By: Robert Davis

Montana’s Democratic Governor Steve Bullock has pivoted from his proclaimed support of the Second Amendment by announcing he “would support” a weapons ban.

According to CNN:

“You know, I would Jake,” Bullock told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” … when asked if he would support a ban on semiautomatic weapons. “Now, 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. But let’s begin with everybody wants to keep themselves and their families safe, and let’s try and find those values where we can move things forward.”

Bullock’s comments riled gun rights activists in Montana who say the governor’s comments reflect his ever-shifting position on firearms.

“National observers need to be aware that Bullock will say anything to get elected,” Gary Marbut, President of Montana Shooting Sports Association, told Gunpowder Magazine. “Now that he’s term-limited in Montana and has no more political ladder to climb, he’s obviously given up and switched stances.”

In 2016, Bullock ran a pro-Second Amendment reelection campaign and said he opposed gun control measures, such as universal background checks.

Once reelected, however, Bullock vetoed numerous gun-friendly bills. The Missoulian reported these bills included legislation that would have allowed Montanans to carry a concealed weapon without a permit (Constitutional Carry), allowed students with concealed carry permits to bring guns onto state college campuses (Campus Carry), made it legal for hunters to use sound suppressors on certain game, and required police in the state not to enforce various federal gun laws.

In May 2018, Bullock wrote an op-ed in the Great Falls Tribune, the state’s most widely distributed newspaper, declaring he now supports universal background checks, red flag laws, and age and magazine restrictions.

“In order to get elected in Montana, a candidate can’t be pro-gun control. Period. Now that we’ve had two more years of Bullock, it’s pretty clear he lied about his stance,” Marbut said.

During his appearance on Tapper’s “State of the Union,” Bullock said gun owners and those who want gun control have the same goal in mind: keeping their families safe. He also defended his stance on gun rights as one that defends the right to bear arms without abandoning common sense.

Critics say Bullock’s gun stance bait-and-switch could be a sign the governor is considering stepping into the 2020 presidential race.

“In Montana, he’s political toast. But, national voters should know he is capable of telling credible lies, and he’s good at it.,” Marbut said.

Robert Davis is a general assignment reporter for Gunpowder Magazine. Contact him with comments or tips at

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons