Ryan Zinke's Anti-Gun, Anti-Public Lands Record Exposed by Republicans

(Helena, MT) – When it comes to issues important to Montanans, former super PAC chairman Ryan Zinke will say whatever is most politically beneficial – attempting to have it both ways.
Whether it’s guns or public lands Zinke will say anything to get elected—even if it contradicts his previous statements or voting record.  His views change depending on what his out-of-state special interest backers tell him to say.
“Ryan Zinke is very lucky we have the 1st amendment protecting free speech so he can go around saying contradictory and misleading things about his record on the 2nd amendment and public lands,” said Bryan Watt, a spokesperson for the Montana Democratic Party.  “Zinke seems confused about what he’s voted on, what he’s said, and what pledges he’s signed.   Montanans are lucky we have the facts that show a clear picture of Zinke’s anti-gun, anti-public lands record.”

Even Zinke’s fellow Republicans agree Zinke cannot be trusted on the 2ndamendment.
Zinke claims: He supports gun rights and will defend the 2nd amendment.
The record shows:

  • Former Congressman and candidate for Governor Rick Hill pointed to Zinke’s abysmal rating from Montana sportsman. “Even more concerning is his voting record… he earned an 8% rating from the Montana Shooting Sports Association,” stated Hill.
  • President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association Gary Marbut wrote, “When Zinke was in the Legislature, he and I had two or three spirited conversations wherein he voiced the strong opinion that .50 caliber rifles are far too dangerous for civilians to be allowed to own.  He felt very strongly about that then.  Then, about the time he announced his candidacy for the U.S. House, he sent me a card saying he’d changed his position on .50 caliber rifles.  Yes, a sudden, election season conversion.”
  • The National Association of Gun Rights came out against Zinke in the Republican Primary stating, “Do not believe Ryan Zinke's claims on being 'pro-gun'. Zinke is on record voting AGAINST your gun rights."
  • Zinke Had a 42% Lifetime Score from the NRA. In 2008, the NRA gave Ryan Zinke a lifetime score of 42%. [Project Vote Smart, accessed 10/03/14

Public Lands
Zinke says: He supports Montana’s rich outdoor heritage.

The Record Shows:

  • Zinke Supported Plan to Sell Off Our Public Lands. In 2014, Zinke supports the budget by Rep. Paul Ryan which proposes paying off the national debt by selling public off our public lands. [Congressional GOP Debate, 5/28/14; Billings Gazette, 6/28/14]
  • Zinke Pledged to Transfer Federal Lands to the State-Opening It Up to Privatization. In 2012, Zinke signed the Montana Constitutional Governance Pledge that included working to transfer federal lands to the state. Nearly 300 hunters and anglers protested possible transfer of lands, saying it would likely result in selling Montana’s lands to the highest bidder and close down access. [Polymontana, 5/04/12;  Montana Constitutional Pledge, 5/04/12; Independent Record, 9/27/14]
  • Zinke Opposes North Fork Protection Act.In 2014, Ryan Zinke said he opposed the North Fork Protection Act, saying “Up front, I didn't like the North Fork basin bill either, and I like Steve, you know we all love Steve but I didn't like that bill either because it took natural development out for perpetuity forever.” [GCRW, 5/21/14; Intelligent Discontent, 8/22/14]
  • Zinke Supports a “Land Grab” Bill That Opens Unprecedented Development on Public Lands. Zinke supports a DC written bill that would turn over Montana’s public lands to out-of-state developers and jeopardize access to hunting and fishing.. [Billings Gazette, 8/31/14; Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 2/17/14; KPAX, 1/15/14]
  • Zinke Received a 0% Rating from the Montana Sportsmen Alliance. In 2011, Zinke received a 0% rating from the Montana Sportsmen Alliance that fight for the interests of Montana’s hunters and anglers. [Montana Sportsmen Alliance, 2011 Scorecard]
  • Zinke Voted to Block Access to More Fishing, Hunting and State Parks.In 2011, Zinke  voted to stop the state Fish, Wildlife and Parks department from purchasing more land, which increases access to fishing, hunting, and state parks. [SB 301, 2/24/11; Montana Sportsmen Alliance, 2011 Scorecard]
  • Zinke Voted to Destroy the Habitat program, Privatizing and Commercializing Wildlife and Hunting Opportunities. In 2011, Zinke voted for a bill that would effectively destroy the Habitat Montana program, privatizing and commercializing wildlife and hunting opportunities. The bill reduced funding for the Habitat Montana program by 30% over a four year period, cutting in half the dollars available for the purchase of access for hunting. [HB 209, 4/11/11; Veto, 5/10/11; Montana Sportsmen Alliance, 2011 Scorecard]
  • Zinke Voted to Commercialize Hunting in Montana and Allow Non-Residents Hunters More Access. In 2011, Zinke voted for legislation that would add 2,000 more non-resident wilderness deer/elk combo licenses that would result in 2,000 more nonresident hunters competing with resident hunters, more commercialization, more roads closed and more land unavailable to resident hunters. [SB 400, 3/30/11; Montana Sportsmen Alliance, 2011 Scorecard
  • Zinke Defended the Government Shutdown that Cost Montana $45 Million.In 2013, Zinke defended the government shutdown. According to the Center for Western Priorities, the 16-day shutdown of national parks alone cost Montana’s economy nearly $1.6 million per day. Moody’s analytics, calculated the shutdown to cost Montana’s economy $45 million. [ [Billings Gazette, 10/21/13]; Moody's Analytics, 10/21/13; Bureau of Economic Analysis, 9/17/13]









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