Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman attacked National Rifle Association (NRA) members as the “lunatic fringe of gun ownership.”
In April, Fetterman spoke at the Fight for Gun Safety in Pennsylvania hosted by Giffords where he spoke on how he would address gun violence if elected to the Senate.
“I’m not afraid of anything, and certainly not the NRA,” Fetterman said. “And let me be clear, the NRA does not represent the overwhelming majority of what gun owners really believe and want.”
“That is the lunatic fringe of gun ownership. And they are disproportionately represented and that skews the conversation,” he continued. “And pushing back at, I would never make the mistake of thinking, that’s representative of your average gun owner in America.”
“Pennsylvania has a proud heritage of hunting, and reasonable, safe firearm ownership. And that’s what I’ve always supported, and always will support. I own guns. I went deer hunting when I was much younger,” Fetterman continued. “And it’s abundantly clear to any reasonable Pennsylvania voter that the Democratic Party or my campaign is not here to take your deer hunting rifle and these kinds of things, and to speak in very accessible and honest terms of what it really means when we talk about common-sense gun reform legislation.”
The NRA has self-reported that the organization has approximately 5 million members as of 2022.
According to World Population Review, two out of five Pennsylvanians own a gun with there being 236,377 registered firearms in the state alone.
Fetterman campaign spokesperson Joe Calvello told Fox News Digital “John is a gun-owner himself and welcomes the support of the vast majority of gun owners, including NRA members, who don’t share the extreme views of the NRA’s leadership or Dr. Oz and want common-sense reforms to address gun violence and get guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.”
The Keystone State Democrat came under fire last week after past statements of him defending former President Obama’s “bitter” comments about Pennsylvania gun owners resurfaced.
While running for president, Obama made his infamous comments about Pennsylvanians from small towns being “bitter” while clinging to “guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them” as reasons behind their frustrations.
“You go to these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them,” Obama said.
“And it’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations,” the then-presidential candidate continued.
Fetterman — who was the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, at the time — defended Obama’s remarks in the press as the now-former president was engaged in his contentious primary election against then-New York Senator Hillary Clinton.
“It is not patronizing, it is not condescending, it is not elitism,” Fetterman said to local press. “We need hope and we need a plan and we need someone who is not part of the system in Washington.”
Fetterman also told local media that small-town Americans were mad and frustrated, saying everyone “acknowledges Mr. Obama may have slipped in different words if he could do it over again, but it’s not patronizing, it’s not condescending, it’s not elitism.”