Gillibrand to NRA in 2008: ‘Look Forward to Working With You for Many Years’

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The National Rifle Association released a letter Monday sent to its executive director by then-Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) in 2008, where she wrote of her desire to work with the guns rights organization for "many years."

"I appreciate the work that the NRA does to protect gun owners right and I look forward to working with you for many years in Congress," she wrote.

Gillibrand, now a U.S. Senator and a 2020 presidential candidate, has done a well-documented 180 on the NRA, going from holding an A-rating from the group in her upstate New York district to assailing it as the "worst organization in this country" and calling for sweeping gun control reforms.

Following her town hall Sunday night where she said the NRA cares "more about their profits than the American people," the conservative group fired back on Twitter, writing, "Gillibrand called us the worst org in the country, but when she represented NY20, she wrote us: ‘I appreciate the work that the NRA does to protect gun owners rights, and I look forward to working with you for many years.' Now that she's looking to crack 1%, she’ll say anything."

In the letter to NRA executive director Chris Cox, Gillibrand wrote she opposed banning "magazines holding an arbitrary number of cartridges," and she also wrote she did not "believe that laws should be based on random limits just for the sake of limiting gun ownership or usage."

Among the gun control reforms Gillibrand now calls for is a ban on "high-capacity magazines."

In addition to other proclamations of support for various gun owners' rights, she also discussed her signing of the 2008 amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court during the landmark D.C. v. Heller decision, where the Court repealed the District of Columbia's handgun ban.

Since she announced her bid for the presidency, Gillibrand has frequently had to explain her major policy flips on guns and immigration. While she was a Blue Dog Democrat serving in the House, she's been one of the most liberal members of the U.S. Senate in her 10 years there.

"I didn't do the right thing," Gillibrand told CNN in March. "I mean, I think someone who can't recognize when they're wrong is far more concerning if you can never admit when you're wrong. And not only was I wrong, and not only should I have cared more about gun violence in other parts of my state or other parts of my country, I just didn't."

Gillibrand's campaign did not return a request for comment.