Democratic Congressional candidate Karen Mallard posted a video on Facebook showing her “destroying” an AR-15 rifle, in a show of solidarity for stricter gun-control laws.
After she posted the video, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) launched an investigation into the candidate.
Mallard, a school teacher of 30 years, is running for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District and hoping to take Republican Congressman Scott Taylor’s seat. Her campaign is running on a gun reform platform.
Due to recent events, Mallard believes her teaching perspective is needed in Congress: “Our job is to teach children. It’s not to protect them from gun violence. That is the government’s job, and they’re failing at it.”
Mallard introduces herself in the video saying, “I grew up in Wise County, surrounded by guns. Our family had guns my whole life. We use them for hunting, for protection, and recreation.”
She continues that her husband purchased an AR-15 “a while back” and made her upset. Then, after the mass shooting in Parkland, FL, her and her husband agreed with the renewed push for gun-control and that they wanted the AR-15 out of their home or anyone else’s.
“So, today, we’re going to destroy it,” Mallard stated. She proceeded to use a handheld power saw to “destroy” it, however all she did was shorten the barrel of the gun.
Mallard stated to 13News Now on Thursday, “We need just common sense gun laws, and these military-style assault weapons are the ones being used in mass shootings, and we need to get rid of the bump stocks, we need to get rid of those magazines.”
She finishes the video with a promise for more gun-control, “And to those students in Florida and across our country, keep standing up and speaking truth to power. These gun owners heard you, and we’re gonna stand by you.”
Her video went viral in a matter of moments and the majority of people commenting were pointing out her “political grandstanding” and illegal actions.
13News Now reports, “Several others said Mallard broke federal law by taking a legal firearm and altering it, making it into an illegal one. Many of them referred to details contained within the Sawed-Off Shotgun and Sawed-Off Rifle Act which, in part, prohibits people (except for those permitted by the act) from having a rifle that has been ‘modified to an overall length of less than 26 inches.'”
Mallard’s Facebook post in reply to all the comments: “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?”
“Master Police Officer Tonya Pierce, spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach Police Department, confirmed that the rifle was in the department’s possession. Pierce told 13News Now the ATF was looking into the situation,” the news network stated.