I’ve always been wary of people who hold up their love of hunting as a shield against criticisms that label them as anti-gun. Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester is such a person. He supported a Feinstein-backed bill that would have expanded the NICS system to include people on the terrorist watch list, even though the proposal was in response to the Orlando Pulse shooting and the killer wasn’t on the watch list.
That alone is sufficient to label someone as anti-gun, in my mind.
But Tester represents Montana, a state not really known for its liberal policies. How did someone like Tester get elected there? Well, he did it by using hunting as a screen, arguing that he understands it and all that jazz.
However, for Tester, it seems hunting is something that only matters in election years.
Montana Sen. Jon Tester, a red state Democrat running for re-election in one of the closest Senate contests this year, has campaigned as a big hunting proponent, sending out mailers to voters that show him on his farm with his gun in hand.
“As we gear up for hunting season, Montanans know that hunting isn’t just a sport – it feeds our families, and it creates lifelong memories with our kids and grandkids,” Tester says in the campaign flier. “Montanans are lucky to have some of the best access, longest seasons and greatest hunting in the world.”
But according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks records reviewed by Fox News, Tester hasn’t had a hunting license in six years. He last had one in 2012 – the same year he was last on the ballot.
Records dating back to 2002 indicate that the agency had no records of Tester having a hunting or fishing license for 12 out of the last 16 years. In 2012, Tester had a resident conservation and fishing, antelope and hunting access enhancement license. The agency said it has no records yet of Tester having a license this year.
Now, to be fair, Tester only implies he’s a hunter. He doesn’t explicitly say so, which his office is now using to justify the deception.
The fact is, Tester is a fair-weather friend to hunters and gun owners. He was quick to side with Feinstein over a bill that would have barred thousands of innocent people from buying a gun with no recourse. Anyone remotely understanding of the Second Amendment would have recognized the problems with this right off the bat.
The measure died, thankfully, but that doesn’t absolve him of his sins on this, especially since he last held a hunting license the year of his last campaign.
The implication is clear. Tester holds up hunting as a shield, a way to pretend to be pro-gun without having to take a pro-gun stance. He doesn’t alienate the DNC and the more rabidly anti-gun folks in his state, but he makes Montanans feel safe and sound.
Now, I don’t live in Montana, but I do think it might not be a bad idea of the good people of that state to take a long, hard look at the man representing them in the Senate.