The National Rifle Association (NRA) is facing scrutiny from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) following the release of an ad involving a national cemetery, ABC News reported on Wednesday.
“The National Cemetery Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs has not received or approved any filming requests of this nature,” said a spokesperson for the VA, James Hutton. “NCA did not receive a request from the NRA to film the subject advertisement. If we had received such a request, we would have denied it based on the partisan content.”
Filming inside any of the 140 national cemeteries in the US and Puerto Rico is forbidden. The gun advocacy group said the commercial, which features Benghazi attack survivor Mark “Oz” Geist urging members to vote against Hillary Clinton, was filmed outside an unidentified national cemetery. However, Geist is seen in the commercial walking inside.
“Hillary as president — no thanks,” he says in the ad. “I served in Benghazi. My friends didn’t make it. They did their part. Do yours.”
The commercial concludes with the message “Trump 2016” on the screen.
“Our veterans, their families and survivors are our top priority,” Hutton said. “To maintain the sanctity and decorum of VA National Cemeteries as national shrines, our filming policy states that filming may not be used for the expression of partisan or political viewpoints, or for uses that are (or may be interpreted as) an endorsement of a commercial entity.”
The NRA has denied using Arlington National Cemetery as the site for the commercial, but has not provided any information regarding where it was filmed.