When it comes to firearms, there's a safe way and an unsafe way to handle them, even in a political ad, according to the Montana Shooting Sports Association.

MSSA President Gary Marbut took Democrat Congressional candidate Rob Quist to task for the many violations of safety precautions he noticed in the TV commercial touting his support for the Second Amendment.

"Mr. Quist is obviously not very familiar with firearms," Marbut began. "He does commit some pretty egregious gun safety violations that would not be committed by any 13 year-old kid who had graduated from a Hunter's Safety course. This tells me that the firearms video is just staged to impress people, but that's not really who he is."

Marbut ticks off the safety violations he observed in the TV spot.

"First, he had his finger on the trigger when he wasn't prepared to shoot," he said. "Another serious one is where he pointed his rifle directly at the cameraman, but certainly at every viewer who was watching the video, and that's a clear muzzle direction violation. Also, it's generally accepted that you don't shoot at pictures of people, which he did. All that shows that he's just not familiar with firearms and he needs to learn more about gun safety."

Marbut then turned his firearms instructor's eye to the Greg Gianforte gun ad..

"I noticed that he wasn't shooting at pictures of people and he was attentive to the basic rules of gun safety," Marbut said. "He didn't have his finger on the trigger guard when he wasn't shooting, He was wearing eye protection when Quist was not, which is standard for any kind of shooting. I think in both cases it left a bit of a clean-up mess. But, that's the only bad example I can see for watching viewers."

Early voting for the special federal election opened on Wednesday, and Democrat sponsored groups have been busy providing rides to the Missoula County Fairgrounds Election Center to cast their absentee ballots for Quist.


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