MT Gov. Says He ‘Would’ Support Assaults Weapons Ban After Years Of Backing Second Amendment Rights


Zachery Schmidt Contributor
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Montana Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock takes a strong position on gun control as he weighs a possible 2020 presidential run.

While on CNN’s “State of the Union” Aug. 19 show, Bullock told host Jake Tapper he “would” support an assault weapons ban.

“If we really step back for a minute, I think most folks — be it in Montana or elsewhere — that are firearms owners, want to keep themselves and their families safe,” Bullock said.

Ronja Abel, a spokesman for Bullock, released a statement on Sunday explaining his decision for supporting an assault weapon ban.

“Gov. Bullock is doing what most Americans are right now — reflecting on how we got to the point where mass shootings are a common event — and trying to find a way to stop it,” Abel said.

This is the latest comment where the governor has tightened his position on gun laws. In May, Bullock wrote an op-ed saying he would support universal background checks.

“Let’s focus on what works. Most gun owners are law-abiding, yet too often guns get into the wrong hands,” he wrote. “That’s why the first step ought to be universal background checks and cracking down on straw purchases of guns.”

These strong gun stances come as many Democrats support banning assault weapons. According to Business Insider, 87 percent of Democrats favor stricter laws against assault weapons.

Last week, the Montana governor visited Iowa for the third time this year. He gave a 20-minute speech at the Iowa State Fair criticizing the Supreme Court’s Citizen United Case and talking about how he won re-election in 2016, where President Donald Trump won by over 20 points.

He will visit New Hampshire Aug. 24, according to the Associated Press. Iowa will be the first state to vote in the 2020 presidential caucuses, and New Hampshire will host America’s first primary.

When Bullock ran for re-election in 2016, his tone about gun laws was different.

“Steve Bullock supports Montana’s current laws when it comes to gun rights,” a Montana Democratic Party Spokesman Jason Pitt said in a written statement to the Missoulian. “He opposes universal background checks, he has expanded gun rights as governor, and he will always stand up for the Second Amendment.”

During a 2016 debate, Bullock said, “In my eight years in public service, our Second Amendment rights have been expanded in Montana, not limited.”

Gifford’s Law Center, an organization that supports gun control, ranked Montana as having the 37th worst gun laws in America in its 2018 “Annual Gun Law Scorecard.”