The expected election of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean as chairman of the Democratic National Committee this month will strike a crippling blow to the gun-control movement, lobbyists and political observers say.
Like Dean, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is a strong supporter of gun rights. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) supports gun control but rarely mentioned the issue before the 2004 election. . . .
In November 2003, the Brady Campaign lambasted Dean for saying the issue of guns crossing state borders had been resolved. The group said the remark was “totally untrue and unsupportable.”
The group last year said it did not support Dean because “he has chosen to run to the right of the Democratic Party on gun issues.”
Gun-control advocates were heartened last year when Dean’s bid for president crumbled.