Top GOP donor: ‘I will not write another check’ until candidates support assault weapons ban
A top GOP donor in Florida is threatening to withhold contributions to candidates and political groups that do not get behind a ban on assault weapons, The New York Times reported.
In an email to half a dozen Republican leaders on Saturday, Florida-based real estate developer Al Hoffman Jr. decried the rash of mass shootings that has roiled the U.S. for years, and demanded that GOP politicians take action.
“I will not write another check unless they all support a ban on assault weapons,” Hoffman wrote in the email, according to the Times. “Enough is enough!”
Among those who received the email were Florida Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Jeb Bush.
In an interview with the Times, Hoffman, a former ambassador to Portugal, said that he had reached the “end of the road” in his support for candidates who refused to back tighter gun laws.
“For how many years now have we been doing this — having these experiences of terrorism, mass killings — and how many years has it been that nothing’s been done?” Hoffman. “It’s the end of the road for me.”
Hoffman’s email came three days after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., about 25 miles north of Fort Lauderdale. The attack killed 17 people and left 14 others injured.
The suspect, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, allegedly carried out the attack using an AR-15 that he had purchased legally from a dealer in Coral Springs, Fla. roughly a year earlier.
The attack reignited calls from activists and Democrats for lawmakers to implement new gun control measures.
But many Republicans have sought to turn attention away from the gun control debate, saying that reform efforts should focus on mental illness and accusing Democrats of politicizing the shooting.
Speaking at a news conference Wednesday night, Scott declined to say whether policymakers should take a stand on gun control, insisting that “there’s a time” to have such discussions.
“There’s a time to continue to have these conversations about how through law enforcement, how through mental illness funding that we make sure that people are safe,” he said.