Lindsey Graham says he owns AR-15, would use assault rifle to defend his home in natural disaster

“I own an AR-15,” Graham told Fox News host Chris Wallace. “If there is a natural disaster in South Carolina where the police can’t protect my neighborhood, my house will be the last the gang will come to because I can defend myself.”

The comment went viral on Sunday. More than 4.7 million watched a clip on Twitter as gun control advocates reprimanded the Republican senator. However, his interview also highlighted the great challenge that President Biden and his allies will face in trying to impose new restrictions on gun ownership.

On Tuesday, the day after a gunman killed 10 people, including a police officer, in a Boulder grocery store, Biden called for a renewed ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as expanded federal background checks on arms sales. Later in the week, Biden also said he would consider executive orders that restrict access to foreign-made weapons and 3-D printed weapons.

“Most of these problems have a lot to do with mental health. Count me for bringing up this issue, ”he said to Wallace. “There are red flag laws in 19 states. We can do a few things. “

But Graham also long opposed any effort to reinstate a ban on assault weapons after Congress allowed the previous ban to expire in 2004 – a move Graham advocated at the time and calling the ban “a violation of constitutional rights more accountable.” Americans “.

He has also spoken about owning an AR-15 in the past, including the days after a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012. When President Barack Obama urged the attack to resume gun ban, Graham argued against the move on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“I have an AR-15. I have it in my house. The question is, will you have made America safer by denying me the right to buy another? “He said to host David Gregory on December 23, 2012,” I am not suggesting that you deprive me of the right to buy an AR-15 from me because I don’t think it will work and I believe that it will Better school safety a problem is good place to start. “

On Sunday, he set up his assault rifle to protect himself during a hypothetical natural disaster in his home state. “You don’t have to have an AR-15, but if you legitimately have one you should be able to keep it,” he told Wallace.

Gun control advocates slammed Graham across the segment and questioned his priorities during a natural disaster.

“So now we know that as a US Senator during a natural disaster in your state, you have two options: 1) fly to Cancun, or 2) grab your AR-15, barricade your front door, and protect yourself from all of this “Gangs,” tweeted NBA trainer Steve Kerr, whose father was shot and who spoke often about preventing gun violence, referring to Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-Tex.) Trip to Mexico during the widespread power outages in Mexico last month .

Cameron Kasky, an activist and survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., Suggested that Graham’s harsh conversation was a cover for the guns industry.

“Graham’s comments are a pretty good sign that gun control with Republicans is not a constitutional struggle, it’s not about politics, it’s a culture war matter,” Kasky told MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan on Sunday. “It’s what the gun lobby is asking Republicans to sell more guns.”

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