BELLEVUE, WA – Gun owners made the pivotal difference in sending Georgia Rep. Saxby Chambliss to the United States Senate, selecting a candidate who supports gun rights over an incumbent who didn’t, said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

“While Max Cleland unquestionably served his country during the Vietnam War, his voting record in the U.S. Senate did not serve his gun owning constituents well, and they remembered that on Tuesday,” Gottlieb stated. “By contrast, Saxby Chambliss has been a champion of gun rights, noting in interviews and statements that more gun laws are not the answer to keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.”

Early in the campaign, Chambliss noted that “sportsmen, hunters, gun enthusiasts and citizens concerned for their personal safety have a right to own guns for these legitimate purposes.”

“Cleland had a mixed record on the gun issue, but Chambliss did not,” Gottlieb observed. “Without a doubt, gun owners have made the pivotal difference in this race. They saw clearly that Democrats have been soft-peddling their position on guns this year, trying desperately to make themselves more appealing to gun owners. Obviously that hasn’t worked, in Georgia and several other races where voters understand the Second Amendment a lot better than politicians.

“Democrats didn’t seem to understand that gun owners see past the smoke and mirrors,” Gottlieb explained. “The party did not take seriously the advice of Georgia’s gun rights champion in the Senate, Zell Miller, instead playing a game of semantics when they should have simply repudiated their long-standing platform against gun rights.”

He also noted that Georgians joined with voters across the country to send a message to the Democratic Party that they have grown tired of the obstructionist tactics of Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Senator Patrick Leahy.

“Under the Senate leadership of South Dakota Democrat Tom Daschle, Senator Leahy has blocked much-needed federal judicial nominations,” Gottlieb said. “By electing Mr. Chambliss, gun owners not only defended their gun rights, they sent a clear message to Daschle and Leahy that the childish partisanship must end.”