Republican lawmaker Cindy Pugh, a Minnesota state representative, is offering free concealed carry gun training classes to people who donate $125 or more to her campaign. According to Talking Points Memo, Pugh is holding an event on Saturday, August 17, at which donors without concealed carry permits will be given access to a concealed carry training class. People with permits can donate $100 to have their permit automatically renewed or they can pay for a "carry class scholarship" for people who want to train for a permit but can't afford it.
In Minnesota, a permit to carry a concealed weapon is called a "Minnesota Permit to Carry." To obtain the permit applicants must take a one-day training course in gun safety. The Pugh campaign has promised to pay for that day of training for any person who donates the specified amounts to the state rep's coffers.
Pugh boasted to the website Watchdog.org: Minnesota Bureau that no-one has ever used concealed weapons permits as an incentive for campaign donors.
“I’ve heard from a lot of people that they’ve never heard of anyone doing this before and I don’t know that it has been done before,” she told Watchdog.org, "But this is an idea that my campaign team came up with as we were brainstorming ways to connect with my voters and my constituents and just heighten awareness about issues that are important.”
Joan Peterson of Protect Minnesota and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence told Watchdog.org, "My concern about a legislator using a concealed and carry permit class to raise money is it’s kind of cynical in a way. It’s kind of already telling people alright, I support your gun rights no matter what. I mean, I don’t know how else you could look at it.”
[image of Cindy Pugh via Facebook.com]