The announcement that pro-gun Representative Denny Rehberg will take on first-term Senator Jon Tester is welcome news for gun owners and sportsmen.
Rep. Rehberg earned an "A" rating from Gun Owners of America for his strong support of Second Amendment rights.
In the U.S. House, Rehberg supports and has cosponsored legislation to provide nationwide reciprocity for concealed carry permit holders. He is a cosponsor of legislation removing federal restrictions on the interstate sales of handguns. Rehberg worked to remove the gun ban in National Parks, which was signed into law in 2009. And he is fighting Washington bureaucrats by leading the effort against the reintroduction of the gray wolf.
Rehberg's opponent has an "F" rating from GOA. This may come as a surprise to some, as John Tester likes to play up his supposed "support" for gun rights. But a closer look at his record reveals a committed anti-gunner.
In March of 2010, Tester voted against legislation to protect the Second Amendment rights of military veterans. The amendment, offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), simply required that before an honorably discharged veteran can lose his or her gun rights, that person must be adjudicated in a court of law.
Since 1999, the Veterans Administration has -- without any meaningful due process of law and without any finding that the person was a danger to self or others -- placed over 100,000 veterans on the FBI's "gun prohibition list.
Tester is also helping President Obama populate the judicial branch with anti-gun leftist judges. Supreme Court Justices Sonya Sotomayor and Elena Kagan had extensive records of antipathy to the Second Amendment, yet Tester voted to place both on the highest Court in the land.
John Tester voted for Judge David Hamilton for a position on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Hamilton has stated that the Founding Fathers intended judges to amend the Constitution through "evolving case law." Hamilton is so far to the left that while most federal judges receive broad, bipartisan support, this nominee garnered 39 votes in opposition.
Tester voted not once, but twice, for the so-called "Disclose Act," which was a transparent attempt by sitting members of Congress to stop groups like Gun Owners of America from publicizing the voting records of elected officials around election time. This legislation was so blatantly political that it even gave "exemptions" to some groups to campaign while stopping others from doing the same!
At the start of the Obama administration, Tester voted to confirm radical anti-gun U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. During the Clinton years, Holder was one of the key figures pushing the ban on semi-automatic firearms and other gun control measures. Holder continues to use his position to advocate for the reinstatement of the Clinton gun ban.
Senator Tester voted to confirm Obama's "regulatory czar" Cass Sunstein, who believes hunting is outdated and should be stopped and that animals should have legal representation against humans in court.
The top legal advisor to the State Department, Harold Koh, received John Tester's vote. Koh is a strong advocate for gun control on a worldwide basis, supporting measures such as a UN Treaty on small arms -- a treaty that could impact millions of American gun owners and hunters.
Finally, Tester voted for the anti-gun ObamaCare law, despite repeated warnings from GOA that federal bureaucrats will be able to abuse a government-run medical records database to disarm gun owners. And in the face of constituent outcry over that vote, Tester nonetheless recently dug in his heels and voted once again to keep ObamaCare in place.
Montanans expect their elected officials to support their constitutional liberties, including the right to keep and bear arms. Jon Tester has failed many times to stand up for the Second Amendment, and the contrast between him and Denny Rehberg is as wide as the Big Sky itself.
For these reasons, Gun Owners of America is proud to stand with Denny Rehberg for Senate in 2012.
GOA encourages gun owners and sportsmen in Montana and throughout the country to stand with Denny Rehberg for Senate. Contributions to Rehberg for Senate can be made at http://dennyrehberg.com . Support can also be shown at Denny's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/RehbergForSenate .