Former First Selectman Tim Herbst has billed himself as the most pro-gun candidate running for governor this year, and on Wednesday the Republican received the highest possible score from the National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund. The Fairfax, VA-based group gave Herbst an AQ rating, its highest possible for a non-incumbent, based on his responses to a 27-question survey on gun and hunting-related issues. See survey here.

“We appreciate your enthusiasm for the Second Amendment and the attention to firearm-related issues during your candidacy,” wrote NRA State Director John Weber. “On behalf of NRA members in Connecticut, I am pleased to announce your NRA-PVF ‘AQ’ rating for the 2018 Connecticut Republican Gubernatorial Primary Election. This rating is a reflection of your support on Second Amendment issues and your responses to NRA-PVF’s candidate questionnaire.

The rating indicated a candidate who is “a solid pro-gun/pro-hunting candidate who is an advocate for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” Weber wrote. “I look forward to a future partnership with you to advance the interests of Connecticut law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen.”

Herbst said he was honored to have earned the trust of the NRA.

"After years of vilification, Connecticut's law-abiding gun owners deserve a governor who will respect and fight for their constitutional rights and defend their way of life," Herbst said. "I will hold the line against extreme left-wing attempts to undermine the Second Amendment that do nothing to improve public safety. That includes vetoing legislation that includes mandatory fingerprint activated trigger locks, mandatory liability policies for long guns or mandatory registration of long guns."

The survey included questions on a variety of topics related to gun laws and hunting programs, including a candidate’s interpretation of the Second Amendment and whether they supported or opposed “banning the manufacture, possession, ownership, purchase, sale and/or transfer of any firearm.”

Other questions included asking candidates if they supported enacting so-called “stand your ground” legislation and if they favored lowering the legal age to purchase a handgun from 21 to 18 years. Several hunting-related questions surveyed candidates on allowing the use of suppressors while hunting, and their support or opposition to youth hunting programs, allowing Sunday hunting, and restricting the sale of ivory products.