New National Rifle Association President Carolyn Meadows said Rep. Lucy McBath was elected not because of her support of stricter gun laws, but because she is “a minority female,” according to the Marietta Daily Journal.
Meadows, who was recently elected NRA president after Oliver North was pushed out, told the Marietta Daily Journal, “We’ll get that seat back,” speaking of the congressional seat that McBath — a Georgia Democrat and a freshman lawmaker whose 17-year-old son was fatally shot in 2012 — won last year.
“There will be more than one person in the race, but we’ll get that seat back,” Meadows told the paper, according to the story published on Sunday. “But it is wrong to say like McBath said, that the reason she won was because of her anti-gun stance. That didn’t have anything to do with it — it had to do with being a minority female.”
She continued: “And the Democrats really turned out, and that’s the problem we have with conservatives — we don’t turn out as well.”
CNN has reached out to the NRA and McBath’s office for comment.
McBath, a former flight attendant and gun control activist, defeated former Republican Rep. Karen Handel in November in a district that hadn’t elected a Democratic US representative since the 1970s. Her 17-year-old son Jordan Davis was shot and killed in 2012 after an argument that began with a loud music complaint. The shooter was later convicted of first-degree murder.
On Monday, McBath responded to Meadows’ comments in a series of tweets.
“Hi NRA! It’s time we clear something up. I won this race because – after my son was senselessly murdered in 2012 – I stood up to do something about it. I knew it was time to fight back,” she wrote.
In another tweet, McBath said that her work on gun violence, among other issues, “is just starting,” adding, “And yes – as a woman of color I am proud to be part of the most diverse class in American history. My experiences drive the work I am doing for my constituents. And nobody can take that away from me.”
Meadows told the Marietta Daily Journal that the gun lobby is going to work to re-elect Republican President Donald Trump, as well as expand the group.
“We’re going to work to get Donald Trump reelected, unity, and that’s primarily it, to be politically active, to bring gun-toters into the fold, to get more gun-toters to join NRA,” she said. “It’s a powerful lobby, not just for gun rights, but for rights.”
In April, a dispute between then-NRA president North and Wayne LaPierre, longtime NRA CEO and executive vice president, spilled into public view and resulted in North’s ouster. LaPierre was reelected as CEO and Meadows, a longtime NRA board member, was elected president.
North has accused LaPierre of financial misconduct, according to the Wall Street Journal. After the internal dispute, the New York attorney general’s office announced it had launched an investigation into the NRA.