A Minnesota gun rights group complained that a Democratic lawmaker threatened to blow his head off while seeking comment about his views on firearms laws.
Andrew Rothman, president of the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, signed an affidavit that outlined the alleged July 19 incident, reported Minneapolis City Pages.
He claims he contacted state Rep. Ron Erhardt (D-Edina) for a survey on his gun views, just as the GOCRA does with each of the more than 280 candidates running for the Minnesota House of Representatives.
GOCRA sent two emails earlier this year to the 84-year-old Erhardt, but he didn’t respond, so Rothman called him.
The lawmaker said he did not intend to complete the survey, and Rothman reminded him that GOCRA handed out failing grades to candidates with no voting record or survey.
“Give me a double F,” Erhardt shouted, according to the affidavit. “No more surveys! You come near me, and I’ll blow your head off!”
Then the lawmaker hung up the phone, ending the 78-second phone call.
“Your affiant found it quite remarkable, in his experience, to be threatened in such a fashion,” Rothman said in the affidavit.
Rothman said candidates had, until now, been unfailingly civil and professional to him, even when they were “openly antagonistic to GOCRA.”
The gun rights lobbyist said he did not interpret Erhardt’s remark as a credible threat, but he said he planned to keep his distance from the lawmaker.
“I have no intention of visiting Mr. Erhardt in Edina,” he said, adding that he had not called the lawmaker again.
GOCRA summarizes candidate responses to its questionnaire on the group’s website, and Erhardt’s entry briefly summarizes his exchange with Rothman before recommending “anger management therapy and early retirement.”
Erhardt was first elected to the state House in 1990 as a Republican, but he switched to Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party in 2008 after a dispute with Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who withdrew the lawmaker’s GOP nomination.