Stefanik’s husband works for the leading trade group in the firearms industry


SCHUYLERVILLE — As the gun control debate heats up following back-to-back mass shootings, the industry has a spokesperson with unprecedented access to U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik, the No. 3 Republican in the House: her husband.

Matthew Manda works as director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, based in Newtown, Connecticut. The trade group – whose stated mission is “to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports” – was among the plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit seeking to block a New York law that increases the potential liability of manufacturers of fire arms. The lawsuit was dismissed by an Albany judge earlier this week, although an appeal is likely.

Manda writes frequently for the NSSF website and other media about the group’s events and political positions. “Law-abiding Americans choose again and again to take personal safety into their own hands and buy a gun,” he wrote in April in an article about a “Congressional Fly-In” organized by the group. . “Congress must ensure that the industry is free from discrimination of ‘woke’ companies.”

The Washington, DC event brought together “dozens of firearms, ammunition and accessory industry leaders who spoke face to face with elected officials,” Manda wrote. Among them was Stefanik, who “added that his enthusiasm for electing more Republican women to Congress is going in the right direction, as several pro-Second Amendment women will likely join the Republican conference early next year.” Manda’s article does not mention that she is his wife.

Manda did not respond to a Times Union request for comment. A spokesperson for the NSSF declined to say when Manda started working for the group, calling it “personal information”.

When the Times Union called Alex deGrasse, an adviser to Stefanik and frequent spokesperson for the campaign, to ask if Manda’s work influences Stefanik’s stance on gun rights, deGrasse called the reporter ” very sick person.” He then sent an email calling the Times Union “sexist”.

“The Times Union is sinking to a new low and attacking her husband,” deGrasse wrote. “You should ask the two current Democratic challenger candidates what their positions are on the Democrats’ gun control proposals.”

He went on to say that Stefanik supported hiring more school resource officers and noted that she co-sponsored a bill that would have expanded background checks. The main purpose of this bill, proposed in 2017, was to allow for “concealed carry” reciprocity across state lines.

Stefanik was a strong ally in the firearms industry long before her husband went to work for the NSSF. She has an A+ rating with the National Rifle Association, which kicked off its annual meeting in Houston on Friday.

Manda is a graduate of the University of Kansas and previously worked as communications director for Republican U.S. Representative Kevin Yoder and political director for U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, both Kansas Republicans.

The couple met at a party hosted by Stefanik in Washington in 2012. They married in 2017, when Manda was director of marketing and communications for the Virginia-based Media Group of America, which runs the site. Web of information curator Independent Journal Review.


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