- While many legislators have experience shooting firearms, most don’t own a gun store.
- Rep. Ted Budd is the owner of ProShots, a shooting range and gun store in North Carolina.
- According to his financial disclosure, Budd’s store is worth between $1 million and $5 million.
Rep. Ted Budd of North Carolina is a steadfast supporter of firearms and the Second Amendment, as are many of his Republican colleagues.
But as lawmakers debate restrictions on guns in the aftermath of an elementary school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, Budd is one of just two members of Congress who actually owns a firearm store, the second being Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia.
Budd is the owner of ProShots, a gun store and shooting range in Rural Hall, North Carolina.
The store sells a multitude of handguns and rifles and offers gunsmith services to help “inspect, upgrade, and maintain” firearms. It also advertises a wide range of firearms education programs, including concealed carry classes, AR-15 semi-automatic rifle classes, and by-appointment training sessions for “Church & Workplace Emergency Preparedness Response.”
Budd’s stake in the company is worth anywhere between $1 million and $5 million, and he brought in up to $1 million in income during 2020 alone, according to his most recent annual financial disclosure filed with the US House of Representatives.
Representatives from Budd’s office did not respond to Insider’s questions and request for comments on his store or gun policies. ProShots did not respond to Insider’s request, either.
Budd’s Senate campaign website, however, provides a glimpse of the congressman’s view on the nation’s firearm debate, with Democratic legislators pushing to impose restrictions on gun access.
“Any encroachment of the 2nd Amendment won’t stop criminals — it will only undermine the ability to defend yourself and protect your family,” Budd’s campaign website says.
“As a federally-licensed gun store owner, I have a unique perspective on our Second Amendment rights, and I know how background checks actually work,” he said in opposition. “We cannot sacrifice our rights by passing laws that will make our families less safe, and that criminals will ignore. We must always protect and preserve our God-given Second Amendment rights.”
The National Rifle Association also supports the congressman — the NRA’s political action committee donated $3,000 to Budd when he first ran for office in 2016, $4,500 for his 2018 campaign, and $2,000 for his 2020 campaign, according to nonpartisan research group OpenSecrets.
Budd, who received former President Donald Trump’s endorsement in June 2021, easily bested his slate of Republican challengers in the GOP Senate primary race on May 17, bringing in more than 58% of the vote. He faces Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley, a former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.
Beasley says she supports “common sense” gun restriction measures, including Congress doing “more to stop the plague of mass shootings across our communities by keeping combat-style weapons and high-capacity magazines off our streets and away from our schools.”
Budd has strong odds of winning the seat in November’s general election, as Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia’s Center of Politics ranks his Senate race as “Leans R.”