Steve Bullock on Gun Control
Democratic Presidential Challenger (withdrawn); MT Governor
Must address dark money to take on NRA
Q: Why can't Congress pass common-sense gun reforms?
Sen. Amy KLOBUCHAR: [The problem] is a political system that allows the NRA and other large, big money to come in and make things not happen when the majority of people are for. The people are with
us now [against] the power of the NRA. As president, I will take them on.
Q: Governor Bullock, how can Democrats trust you to be the leader on this fight for gun safety when you only changed your position to call for an assault weapons ban last summer?
BULLOCK: Like 40% of American households, I'm a gun-owner. I hunt. We need to start looking at this as a public health issue, not a political issue. I agree with Senator Klobuchar. It is the NRA. And it's not just gun violence.
It's when we talked about climate, when we talk about prescription drug costs, Washington is captured by dark money, the Koch brothers, and others. We're not going to address [the NRA's power] until we kick dark money and out of these elections.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (first night in Detroit)
, Jul 30, 2019
Voluntary buyback, but locally, not federally
Bullock on Assault Weapons: Support a voluntary buyback program.
FIVE CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Peter Buttigieg; Julian Castro; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan; Andrew Yang.
Bullock supports renewing the federal assault weapons ban. He says "the federal
government can support communities that choose to conduct voluntary buybacks [of assault weapons]. While federal agencies can support local efforts, I do not believe a direct federal buyback program should replace these kinds of community-based efforts."
Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"
, Jul 17, 2019
Firearm owners just want to keep their family safe
Q: In an ideal world, would anyone own handguns?
A: "Every legal firearm owner that I know wants to keep themselves and their family safe."
Source: 2019 "Meet the Candidates" (NY Times.com)
, Jun 18, 2019
Firearm owners just want to keep their families safe
Democrats have largely converged on a moderate, consensus view of gun control; we wanted to get at a deeper question of values--so we asked "In an ideal world, would anyone own handguns?" Some answers:
Source: 2019 "Meet the Candidates" (NY Times.com)
, Jun 18, 2019
- Steve Bullock, Governor of Montana: "Every
legal firearm owner that I know wants to keep themselves and their family safe."
- Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington State: "I do believe that there is some right, privately, for firearms."
Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator from NY: "I'm not opposed to gun ownership. What I am opposed to is gun violence."
- Bernie Sanders, Senator from VT: "I think if used in a sportsman-type way--yeah, I think that would be acceptable."
Amy Klobuchar, Senator from MN: "I have never come out for banning guns."
- Elizabeth Warren, Senator from MA: "My family had guns when I was growing up. My brothers have guns."
Ban assault weapons
In a 2018 op-ed, Bullock described himself as "a gun owner who believes in the Constitution, yet also recognizes its limits." Bullock supports an assault weapons ban and "red flag" laws that allow law enforcement to temporarily take away
guns from people who are a threat to themselves or others. He also supports universal background checks, a recent shift in his views: In 2016, his campaign spokesperson said he opposed them.
Source: PBS News Hour 2020, "Where the candidate stands on 9 issues"
, May 15, 2019
Supports background checks & semi-automatic ban
Just weeks before Bullock graduated from Columbia in 1994, his nephew--an 11-year-old attending a Butte elementary school--was shot and killed, then the youngest victim of a school shooting. It's an event that, until very recently, Bullock declined
to discuss in public. This May, however, following the Santa Fe school shooting in Texas, he wrote an op-ed pairing that experience with that of his son shooting his first deer during hunting season--both of which, he says, shape his thinking on gun
policy, which includes background checks, banning semiautomatic weapons, and rejecting plans to arm teachers in the classroom. It marked the first attempt to make gun control--a mostly verboten topic in Montana politics,
no matter one's affiliation--part of his platform, rooted in the sort of compelling personal experience that would resonate with national audiences.
Source: Buzzfeed.com on 2020 Democratic primary
, Sep 29, 2018
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
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
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
Other candidates on Gun Control:
Steve Bullock on other issues:
Susan Good Geise
Senate races 2019-20:
Senate Votes (analysis)
Page last updated: Oct 27, 2020