State of Montana Archives: on Gun Control


Tim Fox: Fight any effort to undermine this fundamental right

With increased calls nationally to crack-down on the rights of law-abiding gun owners, it's imperative that we have strong leaders in office who aren't afraid to defend the Second Amendment. I will continue to fight any effort to undermine this fundamental right, no matter what form the attacks might take. Preventing government intrusion from spreading to Montana will always be a top priority for my administration. And that starts with defending the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
Source: 2020 Montana Governor campaign website FoxForGovernor.com Dec 2, 2019

Wilmot Collins: Supports background checks & red flag laws

Background checks keep guns out of dangerous felon's hands, those who have dangerous mental illness, or those folks who may be on a terrorist watch list. 93% of Americans support background checks. It's the right thing to do, and the will of the people. Most mass shootings are perpetrated by those with a history of partner family member violence. We must also ensure survivors of domestic violence are protected. We must have red flag laws to protect families.
Source: Billings Gazette OpEd in 2020 Montana Senate race Sep 13, 2019

Jon Tester: Supports background checks & banning bump stocks

Q: Support more restrictive gun control legislation? Restrict semi-automatic weapons?

Matt Rosendale (R): No. Second Amendment rights are non-negotiable. Mass shootings all involve mental illness & sites where guns have been banned.

Jon Tester (D): Backs Second Amendment rights, but would consider "background checks, banning bump stocks & making sure our databases are talking to one another."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Montana Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Matt Rosendale: Second Amendment rights are non-negotiable

Q: Support more restrictive gun control legislation? Restrict semi-automatic weapons?

Matt Rosendale (R): No. Second Amendment rights are non-negotiable. Mass shootings all involve mental illness & sites where guns have been banned.

Jon Tester (D): Backs Second Amendment rights, but would consider "background checks, banning bump stocks & making sure our databases are talking to one another."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Montana Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Steve Bullock: Background checks & age restrictions to reduce gun violence

On gun control: "You know, I would," Bullock told CNN when asked if he would support a ban on semiautomatic weapons. "There are things that we can do immediately, everything from red flag laws to closing, sort of having a universal background check, to making sure that we're doing everything we can, some age restrictions, magazine restrictions."
Source: CNN coverage of 2020 Montana gubernatorial race Aug 19, 2018

Steve Bullock: Believes in 2nd Amendment, but not guns in wrong hands

In 1994, I learned my 11-year old nephew had been˙shot and killed˙in Butte, Montana. Last fall, my son shot his first deer. He was prepared. We reinforced his hunter safety course. It was a moment he and I will never forget. Both experiences shape my views of gun policy, as a policymaker and a parent. Americans calling for restrictions on weapons want their families to be safe. Americans calling for protection of the Second Amendment want their families to be safe.

I'm a gun owner who believes in the Constitution. If we approach gun violence from the shared value of protecting our families and focus on what we have in common, we can make meaningful progress. We need to work towards a society where mass shootings and schoolyard deaths are not only illegal, they are unheard of. Let's focus on what works. Most gun owners are law abiding, yet too often guns get into the wrong hands. That's why the first step ought to be universal background checks.

Source: Great Falls Tribune OpEd for 2020 Montana gubernatorial race May 30, 2018

Jon Tester: AdWatch: Check if gun buyers are on terrorist watch-list

Matt Rosendale zeroed in on the Second Amendment record of his opponent Sen. Jon Tester: "Tester believes that we should have a national registration so that the people of Montana should have to ask permission before they purchase a gun, ask permission from the federal government."

We decided to investigate whether Tester supports a national gun registry. It turns out the opposite is true. A national gun registry [means] the government has a single, consolidated list of all guns and all gun owners across the country.

Rosendale's campaign pointed us to a vote Tester cast in favor of a 2015 amendment sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein that failed in the Senate. Feinstein sought to extend the FBI's [gun watch] list to those on the US government's consolidated terror watchlist. The Rosendale campaign's argument appears to be as follows: Because the terror watchlist has mistakenly listed innocent people, the watchlist could be used as a national gun registry. We rate this "Pants on Fire."

Source: PolitiFact.com fact-check on 2018 Montana Senate race Aug 21, 2017

Matt Rosendale: Don't check if gun buyers are on terrorist watch-list

Matt Rosendale zeroed in on the Second Amendment record of his opponent Sen. Jon Tester: "Tester believes that we should have a national registration so that the people of Montana should have to ask permission before they purchase a gun, ask permission from the federal government."

We decided to investigate whether Tester supports a national gun registry. It turns out the opposite is true. A national gun registry [means] the government has a single, consolidated list of all guns and all gun owners across the country.

Rosendale's campaign pointed us to a vote Tester cast in favor of a 2015 amendment sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein that failed in the Senate. Feinstein sought to extend the FBI's [gun watch] list to those on the US government's consolidated terror watchlist. The Rosendale campaign's argument appears to be as follows: Because the terror watchlist has mistakenly listed innocent people, the watchlist could be used as a national gun registry. We rate this "Pants on Fire."

Source: PolitiFact.com fact-check on 2018 Montana Senate race Aug 21, 2017

Greg Gianforte: Lifetime member of the NRA

Family Man and Avid Outdoorsman: Greg and Susan have generously donated tens of millions of dollars to projects and organizations right here in Montana. They raised all four of their kids hiking the mountains of Montana. Greg is a lifetime member of the NRA.
Source: 2016 Montana governor's campaign website GregForMontana.com Feb 3, 2016

Brad Johnson: 2nd Amendment is central to preservation of our liberty

Montanans' right to keep and bear arms is fundamental to our way of life and our well being. It is conferred on us as individuals by the Constitution. We ought never lose sight of the fact that the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting, target shooting or gun collecting. It is, however, central to the preservation of our liberty and our God-given right to defend ourselves, our families and our property. We must be ever vigilant in our efforts to keep these rights unabridged.
Source: 2016 Gubernatorial campaign website, BradForMontana.com Dec 10, 2015

Ryan Zinke: Fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms

As a third generation Montanan, I strongly believe in the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms. I support current open carry and concealed carry permit laws. I also support national concealed carry reciprocity which would allow law-abiding concealed carry permit holders to carry in any other state that allows concealed carry.

I believe, as the Supreme Court confirmed in the Heller and McDonald decisions, that the Second Amendment guarantees our God-given right to self defense. This right should be extended to our national parks, national forests and other public lands.

Montana is famous for its hunting heritage. As a hunter myself, I will continue to oppose efforts by special interests to stop hunting. This includes efforts by radical groups to ban traditional ammunition. Big government continues to overstep local authority. This is not the Montana I know and love! I'm firmly against federal gun registration and a federal database of gun ownership or purchases.

Source: 2014 Montana House campaign website, RyanZinke.com Nov 4, 2014

Amanda Curtis: Supports expanding background checks

An advocate for gun control, Curtis attended a 2013 Mayors Against Illegal Guns Rally to pressure Sen. Max Baucus to support expanding background checks.

Conservatives have pounced on her writing in a socialist newsletter, along with her video diary. In one entry, she said she had to stop herself from "walking across the floor" to "punch" Republican legislators who voted to make gay sex illegal in Montana. In another, she wore a hooded sweatshirt to commemorate the death of Trayvon Martin.

Source: ABC News on 2014 Montana Senate race Aug 22, 2014

Champ Edmunds: 2nd amendment is about tyranny, not hunting

Question topic: More restrictive gun control laws are needed now to protect public safety.

Edmunds: Strongly Disagree.

Question topic: Briefly list political or legislative issues of most concern to you.

Edmunds. Gun Rights: We must defend our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The 2nd amendment is about tyranny, it is not about hunting. National Debt. The borrower is servant to the lender. We need to be a debt free Government and a debt free nation.

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Montana Senate race Jul 2, 2014

Amanda Curtis: Common-sense solutions like expanding background checks

Speakers at a rally at the Capitol urged Sen. Max Baucus to change his stance and support expanded background checks before people can buy guns. The Democratic senator voted against mandatory background checks earlier this year.

State Rep. Amanda Curtis, D-Butte, told how at age 17, in May 1997, she and her family were awakened by a call from the police in the middle of the night telling them to come to a Billings hospital. They learned her 16-year-old brother had shot and killed himself playing Russian roulette at a party.

"I would be willing to bet that every single one of you that's here today either has been directly affected or knows someone who has been directly affected by gun violence." Curtis, who is considering a race for the U.S. House, called for common-sense solutions. "If Montana has 2.5 times the suicide rate of states with comprehensive background checks, maybe we should try that out," said Curtis, a high school math teacher.

Source: Billings Gazette on 2014 Montana Senate race Jul 23, 2013

Steve Bullock: Veto barring state enforcement of federal semi-automatic ban

HB 302: Prohibit state enforcement of any federal ban on semi-auto firearms/magazines

Analysis by Associated Press in The Missoulian, March 28, 2013: House Bill 302 was backed by gun advocates who argued the state should be ready in case Congress enacts a gun ban. But Bullock said in his veto message that it does not appear Congress will ban assault weapons, calling the bill "unnecessary political theater."

Veto Message : HB302 puts law enforcement in the position of violating laws they have sworn to uphold. Public safety officers take an oath to "enforce or apply all laws and regulations" and also to "work in unison with all legally authorized agencies" [including federal laws and agencies]. HB 302 would subject our peace officers to criminal sanctions for upholding the oath we ask that they take.

Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 28-21-1 on Mar/13/13; Passed House 62-35-3 on Mar/20/13; Vetoed by Gov. Bullock on Mar/28/13.

Source: A.P./The Missoulian on Montana voting record HB 302 Mar 28, 2013

Amanda Curtis: Don't bar state enforcement of any federal semi-auto gun ban

HB 302: Prohibit state enforcement of any federal ban on semi-auto firearms/magazines

Analysis by Associated Press in The Missoulian, March 28, 2013: House Bill 302 was backed by gun advocates who argued the state should be ready in case Congress enacts a gun ban. But Bullock said in his veto message that it does not appear Congress will ban assault weapons, calling the bill "unnecessary political theater."

Veto Message : HB302 puts law enforcement in the position of violating laws they have sworn to uphold. Public safety officers take an oath to "enforce or apply all laws and regulations" and also to "work in unison with all legally authorized agencies" [including federal laws and agencies]. HB 302 would subject our peace officers to criminal sanctions for upholding their oath.

Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 28-21-1 on Mar/13/13; Passed House 62-35-3 on Mar/20/13; State Rep. Amanda Curtis voted NO; Vetoed by Gov. Bullock on Mar/28/13.

Source: A.P./The Missoulian on Montana voting record HB 302 Mar 20, 2013

Bill McChesney: Don't bar state enforcement of any federal semi-auto gun ban

HB 302: Prohibit state enforcement of any federal ban on semi-auto firearms/magazines

Analysis by Associated Press in The Missoulian, March 28, 2013: House Bill 302 was backed by gun advocates who argued the state should be ready in case Congress enacts a gun ban. But Bullock said in his veto message that it does not appear Congress will ban assault weapons, calling the bill "unnecessary political theater."

Veto Message : HB302 puts law enforcement in the position of violating laws they have sworn to uphold. Public safety officers take an oath to "enforce or apply all laws and regulations" and also to "work in unison with all legally authorized agencies" [including federal laws and agencies]. HB 302 would subject our peace officers to criminal sanctions for upholding their oath.

Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 28-21-1 on Mar/13/13; Passed House 62-35-3 on Mar/20/13; State Rep. Bill McChesney voted NO; Vetoed by Gov. Bullock on Mar/28/13.

Source: A.P./The Missoulian on Montana voting record HB 302 Mar 20, 2013

Casey Schreiner: Don't bar state enforcement of any federal semi-auto gun ban

HB 302: Prohibit state enforcement of any federal ban on semi-auto firearms/magazines

Analysis by Associated Press in The Missoulian, March 28, 2013: House Bill 302 was backed by gun advocates who argued the state should be ready in case Congress enacts a gun ban. But Bullock said in his veto message that it does not appear Congress will ban assault weapons, calling the bill "unnecessary political theater."

Veto Message : HB302 puts law enforcement in the position of violating laws they have sworn to uphold. Public safety officers take an oath to "enforce or apply all laws and regulations" and also to "work in unison with all legally authorized agencies" [including federal laws and agencies]. HB 302 would subject our peace officers to criminal sanctions for upholding their oath.

Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 28-21-1 on Mar/13/13; Passed House 62-35-3 on Mar/20/13; State Rep. Casey Schreiner voted NO; Vetoed by Gov. Bullock on Mar/28/13.

Source: A.P./The Missoulian on Montana voting record HB 302 Mar 20, 2013

Reilly Neill: Don't bar state enforcement of any federal semi-auto gun ban

HB 302: Prohibit state enforcement of any federal ban on semi-auto firearms/magazines

Analysis by Associated Press in The Missoulian, March 28, 2013: House Bill 302 was backed by gun advocates who argued the state should be ready in case Congress enacts a gun ban. But Bullock said in his veto message that it does not appear Congress will ban assault weapons, calling the bill "unnecessary political theater."

Veto Message : HB302 puts law enforcement in the position of violating laws they have sworn to uphold. Public safety officers take an oath to "enforce or apply all laws and regulations" and also to "work in unison with all legally authorized agencies" [including federal laws and agencies]. HB 302 would subject our peace officers to criminal sanctions for upholding their oath.

Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 28-21-1 on Mar/13/13; Passed House 62-35-3 on Mar/20/13; State Rep. Reilly Neill voted NO; Vetoed by Gov. Bullock on Mar/28/13.

Source: A.P./The Missoulian on Montana voting record HB 302 Mar 20, 2013

Matt Rosendale: Veto barring state enforcement of federal semi-automatic ban

HB 302: Prohibit state enforcement of any federal ban on semi-auto firearms/magazines

Analysis by Associated Press in The Missoulian, March 28, 2013: House Bill 302 was backed by gun advocates who argued the state should be ready in case Congress enacts a gun ban. But Bullock said in his veto message that it does not appear Congress will ban assault weapons, calling the bill "unnecessary political theater."

Veto Message : HB302 puts law enforcement in the position of violating laws they have sworn to uphold. Public safety officers take an oath to "enforce or apply all laws and regulations" and also to "work in unison with all legally authorized agencies" [including federal laws and agencies]. HB 302 would subject officers to criminal sanctions for upholding the oath we ask that they take.

Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 28-21-1 on Mar/13/13; State Sen. Rosendale voted YES; Passed House 62-35-3 on Mar/20/13; Vetoed by Gov. Bullock on Mar/28/13.

Source: A.P./The Missoulian on Montana voting record HB 302 Mar 13, 2013

Steve Bullock: Forever preserve access to public land for hunting & fishing

As Attorney General, Steve works hard every day to make our state better for the next generation of Montanans. Since taking office, Steve has worked with Governor Schweitzer and state legislators to forever preserve access to public lands and streams for hunting, fishing and hiking.
Source: Montana Governor campaign 2012 website, www.stevebullock.com Nov 6, 2012

Amanda Curtis: No gun licensing; allow concealed carry

Q: Should citizens be allowed to carry concealed guns?

A: Yes.

Q: Should a license be required for gun possession?

A: No.

Source: Montana Legislative Election 2012 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

Matt Rosendale: Citizens can own any number and type of firearms

Q: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?

A: No.

Q: Should background checks be required on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?

A: No.

Q: Should citizens be allowed to carry concealed guns?

A: Yes.

Q: Should a license be required for gun possession?

A: No.

Rosendale adds, "I feel that any mentally stable, law abiding CITIZEN of the United States should be able to own the number and type of firearms that they choose."

Source: Montana 2012 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

Sam Rankin: Restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns

Q: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?

A: Yes.

Source: Montana Election 2012 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

Dennis Rehberg: No Supreme Court Justices who are hostile to 2nd Amendment

On two occasions, Rehberg pointed out that Tester supported the confirmation of Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan--justices he believes are hostile to the Second Amendment. Rehberg said he would not have supported their confirmation. Tester did not respond on that particular issue.
Source: Daily Inter Lake on 2012 Montana Senate debates Oct 14, 2012

Bill McChesney: No restrictions; no licenses; even for concealed carry

Q: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?

A: No.

Q: Do you support requiring background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support requiring a license for gun possession?

A: No.

Source: Montana State Congressional 2010 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2010

Ryan Zinke: Background checks are prudent; military weapons aren't

Q: Should citizens be allowed to carry concealed guns?

A: Yes.

Q: Should a license be required for gun possession?

A: No. I strongly support the right to bear arms for hunting and personal protection. I believe that background checks are prudent & necessary. I also believe that the sale of specialized military weapons should be banned for public use. I believe that in areas of high security, such as courtrooms, airports, and military bases, that concealed weapons should not be allowed."

Source: Montana Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Brian Schweitzer: Protect our 2nd Amendment rights

Q: What principles do you support regarding guns?

A: As an NRA member with an “A” rating, I will protect our 2nd Amendment rights. I will ensure access to Montana’s public lands for hunting, fishing and recreation.

Source: 2004 Montana Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2004

  • The above quotations are from State of Montana Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Gun Control.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Gun Control:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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