In 2009, Washington Post staff writer Perry Bacon Jr, reported in House Approves Measure to Allow Guns Into National Parks:
Gun rights advocates have found a sweet spot in Democratic-dominated Washington, and they are using it to aggressively push legislation.
Their latest victory came yesterday when the House passed a bill that will allow people to bring concealed and loaded guns into national parks. Advocates won with the help of moderate Democrats.
Those Democrats, many from states in the South and Midwest, joined nearly all House Republicans to back yesterday's provision, which has passed in the Senate and could become law this week. The gun bill passed 279 to 147 in the House with the help of 105 Democratic votes; 145 Democrats opposed the bill.
One of the 147 Democrats to vote for the amendment (Roll Call Vote 277, May 20, 2009, 111th Congress - 1st Session ) was Congressman Tim Walz.
In 2010, the vote was cited by the NRA when it endorsed Walz over Republican challenger Randy Demmer:
As a member of Congress, Walz has demonstrated his commitment to our Second Amendment rights by voting for legislation to allow permit holders to carry and transport firearms for self-defense in national parks and wildlife refuges, as well as helping to restore self-defense rights in our nation's capital by cosponsoring and voting for the Second Amendment Enforcement Act. He signed the pro-gun congressional amicus brief to the Supreme Court supporting our individual right to keep and bear arms in the Heller case and signed the pro-gun congressional amicus brief that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that protects all Americans in the McDonald case. Walz also cosponsored legislation to force much-needed reform at the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
. . .Gun rights advocates defended yesterday's bill as an effort to give gun owners the same rights on national park land that they have everywhere else.
Advocates said they will look to find other ways to push Democrats into backing gun rights measures.
"The lessons of 1994 have not been forgotten," said Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, referring to the year President Bill Clinton signed an assault weapons ban into law. "The Democrats lost control of Congress after passing a gun ban."
The GOA's Larry Pratt was in Mankato and Rochester yesterday at poorly attended press conferences in support of Allen Quist, whom the organization--much smaller than the NRA--has endorsed. Walz was given a "D" by the GOA, since it believes that gun owners' medical records indicating mental health issues might make their way into background checks, and because Walz didn't vote for earlier measures allowing the right to carry in national parks.
Fair enough. Organizations are free to select their own standards for measuring candidates and lawmakers' records. They can track specific votes, while ignoring others.
However, at the press conference, Pratt was asked specifically about the vote on the "Coburn Amendment" and said:
That became law through amendment by Senator Coburn who placed it on another measure and that became law when that other measure was signed . . .so it kind of got a free ride.
Question: Are you saying that Tim Walz supported or were against that legislation?
[Pratt shakes head] He wasn't for it on that.
That's simply not an accurate representation of Walz's vote on the Coburn Amendment. Here's the video:
Quist likes to proclaim that he's a "stickler for accuracy." Bluestem doesn't believe that representing a controversial roll call vote as a "free ride" is particularly accurate. Apparently, neither did the NRA.
And claiming that a "Yes" vote means "No"? Mr. Pratt is simply confused about how Congressman Walz voted that day.
Image: Tim Walz, wearing his 2010 NRA endorsed hat.