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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The National Rifle Association endorsed Gov. Kay Ivey’s re-election during a campaign event at the Lower Wetumpka Shotgun Sports Club Monday.

“Today I have the privilege of announcing the NRA’s official endorsement for the re-election of Kay Ivey for the governor of Alabama,” Art Thomm with the NRA said.

Ivey accepted the endorsement, after Thomm noted her recent signing into law of a bill allowing for permitless concealed carry.

“As long as I’m your governor I will always defend your right to keep and bear arms. That’s why just last month I signed the constitutional carry bill into law,” Ivey said.

Ivey’s Republican challengers, Tim James and Lindy Blanchard, say if they were governor, they would’ve signed that bill, too.

“100%, I am all in on constitutional carry,” Blanchard said.

“Certain rights and authority belongs to the federal government, the rest are reserved to the states, and this is one of them,” James said.

According to a recent CBS 42 and Emerson College poll, Ivey has 48% support among Republican primary voters, James has 11% and Blanchard has 8%.

James says if elected, protecting Alabama from gun control measures in Washington will be a priority.

“When we’re watching tyranny come at us from every direction, we’re watching what they call overreach by the federal government, what that really is, is usurpation, and it’s illegal,” James said.

Similarly, Blanchard says she believes the first job of governor is to be a line of defense for voters against federal overreach.

“I would be that not just on the rights to carry or gun rights or how Biden right now is trying to infiltrate that area, I would be that line of defense in every area,” Blanchard said.

The NRA previously endorsed Ivey for governor in 2018.