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The National Rifle Association has announced its endorsement of Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Leavitt.

Mark Greenberg, director of state and local affairs for the NRA, said the association endorses Leavitt because of his commitment to protecting individual liberties outlined in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."Mr. Leavitt is a firm believer in the conservative ideals that have made this nation great," Greenberg said.

Leavitt has said the right to keep and bear arms as protected by the Second Amendment is a basic right that should be upheld.

The NRA based its decision to support Leavitt on an NRA questionnaire and a meeting in Washington, D.C.

When matched against other candidates, Greenberg said, "Leavitt's personal qualifications, support for individual liberties and solid proposals to protect Utah's quality of life made the decision easy for our board."