By: Teresa Mull

Some Democrats running for election this fall are embracing the gun issue – by flaunting them in campaign ads they’re airing in pro-gun states, despite the fact that many of them have contrasting records.

“Guns in campaign ads have frequently been Republicans’ bread and butter,” reports. “GOP candidates looking to shore up support among the party’s base routinely use guns to tout their appreciation for the Second Amendment. But in an era during which many national Democrats are drawing hard lines on gun control, the party’s moderates in more hotly-contested districts and states are taking a page out of the GOP playbook.”

West Virginia
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s campaign (D) just released an ad featuring an old shot of the senator shooting a cap and trade bill, along with some new shots of him shooting a Republican healthcare lawsuit he doesn’t like, while hanging out with sportsmen:

“A common theme among the Democrats who are using firearms in their campaign ads is that many are veterans of the U.S. military,” Business Insider reports.

“Despite his eagerness to appear gun-friendly in a pro-gun state, Manchin’s record on gun rights is vastly different,” Ryan Flugaur, Senior Political Director for the National Association for Gun Rights, told Gunpowder Magazine.

“Manchin, like other red-state Democrats, is desperate for West Virginians to forget that he sponsored Obama’s de facto gun registration and ban on private firearm purchases in 2013, and continues to this day to demand things like striping gun rights from young adults under 21, including single mothers,” Flugaur said.

Rep. Conor Lamb, a Democrat and former Marine from Pennsylvania, has reminded constituents he “still likes to shoot” and isn’t too eager to expand gun control.

“I believe we have a pretty good law on the books, and it says on paper that there are a lot of people who should never get guns in their hands,” Lamb said.

Lamb, however, has barely been in office five months, and has already sponsored one gun control bill with anti-gun advocate Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY).

In Maine, Democratic congressional challenger Jared Golden just released a shooting-themed ad to make the point that his opponent’s views on the issues are off target:

“If Jared Golden were really a supporter of the Second Amendment, then maybe he shouldn’t have voted against the landmark Constitutional Carry bill in the State Legislature,” Flugaur noted. “Once again, we have another politician masquerading his anti-gun record on the air waves.”

Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes showed Democrats’ true colors in a statement he made to Business Insider after Lamb’s victory, shamelessly admitting that Democrats have no principles and will say whatever it takes to win:

“Whether it’s Second Amendment or social issues, they’re gonna need room if they’re gonna win in more conservative districts, and if we want to win a majority we’re gonna need to make sure to provide them with that room. [Lamb] wasn’t afraid to maybe break with some orthodoxy where he thought it would work in his district. And I think it’s indicative of the kind of room that our congressional candidates are gonna need in purple or red areas.”

“Make no mistake,” Flugaur concluded, “any so-called ‘moderate’ on guns who votes to install Nancy Pelosi or another anti-gun Speaker of the House from either party next January only serves to arm the enemies of the Second amendment with more firepower, and that is NOT pro-gun.”

Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at