Senator Jon Tester’s campaign has released an advertisement highlighting the Democrat’s opposition to a Biden administration policy on gun education that he previously supported.
The ad features John Salazar of Livingston, a board member of the liberal environmental group, Montana Wildlife Federation, and a hunters’ safety instructor. Salazar asserts in the ad that Tester successfully rallied his Republican colleagues to thwart the Biden policy and safeguard Second Amendment rights.
The origin of this issue lies in the Biden administration’s interpretation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), a bill Tester helped pass. This interpretation led to the prohibition of federal funding for school archery and gun safety programs. In response, Tester introduced the Defending Hunters’ Education Act, a bipartisan initiative aimed at restoring funding for these essential gun safety programs.
The BSCA from the administration contains a provision preventing funds from assisting individuals with dangerous weapons or providing training in their use. Tester’s sponsorship of the Defending Hunters’ Education Act becomes a necessary corrective measure resulting from his prior support for the BSCA.
In a September op-ed, the Montana Democrat criticized the administration’s interpretation of the BSCA, claiming it was a misinterpretation. Despite Tester’s bipartisan efforts to reverse the impacts of the gun control bill he previously supported, there is uncertainty about the bill’s passage through Congress. Achieving success would require 60 Senate votes and a majority in the House.
Various hunting and Second Amendment groups, including the Safari Club International, National Shooting Sports Foundation, International Order of T. Roosevelt, Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation, and the National Rifle Foundation, have strongly criticized the Biden rule.
As Tester faces reelection and grapples with the repercussions of his past support for a gun control bill, it seems he is now striving to counteract the effects of that support. In his September op-ed, Tester emphasized the importance of shooting sports and hunting in rural America, pledging to resist any attempts to undermine these integral aspects of Montana’s way of life.
By: Politic406 staff