Mills ad knocks Nolan on gun rights

WASHINGTON — Stewart Mills shot first.

The 8th District Republican released a new campaign ad on Wesdnesday highlighting his support for gun rights and saying his opponent, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, is among the ranks of politicians who “have no respect for the 2nd Amendment.”

Mills’ ad, and an accompanying website, revolve around the National Rifle Association’s failing grade for Nolan on gun issues. Mills promised to “defend the 2nd amendment always.”

In a statement from his campaign, Nolan called the ad a “ ‘big lie’ smear campaign tactic” and said “gun ownership for recreation, personal protection, and hunting are deeply ingrained in our culture, way of life, and legal rights. I was raised with these principles.”

The campaign also pointed to a remark Mills made in the gun rights video that first brought him to political prominence. In the video, Mills suggests expanding armed guard protection for schools and paying for it, if need be, by increasing the federal fee on gun sales.

Nolan has always reacted to charges against his support for gun rights with some degree of confidence and levity. In his statement, he said “I never miss a deer opener” and when his opponent, then-U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack, hit him over his NRA grade last cycle, he responded by saying the first two birthday gifts he ever purchased for his wife were hunting-related.

He has supported Democratic-proposed measures like expanding background checks for gun purchases, and during the early stages of the congressional debate over gun violence after the 2012 Newtown shootings, he told Face the Nation he supports a ban on assault rifles and and high-capacity magazines. Congress never took up those proposals.

Mills’ campaign wouldn’t disclose the size of its ad buy, but a Democratic source said the campaign recently extended an existing cable buy by $12,000 in the Duluth and Twin Cities media markets. 

Devin Henry can be reached at

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 07/09/2014 - 05:04 pm.

    I wish I could vote for Stewart Mills

    But I don’t live in his district. Maybe I’ll move up there. And contrary to what Rick Nolan says, none of the information at that site is a lie. Mills simply uses Nolan’s own words against him.

    Watch that great YouTube video if you get a chance. I like that he uses young girls to make his point about the AR-15, my weapon of choice.

  2. Submitted by Bill Kahn on 07/09/2014 - 10:09 pm.

    The NRA

    The National Rifle Association long ago abandoned the main function of meeting the needs of individual rifle owners to improve their firearm skills in favor of increasingly ridiculous political meddling.

    Stewart Mills better have more than NRA talking points in his campaign or it is not going to be close; voters need to know what else Mills cares about besides the 2nd Amendment because Rick Nolan does know both the Constitution and the needs of Minnesotans.

    What does Mills know outside of “hunting camp doctrines” and what voters can buy at Mills Fleet Farm? Maybe Norm Coleman and Koch Brothers millions will make the difference for some feeble minded voters, but most are going to need to be convinced on the issues rather than propagandized and sending another Republican to Congress seems like a recipe for bickering.

  3. Submitted by Tim Walker on 07/10/2014 - 09:45 am.

    If I were running for office, I would proudly wear my NRA “F” rating as a badge of pride.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 07/10/2014 - 10:19 pm.

      That would appeal

      to the democrat base, single women and testosterone-free men, but when political races revolve around the 2nd Amendment, you can be sure the constituency that’s up for grabs is rural and suburban men.

  4. Submitted by jody rooney on 07/10/2014 - 11:37 am.

    Seems like just another businessman

    looking after his business.

    When are people going to strike back and start boycotting businesses owned by these right wing fruit cakes.

    Remember when it was good business, not to mention good manners, to not talk about sex, religion, and politics.

  5. Submitted by jason myron on 07/10/2014 - 12:30 pm.

    weapon of choice for what?


  6. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 07/11/2014 - 05:38 am.

    A leftist politician who sports a supposed interest in hunting as proof of his support for the 2nd amendment, tells observant voters all they need to know. I’m sure it hasn’t been lost on the folks Mills will soon be representing.

    Stewart is going to be another welcome brick in the NRA wall in Washington.

    • Submitted by Bill Kahn on 07/11/2014 - 12:08 pm.

      Bricks. You and all your brethren, bricks, cast and fired, seemingly fixed for eternity, yet you and your walls are all crumbling for building on unstable ground.

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