Tester’s Curious Timing on Gun Bill Anouncement

Aaron Flint posted on April 17, 2013 15:24 :: 1231 Views

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), who campaigned against gun control in the 2012 November election, has now come out in support of at least one gun control measure in the US Senate. 

A post re-election change of heart is nothing new in politics.  He also announced his support, post-election, of gay marriage. Here’s something; however, that may catch the attention of political observers as Manchin/Toomey is debated on the Senate floor: did Senator Jon Tester take advantage of the hours shortly after the Boston Marathon attacks to announce his support for a gun control measure? 

That’s the argument made by Democratic political consultant Bob Brigham in Helena, Montana.  In response to my question on Twitter, Brigham noted that as of 10:45 AM Eastern time on Monday (the day of the Boston Marathon attacks), Tester told the Huffington Post that he was still undecided on Manchin/Toomey.  In fact, as Brigham noted, word of Tester’s support didn’t cross Twitter until nearly 4  PM Monday.  To top it off, Tester’s office released their formal statement shortly before 4 PM on the afternoon of the attacks.  (See original press release below) 

While the rest of the nation paused in shock at the attacks in Boston, did Senator Tester take advantage of the opportunity to announce his support for a gun control measure hoping to bury the story that same afternoon? Maybe, maybe not- but his staff certainly aren’t answering any questions.  An e-mail and phone calls to Tester’s press secretary Dan Malessa have not been returned.

Did you see the news cross anywhere else earlier that day?  If so, leave a comment below, or shoot me an e-mail.    

To be fair, while he never made an announcement in support of gun control, and overall dodged the question since his election, you may recall this post where I noted Sen. Tester saying in at least one interview that he would give background checks a look.  But, once again, as of Monday morning, he was still “undecided” on Manchin/ Toomey.

Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) noted that it may not simply be a Freudian slip, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid referred to the Manchin/Toomey gun control measure as “anti-gun legislation.” 


Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2013 21:54:38 +0000

Subject: AUDIO/VIDEO: Tester on Gun Legislation




APRIL 15, 2013






Senator Jon Tester today said he will support a bipartisan plan that strengthens background checks for gun purchases.

Tester says the plan will make communities safer while protecting Montanans’ Second Amendment rights and preventing the creation of a national gun registry.

He called it an important step toward reducing violence that will not affect the ability of a law-abiding Montanan to buy a gun.


< TESTER SOUNDBITE: “This bill will not solve all the violence problems in this country, not even close.  But is it a step in the right direction while protecting my Second Amendment rights?  Yes, it is.  Does it take away my guns, does it stop my ability to go out and buy any guns that I could buy today?  No, it does not.  Does it have any impacts on things like assault rifles or big, large magazine clips?  No, it does not.” TRT: : 31 >




·        Senator Tester believes that the bipartisan plan, known as the Manchin-Toomey plan, is the best way to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans, while making it harder for criminals and dangerously mentally ill people to buy guns.

o       The Manchin-Toomey does not include any ban on assault weapons or limits to magazine clips.

o       The Manchin-Toomey plan requires background checks for guns purchased as gun shows and online sales, but still allows folks to buy guns from family members or neighbors without a background check.

o       The Manchin-Toomey plan strengthens protections for veterans with mental health issues to be able to purchase firearms again after they have successfully competed treatment.

o       The Manchin-Toomey plan prohibits the creation of a national gun registry.

·        The plan will be debated on the Senate floor this week.



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