Tester Says Hunting Shows His Support for Second Amendment, Hasn’t Obtained License Since 2012

Sen. Jon Tester / Getty

Sen. Jon Tester (D., Mont.) touted his support for the Second Amendment in an interview with NBC Montana by saying he uses the right to bear arms when he goes hunting, but records indicate he hasn't been issued a hunting license since 2012.

In response to a question from host Maritsa Georgiou about whether the Second Amendment is a tough issue for a "Democrat in a gun state," Tester answered, "Like I've said, Maritsa, for 20 years, we butchered beef and hogs on the farm and when you butcher an animal you start out with a gun. And that's the way it is, it's the way it's done."

"It is a tool to me, I use it to control pests, I use it when I’m able to go hunting, to be able to go hunting," Tester continued.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks records show Tester has not had a hunting license since 2012, the last time he was up for reelection, according to a Fox News report from last month. There is no record of him having a hunting or fishing license for 12 of out the last 16 years.

The agency has no record of Tester having a license this year.

Earlier this month, the National Rifle Association downgraded Tester's rating to a D after he voted against confirming Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

"D.C. Jon Tester once again joined forces with Chuck Schumer and anti-gun liberals to vote against our fundamental right to self-defense," said Chris W. Cox, chairman of the NRA's Political Victory Fund. "Actions speak louder than words. Downgrading Jon Tester to a ‘D' sends a clear message to Montanans that Jon Tester can’t be trusted to protect our constitutional rights."

Tester also voted against confirming Justice Neil Gorsuch, but supported former President Barack Obama's nominees, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Tester's opponent, Montana Auditor Matt Rosendale, has obtained a hunting license every year since 2002.

The Cook Political Report currently rates the Montana Senate race as a toss up.