Colorado GOP Senate candidate Tim Neville’s AR-15 giveaway is old hat

Robert Freiberger


Tim Neville, a Republican state senator from Littleton who’s running for the U.S. Senate, has a sure-fire way to entice voters to bolster his bid in the March 1 caucuses: Those who pledge to support him will enter a contest for a sparkling new Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport AR-15 military-style assault rifle.

“Of course, I know the anti-gun media may hate it,” Neville wrote in a Valentine’s Day fundraising e-mail about the giveaway. “And I know the political talking heads may sneer as they continue blaming guns and law-abiding gun owners for the acts of thugs and madmen.”

Senator Tim Neville, a GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, is holding a gun giveaway as part of his campaign.

But, Neville continues, “I am THE pro-gun, pro-Constitution candidate in this race for U.S. Senate — and I can’t think of a better way to get that word out before March 1st than by giving away a brand new AR-15.”

Gun giveaways are nothing new to contemporary political campaigns, especially ones for the U.S. Senate. It might even be turning into a tradition for a certain type of conservative candidate. Just look at the language in Neville’s fundraising e-mail. Some text from it is exactly the same as one from the 2014 U.S. Senate campaign of Lee Bright in South Carolina who was running in a six-way Republican primary against Lindsey Graham.

What did Bright say to voters when raffling off his own AR-15?

“I know the anti-gun media may hate it. I know the political talking heads may sneer as they continue blaming guns and law-abiding gun owners for the acts of thugs and madmen. But I am THE pro-gun, pro-Constitution candidate in this race for the U.S. Senate — and I can’t think of a better way to get that word out than by giving away a brand new AR-15.”

Same capitalization and everything. Other candidates from Georgia to Texas have done the gun giveaway thing, too, as have Republican Party organizations in states like Arizona and Rhode Island.

Out on the presidential campaign trail, Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is raffling off a shotgun with his campaign logo engraved on the butt.

Neville, currently a sitting state senator, is running in the crowded and unusual Republican primary for U.S. Senate this year in hopes to take on Colorado’s Senior Democratic U.S. Senator, Michael Bennet, in the fall.

Related: Are Colorado’s Republican US Senate candidates too much alike? Why this US Senate race is unusual for Colorado

While Neville might have used the same copy as a South Carolina candidate’s AR-15 fundraising e-mail, there’s really no question he’s  “THE pro-gun” candidate in the Colorado race. This year the state senator has introduced three bills to make it easier to carry firearms and allow them to hold more rounds, among others. His son was a lobbyist for Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a hardcore pro-Second Amendment outfit based out of Windsor. The no-compromise gun group has previously come under fire from gun rights advocate Dave Kopel of the libertarian Independence Institute who said RMGO’s habit championing doomed-to-fail, no-compromise bills has created “an impressive record of futility.”

Related: Gun-rights advocate Dave Kopel shoots criticism at Dudley Brown of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners

But the group still has political muscle, especially among the kinds of grassroots activists who show up to caucuses. In the U.S. Senate race, as some candidates choose go the signature-gathering petition route to get on the 2016 primary ballot in June this year, Neville says he’ll go through the caucus system.

To do so, he hopes to raise $125,000 in order to “run the type of grassroots program it’s going to take to finish strong on March 1st,” he wrote in his fundraising e-mail. Right now he’s only raised a little more than half of that. Hence, “to help get the word out about my campaign I’m holding a ‘March 1st Precinct Caucus AR-15 Giveaway.'”


[Photo credit Robert Freiberger vie Flickr]


  1. Wouldn’t you think a Republican candidate would be a bit gun shy about such blatant plagiarism after recent elections?

  2. The myopia of the right wing is disgusting. We have over 300 MILLION guns in this country, and this MORON actually thinks we need more of them out here? And an AR15, too, the one gun that he KNOWS will get the most attention. The gun that keeps being used in massacre after massacre. JUST what a sensible LEADER would want more of in society.

    This is what is wrong with the right wing, anymore. They aren’t interested in ANY kind of a decent soceity, they want us all armed, shooting at each other, and only the one who is the better shot gets to walk away. How is THIS a society at all?

    The republican party has decided that it’s just going to be the meanest, least sensible, least logical, least AMERICAN party possible. Since Obama was elected, they have been nothing but the party of obstruction and societal destruction. They aren’t even TRYING to help this country, but to take as much of it down and into rubble as possible. This is NOT how to have a society. It’s how you destroy one.

    And arming everyone to the point of near civil war is NOT a sensible, logical or even rational thing to do. m ay this idiot not get a single vote. With his plagerism and his IDIOCY in this plan, he doesn’t deserve a single vote from ANYONE.

    This guy is a MORON. I’m embarrassed that he even LIVES in this state, let alone is being considered as a viable candidate for ANY elected position. He obviously isn’t smart enough to even come up with his own platform or materials, it REALLY makes me wonder who it is that’s REALLY calling the shots for his campaign. Who wrote this miserable screed in the first place? THAT is who it is that’s REALLY running for this seat. They’re just using this IDIOT as their face. They don’t even have the balls to run themselves, so they hired this schmuck to do it for them.

    Gun idiots are NOT the answer to anything in this country, unless it’s the question “Who are the biggest IDIOTS in the country?”.

  3. If you dont like guns go back to California.keep colorado beautiful go back to the state you already ruined.

  4. What I am concerned about is getting the best candidate to run against Bennet in November. If I choose to support a particular candidate, I don’t care if he is giving away a bb gun or a howitzer, I will make a choice based on my research on the person. If Neville’s son is a lobbyist for RMGO, that’s a strike against him as far as I’m concerned, but if he turns out to honestly be the best person for the job, unlike the RINO Cory Gardner, then I will support him for the job. I don’t want a gun, I want honest representation in DC.

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