Maryland's GOP governor loses support of NRA after signing gun laws

Maryland’s Republican governor lost the support of the National Rifle Association and had his ranking downgraded Saturday after signing gun control legislation.

The Baltimore Sun first reported that the organization wouldn’t endorse Gov. Larry Hogan during his re-election campaign as it had during his successful 2014 run for office.

The organization reduced Hogan’s “A-“ rating earned four years ago to a “C,” NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker told the Sun. The grading reflects how well the candidate protects the rights of gun owners.

Hogan had signed a series of gun control bills in April, including a ban on “bump stocks” -- devices that let a weapon fire repeatedly, like a machine gun -- and a “red flag law” that makes it easier to remove guns from individuals deemed dangerous, the Hill reported.

He also said in July, while speaking at a local middle school where a 16-year-old girl died in a shooting, that he would reject the NRA’s endorsement, according to the outlet. Hogan’s spokeswoman also told the outlet that he didn’t think the organization were “big fans” of his at the time.

While the NRA has pulled its support ahead of next month’s midterm elections, Hogan campaign spokesman Doug Mayer told the Sun that the governor continues to support Second Amendment rights.

“The governor’s position on guns will never change; he wants to make it harder for criminals and the mentally ill to get access to them,” Mayer said. “He will continue to pursue policies that work to achieve those goals.”

Hogan is set to face Democratic challenger Ben Jealous in the November midterm elections. Poll results released earlier this month showed Hogan with a 22-point lead, the Sun reported.