Democrat's praise of strict gun law roils Kansas Senate race

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Republicans on Sunday broadcast a video of the Democratic candidate for an open seat in the US Senate in Kansas, praising Australian gun laws for "taking them all away" to make their campaign political to undercut moderately What was an unexpectedly tough Red State race for the GOP.
Democratic spokeswoman Barbara Bollier accused Republican Roger Marshall's campaign of "double" when she highlighted the video of an "lawn chair chat" held October 3 in a park near Kansas City, Bollier said she supported the second amendment to the US Constitution to protect gun rights and remember hunting with her father.
The race appears to be tight between Marshall, a two-time Congressman for western and central Kansas, and Bollier, a Kansas City state senator who was a lifelong moderate Republican before switching parties in late 2018, from 53 to 47 majority In the Senate, Marshall and his supporters have attacked Bollier on issues that favor Republicans across much of the state, including gun rights.
Both a 2 1/2 minute video clip made available to The Associated Press by the Marshall campaign and extended audio from Bollier's show stating that a grown daughter lived in Australia and praising a law there that in the 1990s forced owners of 700,000 guns to sell them to the government as "this amazing thing".
“You have no weapons. You don't allow them. They just took them all with them, ”Bollier said to her audience. "And you know what? It's damn safe."
Bollier also noted that Australia has licensing and training requirements for gun owners. Kansas law allows adults to carry guns openly and allows them to carry hidden firearms without permission - a policy Bollier put against a legislature when it was enacted in 2015.
“Who thinks you can just go out and have a gun? Seriously, ”said Bollier. “You can't drive a car without training. Basically, you can't do anything without training. It's a deadly weapon. "
When the video clip went into circulation, Bollier tweeted on Sunday afternoon: “I do not support the confiscation of weapons. I never. I will never."
The Republicans haven't lost a Kansas Senate race since 1932, but Bollier flooded the airwaves with ads bearing testimony from former GOP state lawmakers.
According to media advertising firm Advertising Analytics, the race had posted a Kansas record of $ 32 million in advertising last week, leaving Marshall and his allies overwhelmed.
Bollier's campaign had spent more than $ 9 million and outside groups paid about $ 8 million more. Nearly 90% of the roughly $ 14.5 million ad for Marshall was funded by outside groups, with the Marshall campaign spending about $ 1.5 million, according to Advertising Analytics.
Bollier's first remarks on guns were reported on Sunday by the conservative website The Washington Free Beacon. Marshall's campaign manager Eric Pahls wrote a 36-second excerpt for The Associated Press. He later provided a link to a longer video clip of Bollier's full answer to a question from a woman who said she recently bought a pistol and was "totally concerned" about how easy it was for her to buy one and hide it to wear.
"That may sound good for Bollier's dispensers in San Francisco, but for Kansans this is a disqualification," Pahls said in a later text. "Even among Democrats, weapon seizure is an alarming concept."
Bollier spokeswoman Alexandra De Luca provided nearly eight minutes of audio from the event, including comments from the Democratic candidate minutes before the question that led Bollier to praise Australian gun laws. Bollier said she still has her father's shotgun but called gun violence a public health crisis.
"Roger Marshall and his Washington allies want to take Barbara's comments completely out of context for their political advantage," De Luca said in a statement. "She knows we can protect the rights of gun owners and protect our communities."
But Pahls suggested that Bollier's comments in support of the Second Amendment are "carefully written discussion points" and that off-script answers to questions "expose herself to" the radical left that it is ".
"Your real face was starting to show through," he said.
Pahls also suggested that Bollier's staff end the event shortly afterwards because "they got lost on their rehearsed topics of conversation".
De Luca called it "an outright lie" and then provided 32 minutes of audio from the event. It found she started graduation about a minute later - after answering one final question and saying she supported background checks on weapons purchases.
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Follow John Hanna on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjdhanna

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