Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has reportedly been downgraded by the National Rifle Association (NRA), after her recent vote on the Senate's gun-reform bill.
At the same time, Kelly Tshibaka — Murkowski's main Senate challenger in Alaska — boasts an "A" grade with the NRA, in her defense of the Second Amendment, a notch higher than Murkowski's "B" grade.
This summer/fall will mark Alaska's first U.S. Senate election held under a new process.
The top-four Senate candidates from Primary Day (Aug. 16) — regardless of political affiliation — will advance to the general election in November. Come then, Alaskans will adhere to ranked-choice voting in determining the overall Senate winner.
Last month, Murkowski and 14 other Republican senators sided with the Senate Democrats on a gun-control measure, which brought forth new "red-flag" standards with gun ownership.
With 15 GOP senators partaking in the Democrats' initiative, the 60-vote filibuster wasn't a hangup in passing the bill.
Tshibaka has already garnered the primary endorsement of former President Donald Trump, who defeated Joe Biden by 10 points during Alaska's 2020 presidential election.
Tshibaka was critical of Murkowski's participation in the Senate Democrats' gun-reform bill, recently saying, "Lisa Murkowski, once again, is palling around with her D.C. insider friends and voting against our Constitutional rights, even while she pretends to be looking out for us."
She then added, "Lawful and responsible gun ownership is part of our identity here in Alaska, and I will never stand for any erosion of those rights."
On June 8, or 15 days before the Senate Democrats passed the gun-reform bill, Murkowski met with Democratic Party activist David Hogg about gun control.
Shortly after the discussion, Hogg tweeted out, "I just bumped into Senator Lisa Murkowski and she agreed we must take action on gun safety and find the common ground. So far, she's the only person who is not a Democrat who is even been willing to speak with me. I would love to have a longer meeting. @lisamurkowski"
That prompted Tshibaka to say about Murkowski, via Newsmax, "Our 21-year incumbent is saying it's the first step. That means it's not the last step. ... We revere our Second Amendment rights here, where the people who provide for our families use high-powered rifles.
"My son has gone out hunting three times this year, already looking for a big game that we will use to then eat during the winter. That's how we live up here in Alaska. It's called the last frontier," added Tshibaka.
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