It’s been a long time coming, but the #GUNVOTE could very well be the deciding factor in pushing Republican challenger Tudor Dixon past antigun Democratic incumbent Gov. Gretchen Wilmer.
Gov. Whitmer was among the earliest and most adamant governors in the country to proudly shut down firearm retailers in 2020. This despite the fact that record numbers of law-abiding Michiganders have purchased firearms because they felt unsafe – more than 1.7 million according to NSSF-adjusted NICS verifications.
In a gubernatorial debate, she doubled down on her decisions and now as crime is among voters’ top concern as Election Day approaches, Gov. Whitmer is trying to dupe voters.
Republican Challenger Tudor Dixon, on the other hand, is unabashedly pro-Second Amendment and it was clear during a debate between the two as Michigan voters decide who to support at the ballot box.
Polling in the Wolverine State shows the race is neck-and-neck with momentum in the favor of Dixon’s upset of Gov. Whitmer.
A Record Not to Repeat
In the lead up to President Joe Biden’s election, Gov. Whitmer tried desperately to land the spot as his Number 2. During his gun control Veepstakes with Moms Demand Action’s Shannon Watts to make her case, she praised shutting down Michigan’s gun stores, putting 6,600 Michiganders in the firearm and ammunition industry out of work by deeming them “non-essential” during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I would do it again. I absolutely stand by the decision that I made,” Gov. Whitmer said. “I’m not going to apologize. And I’m not going to be bullied into doing things differently… It was very clear, the purchase of a gun does not fall in that [life-sustaining] criteria.”
Fast forward and crime is surging. Gov. Whitmer still has no regrets. During the debate she made it known again. She reiterated her support for expanding restrictions on firearm sales to implement a universal background check, that isn’t possible without violating federal law to institute a national firearm registry. She again pushed for mandatory gun storage laws in private homes that the Supreme Court in Heller said violates the Second Amendment.
NSSF and the entire firearm industry advocate for secure firearm storage through initiatives like Project ChildSafe and manufacturers providing locking devices with each new firearm. These efforts have had a positive impact on reducing firearm tragedies.
A Gun Rights Champion
The contrast in the debate and the lead up to Nov. 8, couldn’t be clearer. Dixon challenged the governor’s flawed “gun free” zone push, saying “Gov. Whitmer has made it pretty clear – she wants to make sure she takes away any protection you can have.”
Of the governor’s “gun-free zone” talk, she added, “The governor wants to make sure your kids are in a ‘sitting duck’ zone.” She’s right – criminals don’t follow the laws, or steer clear of “gun free zones.”
Tudor added, “The idea that she thinks, that having any type of weapon is too dangerous for the state of Michigan, she’ll take all of your guns away.”
Undecided Michigan voters have less than two weeks to consider who they’ll support to be their next governor – anti-Second Amendment Gov. Gretchen Witmer or the pro-Second Amendment Tudor Dixon. NSSF encourages all voters to #GUNVOTE on Nov. 8, so they don’t risk their rights.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.