Rob Quist's Faux Defense of Gun Rights

Quist says he will defend 2nd Amendment, campaigns with gun-control activist

Montana Democrat Rob Quist / Still from YouTube
April 27, 2017

Montana Democrat Rob Quist has gone to great lengths through campaign ads to present himself as a defender of gun rights, but on Thursday he campaigned alongside vocal celebrity gun-control activist Alyssa Milano.

Quist has not been subtle in his attempt to show voters that he respects guns. A week ago he released an ad called "Defend" in which he pledged to protect the right to bear arms and shot through a television with a rifle.

A day later, Quist released an ad called "This Rifle," in which he makes the same pledges as he polishes his rifle on his porch.

The Quist ads, inviting attention to the country singer's record as a gun owner, were followed by local media reports showing that Quist hasn't gotten a hunting license for at least 16 years—a rarity in Montana, and a contrast with his Republican opponent who had multiple licenses.

Then on Thursday Quist teamed up for a day of campaigning at University of Montana with actress Milano, who has been an outspoken critic of the National Rifle Association and advocate for gun control.

Here is a small sampling of Milano's views on gun control:

A look at Quist's stated positions on gun-control issues shows that he is a lot closer to Milano than he is to the candidate presented in his recent ads.

Quist was described in a National Journal profile as "supportive of greater regulations on gun ownership." He has voiced support for new legislation on so-called assault rifles, stating that "they're only meant to kill people."

He has also voiced support for creating gun registries, saying "you register your car to drive, why not register guns?"

Quist has also discounted the idea that open-carry permit holders can be "part of the solution" when it comes to stopping violence.

"I think that even people that have open carry that are involved in some of these incidents where there is a shooter—I don’t think that they can actually be a part of the solution," Quist said in a local interview. "You have to leave that to the forces that are going to deal with that."