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NRA gives Scott an A, McCollum a B

Here's more bad news for Bill McCollum: The National Rifle Association, a vitally important interest group in Republican primaries, has given Rick Scott an A rating and McCollum a B as the two men head into the Aug. 24 primary. The rankings are posted the pro-gun group's website. McCollum has often touted his strong voting record in Congress in support of the Second Amendment, and the NRA defines the B grade as a "generally pro-gun candidate" who "may have opposed some pro-gun reforms or supported some restrictive legislation in the past."

Scott's A grade means he is a "solidly pro-gun candidate" in the NRA's view. Even though Scott has never held public office and has no voting record on guns, the NRA still views him as the superior candidate.

NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said McCollum cast a number of votes while in Congress that were in opposition to the group's agenda. She said McCollum voted for the Brady Bill on final passage and opposed an amendment that would have allowed residents of Washington, D.C., to keep guns in their homes.

"Some folks say they will and don't, and some folks say that won't and do," Hammer said. "McCollum has done some of both. You can't un-ring a bell. Bad votes don't go away."

-- Steve Bousquet