Debra Maggart, Former GOP Lawmaker Targeted By NRA: 'They Turned On Me'

Former GOP Lawmaker: NRA 'Turned On Me'

Former chair of the Republican caucus in the Tennessee House of Representatives Debra Maggart joined HuffPost Live Tuesday to tell her story of being "bullied" by the NRA during her 2012 primary race in which she was defeated. Maggart, a lifetime member of the NRA and a politician who "always had an A+ rating" from the gun lobby, declined to support a bill earlier this year that would permit Tennesseans to keep guns inside locked cars and soon became a target of the NRA. As Maggart describes it, "When they didn't get what they wanted, they turned on someone anyone would have considered a friend."

"They made me an example," she said of the NRA, which according to Maggart, spent $155,000 to defeat her, with ads that linked her to President Obama on gun control. "If you're a state legislative member, you definitely need to be concerned about this, because I know that they did this in Georgia, and they've done this in Alabama, where they came after state house and state senate members, and that kind of money can really make an impact in a state legislative race."

Maggart said of the bill on which she broke from the NRA: "They knew that if that bill we had had made it to the house floor, it was a terrible bill, but it would have been voted in because people would have been too afraid to vote against that. And now I'm living proof of that."

Marc asked Maggart, who's still a member of the NRA, if she now plans to resign from the organization. The former state rep replied, "I'm a lifetime member... so I don't know how to resign."

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