Kyle Rittenhouse Awarded AR-15 for ‘Protection of Gun Rights’ Following Acquittal
Accused shooter Kyle Rittenhouse received an AR-15 assault rifle from an organization called Gun Owners of America (GOA) for his “gun rights defense” after he was acquitted of a murder charge.
“WARNING: GOA will award Kyle Rittenhouse an AR-15 for his defense of gun rights in America,” GOA wrote in a tweet on Friday morning. “With us, say THANK YOU to Kyle Rittenhouse for being a fighter for gun owners and self-defense rights across the country!”
WARNING: GOA will award Kyle Rittenhouse an AR-15 for his defense of gun rights in America.
With us, say THANK YOU to Kyle Rittenhouse for being a fighter for gun owners and self-defense rights across the country!
– Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) November 19, 2021
Rittenhouse used an AR-15 style rifle to kill Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, as well as injure Gaige Großkreutz on August 25, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Rittenhouse pleaded self-defense in connection with the incident. A jury found him not guilty on Friday.
Prosecutors argued that Rittenhouse’s victims initially approached him out of fear of being an active shooter. At the time of the murders, Rittenhouse was 17 years old and too young to buy or own such a weapon. His friend, Dominick Black, bought it for him, Black said at the trial.
After the shootings, Rittenhouse became an icon for gun groups and gun rights advocates.
On November 20, 2020, right-wing extremist podcaster Elijah Schafer tweeted a picture showing Rittenhouse in a T-shirt for Black Rifle Coffee. The coffee brand has maintained a pro-military, gun and police friendly image and is even sold at shooting ranges. However, the company denied having a relationship with Rittenhouse.
The National Foundation for Gun Rights (NFGR) raised over $ 50,000 for Rittenhouse last year to pay for his legal fees. NFGR made a solemn statement following his acquittal.
“When we saw the video evidence of Kyle defending himself and others in Kenosha, WI, the NFGR made an immediate decision to support him and we are thrilled that he is now a free man,” said NFGR Managing Director Dudley Brown in a statement.
The National Rifle Association (NRA), a lobby of a gun manufacturer, also tweeted the text of the second amendment after the Rittenhouse verdict was announced.
“A well-regulated militia, which is necessary for the security of a free state, must not violate the right of the people to keep and carry weapons,” tweeted the NRA, without naming Rittenhouse.
Defendant Kyle Rittenhouse was given an AR-15 assault rifle for his “gun rights defense” after he was acquitted of the murder charges following the murder of two men in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In this photo, Rittenhouse is waiting to begin his trial on November 10, 2021 at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Sean Krajacic / Getty
Pro-Gun Republicans also praised the Rittenhouse ruling as a victory for the second amendment.
“Kyle Rittenhouse is not guilty, my friends. You have the right to defend yourself, “North Carolina Republican MP Madison Cawthorn said on an Instagram story Friday. “Be armed, be dangerous, be moral.”
Lauren Boebert, the Republican MP for Colorado, tweeted Friday afternoon, “Today is a great day for the second amendment and the right to self-defense. Kyle Rittenhouse is not guilty on any count! Glory to God! “
The congresswoman is loudly advocating gun rights. In an advertisement dated January 3, she announced that she would be “carrying my Glock to Congress,” referring to her handgun.
She also owns a gun-themed restaurant called Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado.
In a Fox News interview on Friday, former President Donald Trump described Rittenhouse as a “figurehead” for “innocence based on self-defense”.
Newsweek has reached out to the Gun Owners of America for comment.