COLUMBIA — Republican Nikki Haley is the Gun Owners of America choice for governor.

Haley, a state representative from Lexington, won the endorsement of the 2nd Amendment group over Democrat Vincent Sheheen, a state senator from Camden.

The Gun Owners of America is a grassroots organization with more than 300,000 members, according to Haley’s campaign. Haley has a permit to carry a gun.

Tim Macy, the group’s vice chairman, said that Haley’s record is the reason for the endorsement.

“Nikki Haley stands 100 percent behind the rights of South Carolina’s gun owners and sportsmen,” Macy said in a statement. “In particular, Representative Haley strongly supports concealed carry of firearms by law-abiding citizens and will work to ease unreasonable restrictions on CWP holders.”

Haley said she was thankful for the backing.

“Few things are as clearly defined as the right of individual Americans to own and use firearms,” Haley said in a statement. “The right to bear arms was deemed so critical by our founders that they spelled it out in absolute terms, and it is my belief that any governmental action that undermines that right is in turn undermining the very freedoms that built our great nation.

“I hold a Concealed Weapons Permit myself, and as governor, I will continue to fight against any government infringement on the Second Amendment.”

Read more in Tuesday’s editions of The Post and Courier.