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Top GOP donor threatens to cut off contributions unless party supports assault weapon ban

A top GOP donor from Florida says no more contributions until party supports an assault weapons ban. (PaulFleet/Getty Images)

Al Hoffman Jr., a Florida-based real estate developer and top Republican political donor, said Saturday that he will stop making contributions to party members and organizations that do not support a ban on selling military-style assault weapons to civilians, The New York Times reported.

“For how many years now have we been doing this — having these experiences of terrorism, mass killings,” Hoffman told the Times. “It’s the end of the road for me.”

Hoffman sent his comments in an email sent to several prominent Republicans, including Jeb Bush and Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, who is considering running for the Senate in 2018, the Times reported. He wrote that he would not give money Scott and other Florida Republicans if they fail to support new gun control measures.

“I will not write another check unless they all support a ban on assault weapons,” he wrote. “Enough is enough!”

Hoffman, who was a leading donor for former PresidentGeorge W. Bush, said he will try to rally other Republican donors to support his effort.

He has donated millions to Republican candidates and causes over the years, The Times reported. That includes “more than $1 million to Right to Rise, a “super PAC” that supported Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign in 2016,” the report stated.

Is this likely to be effective?

Hoffman told the Times he doesn't think he can convince Republicans to consider an assault weapons ban because they are too supportive of the National Rifle Association.

Referring to the recent deadly school shooting in Florida, Hoffman wrote that he believes more massacres are likely to happen unless the government intervenes.

“If we go from Orlando to Las Vegas, and now Parkland, you just have to know that there are others around the country just dreaming about staging another mass murder,” he wrote in his email.

On Wednesday, 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, were killed during a mass shooting.

Since the shooting, key Republicans in Washington and Florida have not signaled an interest in new gun restrictions, the Times noted. Republicans control both the Florida and federal government and have opposed most new limitations on firearms.

A previous federal assault weapons ban was enacted in 1994 under a Democratic president and Congress, but lapsed in 2004 while Republicans had full control of Washington, the Times noted.

Hoffman has urged Republicans to support certain gun control measures in the past, but stopped short of making a threat about donations, the Times reported.

Despite Hoffman's criticism of President Donald Trump, he has still continued to make significant donations to other Republicans, the Times reported.

Still, he doesn’t appear to be ready to give up.

“I’m going to email every single donor I know in the Republican Party and try to get them on board,” he said. “We’ve really got to start a little movement here.”

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