Big GOP donor threatens to withhold campaign donations as leverage to force gun control: Report

A prominent GOP campaign donor has issued an ultimatum to Republican leaders: Introduce gun control legislation, or lose his support, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

George W. Bush and Congressional Republicans, has vowed to halt all donations to the party unless leaders pass legislation to restrict access to guns and ban assault weapons, the publication said.

Seventeen people were slain and 14 people were hospitalized in Wednesday’s rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County. The suspect, troubled 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz, was booked on 17 counts of premeditated murder Thursday. Authorities said he used an AR-15 assault rifle.

“For how many years now have we been doing this — having these experiences of terrorism, mass killings — and how many years has it been that nothing’s been done?” Mr. Hoffman told the New York Times. “It’s the end of the road for me.”

Hoffman issued his ultimatum via email, addressing half dozen Republican leaders. Those included Florida Gov. Rick Scott, whom he has supported in the past and who may seek a Senatorial seat in 2018, the Times reported. Representatives for Scott did not immediately return CNBC’s request for comment.

“I will not write another check unless they all support a ban on assault weapons,” he wrote in an email acquired by the Times. “Enough is enough!”

Republican leaders have shown little interest in new gun legislation, following the Feb. 14 attack at a Parkland, Florida, high school, according to the Times. A previous ban on assault weapons, signed into law in 1994 by President Bill Clinton, expired in 2004 under Bush.

Hoffman has also encouraged other donors to follow in his footsteps. However, the Times reported that certain donors, including Bush family ally Mel Sambler, have already expressed that they likely won’t. Sembler did not immediately return CNBC’s request for comment.

–CNBC’s Marty Steinberg contributed to this report.

Read more about Al Hoffman Jr.’s ultimatum from the New York Times.

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