're solely beholding to the Republican Party," said Osborn. "That's not true. We support Democrats at the national and state levels including (Senator) Harry Reid and Speaker (Richard) Perkins."

"I would say Nevada is probably pretty evenly split between the parties," said Herbertson.

Reid, D-Nev., said there are many Democrats in the state who are sportsmen, gun collectors and NRA supporters.

Osborn said the fact this is NRA's first visit to the Nevada Democratic convention, "is not so much we were purposely not invited, it's that people didn't think of us."

"The NRA has been a big player in Nevada politics," he said.

He said there are large numbers of sportsmen and gun enthusiasts from hunters and target shooters to police.

He said the convention is a "great opportunity to educate the candidates."

Cahill said he hopes having NRA attend the convention will broaden the NRA's view of Democratic candidates and educate more of those candidates about the NRA.

He said the same is true of the Nevada Outdoor Democrats.

"We're all about using the outdoors -- access to public lands, getting along with folks," he said. "We think we can enjoy it and protect it."


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