Al Hoffman Jr., a big-shot GOP donor from Florida, announced on Saturday that he will no longer contribute money to any candidates or groups that don’t support a ban on assault weapons for civilian use, the New York Times reports. The real estate developer and former ambassador to Portugal, who has donated millions of dollars to GOP candidates and causes, and was a particularly strong supporter of George W. and Jeb Bush, says he will try to line up other Republican donors to withhold money over the issue as well. Hoffman has pushed for more restrictions on guns before, but has never threatened politicians’ pocketbooks until now.
In an email to several Republican leaders in Florida, including Governor Rick Scott, Hoffman explained that he was fed up over government inaction following the massacre of 17 people at a Parkland, Florida high school on Wednesday, and as a result, “I will not write another check unless they all support a ban on assault weapons. Enough is enough!” He has acknowledged that it’s not likely his efforts will make a difference, but that he will still email “every single donor I know” in an effort to start “a little movement.” Another Florida-based GOP donor who has already signed on to Hoffman’s plan, Peter S. Rummell, told the Times that after the Parkland shooting, gun control “has to start somewhere.”