A Virginia Democratic congressional candidate is being investigated after she posted a video on Facebook sawing an AR-15 rifle in an attempt to show her support for gun control, reports said.
Karen Mallard, a school teacher-turned-politician who is running for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District seat, is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms after she was reported for creating a “short-barreled rife” when she sawed her AR-15 apart, Valley News Live reported.
Mallard said in the Facebook video posted last week that she grew up “surrounded by guns” and her family sued them “for hunting, for protection and recreation.” Her husband also purchased an AR-15 rifle “a while back,” but then asked him to get rid of it after the Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead on Valentine’s Day. The couple decided to destroy the weapon.
“I took a personal stand for gun safety and I'm not backing down,” Mallard wrote in the video’s caption.
Mallard said one of her staff members initially took the video down to protect her from “these vicious comments.” However, some people noted that if the AR-15 was shortened to under 16 inches it would count as an illegal weapon.
Mallard hit back at critics and denied she created an illegal weapon. She added that she took the weapon apart, but didn’t show it in the video because she “wanted to get the message to the students that [she] was standing with them.”
"I knew exactly what I was doing,” Mallard told WTKR.
Mallard also wrote on her Facebook post: “And yes for all the NRA trolls out there, I finished the job according to regulation and turned it over to the police. Why are you more outraged about me taking a gun out of circulation than about our children being murdered in our schools?”
The video has received more than 17,000 reactions on Facebook and viewed 2.7 million times.
Mallard is running against Scott Taylor, who currently holds the congressional seat.