NRA News Guest Compares Enforcement Of Maryland's Gun Laws To Operation Of Nazi Death Camps

Frank Borelli, a frequent guest on NRA News, noted the excuse used by Nazis who operated concentration camps that they were “just following orders” to applaud sheriffs who would “selectively enforce” Maryland's new gun violence prevention laws.

On May 16, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed into law a ban on assault weapons, limits on high-capacity magazines and a handgun licensing scheme.

Borelli, who is the editor of the law enforcement news site and is a regular guest on NRA News, made the Nazi comparison as a counterpoint to an editorial by Maryland House of Delegates member Jon S. Cardin that criticized a Maryland sheriff who said he would not enforce the new laws.

From the June 20 edition of Cam & Company on the Sportsman Channel:

CAM EDWARDS, HOST: The Baltimore Sun is very upset, particularly Jon Cardin is incensed that there are sheriffs in the state of Maryland who say that they will not be enforcing the new gun control laws against otherwise legal law-abiding gun owners. He says this is a horrible idea, in a country dependent on the rule of law, he says, to protect civil rights and public safety this is dangerous and distressing. I'm curious, what's your take, Frank?

FRANK BORELLI: I'd like to ask Mr. Cardin one question. Does he feel that when Nazis working the death camps used the excuse of, I was just following orders, was that an acceptable excuse and did it exempt them for moral turpitude for their actions? And I'd like to hear him justify that.

These sheriffs have stepped up, again this is my opinion, these sheriffs have stepped up and said you know what, we don't [sic] feel these laws are unconstitutional therefore we're not going to enforce them. They're saying, hey, this isn't a lawful order. These laws aren't enforceable. We choose not to enforce them. I commend them for their courage to do so.

The NRA's programming has frequently employed Nazi imagery to attack proponents of stronger gun laws or to draw ahistorical comparisons between gun violence prevention measures and Nazism.  

During a May 4 keynote presentation at the NRA's annual meeting, Glenn Beck depicted New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with his arm raised in a Nazi salute and wearing an armband. Beck claimed that the image was based on one of Lenin but acknowledged that the pose was “a sieg heil salute.”

In a March 1 interview, then-NRA President David Keene defended protesters of New York's gun laws who depicted New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as Adolf Hitler during a rally in Albany. According to Keene, “Folks that are cognizant of the history not just in Germany but elsewhere look back to that history and say we can't let that sort of thing happen here.” NRA News investigative reporter Ginny Simone, who produced a report on the rally, noted that one of the “great signs” on display included the phrase “Adolf Cuomo.”

Edwards' program has also featured a warning that gun violence prevention laws could led to the imposition of Nazi-style rule in the United States. On the March 1 edition of Cam & Company, NRA board member Ronnie Barrett compared states' efforts to strengthen gun violence prevention laws to Nazi Germany and suggested that disarming Americans could lead to “the death of millions.”