News Violence

Gun Rights Extremist Says Voter ID Laws Stopping Firearm Owners From Using ‘Bullet Box’

Michelle D. Anderson

Larry Pratt sought to clarify his comments in an interview published by ThinkProgress Thursday, saying a surge in gun violence likely wouldn’t take place because several states have passed voter ID laws in recent years.

A gun rights extremist attempted to clarify during an interview with ThinkProgress a recent remark that some in the United States would resort to gun violence, or the “bullet box,” if Supreme Court nominees who do not support gun rights are appointed by the next presidential administration.

Larry Pratt, executive director emeritus of the Gun Owners of America lobbying group, said on his “Gun Owners News Hour” radio show Saturday that some citizens may resort to using the “bullet box” if a Democrat is elected president and appoints Supreme Court justices who may not rule in favor of gun rights.

“I’d much rather have an election where we solve this matter at the ballot box than have to resort to the ‘bullet box,’” Pratt said.

In the May 28 program, Pratt also implied gun violence would be a viable method to reassert “proper constitutional balance” and referred to the historic Roe v. Wade decision as an “usurpation.”

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Pratt has made comments in the past seeming to support violence against government officials. Earlier this year, after President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, he implied the prospective justice could be assassinated for his stance on the Second Amendment, according to a report by Right Wing Watch.

Pratt sought to clarify his comments in an interview published by ThinkProgress Thursday, saying a surge in gun violence likely wouldn’t take place because several states have passed voter ID laws in recent years.

“I didn’t say that would happen, but I would say that’s why we have a Second Amendment,” Pratt said, referring to the “bullet box” comment. “If elections are compromised, that could happen. I don’t think we’re at that point. We haven’t lost that much control, I don’t think, of the electoral process. We have actually been making some progress in recent months with voter ID and that hopefully is going to cut down on some of the voter fraud that could potentially occur.”

“Pratt said he is not inciting violence. In fact, he claims the government would be inciting violence if elected officials told people to pay taxes and obey laws that they didn’t have a voice in shaping,” ThinkProgress’ report continued.

Although there is little evidence that prevalent voter fraud exists, many conservative legislators and citizens have advocated for and passed voter laws that disproportionately affect low-income individuals and people of color.

In May, a former political aide testified in the research organization One Wisconsin Institute’s federal civil lawsuit against Wisconsin’s 2011 voter ID law, saying several Republican senators were excited about the law because it would impede upon some citizens’ rights and help their party in an upcoming election, according to WisPolitics.

The verdict in that case is being decided by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin and is expected in July.

As reported by Rewire, a judge noted in 2014 that Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s administration was unable to name “a single instance of voter impersonation in order to justify its argument” that the state’s voter ID law is necessary.

In addition to Wisconsin, as many as 33 other states may have voter ID laws in place this November, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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