Rob Quist, the country singer turned Montana politician, is running for a vacant spot in the state House in a special election and trying to turn the legislature into a Democratic majority, while Republican Greg Gianforte tries to retain the seat for Republicans.
Recently, Quist, a long-time gun rights supporter, released an ad in which he shoots an older tube TV showing an ad for his opponent, according to this story from CNN.
“For generations, this old rifle has protected by family’s ranch,” Quist says, while holding a what appears to be a Winchester Model 94 lever-action rifle and standing in front of a pickup truck.
“I will protect your right to bear arms because it’s my right too,” Quist says in the video. “I won’t stand by while a millionaire from New Jersey tries to attack my values.”
While Quist often touts his Second Amendment position on the campaign trail, he’s sometimes criticized by gun rights supporters for his proposing a registry for automatic weapons in the past.
Gianforte, in response, released his own video, in which he shoots an over/under shotgun, while wearing a camo vest and hat, at a computer screen after it plays an ad decrying Quist’s gun rights record.
“Ron Quist wants to establish a national gun registry,” the ominous voice says. “Your name, your address, your guns. In a big government computer, making it easier for federal bureaucrat to grab your guns.”
The state was thoroughly Donald Trump country in the 2016 election, having voted for him by 57 percent to 36 percent over Hillary Clinton, the story says, and gun rights are supported by many across the aisle.
The seat is vacant because former Rep. Ryan Zinke stepped down to assume the role of Interior Secretary under Trump.