- Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox News he’d use his AR-15 to keep himself safe during a natural disaster.
- Graham made the statement while arguing against a ban on semi-automatic weapons.
- He last made this claim in 2019, saying he would “defend himself” during “apocalyptic scenarios.”
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Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham has once again claimed that he would use his AR-15 to shoot gangs in the event of a natural disaster or a state of apocalyptic lawlessness.
“I own an AR-15. If there’s a natural disaster in South Carolina where the cops can’t protect my neighborhood, my house will be the last one that the gang will come to, because I can defend myself,” Graham said.
Graham added that he thought most of the problems with semi-automatic weapons and gun violence had to do not with easily obtainable firearms but with “mental health.”
The South Carolina lawmaker was responding to questions on Fox News about his stance on semi-automatic weapons and whether they should be banned.
-Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 28, 2021
This is not the first time that Graham has made this claim.
In 2019, Insider reported that Graham said aboard Air Force One that he owned a semiautomatic rifle in case “there’s a hurricane, a natural disaster, no power, no cops, no anything,” and that gangs and looters would know not “to come to the AR-15 home.”
During the interview, Graham also challenged majority leader Sen. Chuck Schumer to bring the assault weapons ban to the Senate floor, saying that it would not “get 50 votes, much less 60.”
Graham also told the Washington Examiner last week that he believed the Senate would vote against any limitations imposed on purchasing and owning assault weapons, saying: “I want a vote on an assault weapons ban. I own an AR-15. Now, why do I own it? Because I have the right to own it, and I choose to own it.”
Graham has been a long-time supporter of the Second Amendment. In 2013, for instance, he tweeted a photo of himself at a gun range in South Carolina using his AR-15.
-Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) August 16, 2013
A wave of mass shootings in the last two weeks has sparked renewed interest in the gun-control debate. Ten people – including a police officer – were killed in a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, on March 22. Separately, a series of mass shootings at three spas in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, on March 16 ended in the deaths of eight people, including six Asian women.
President Joe Biden called on Congress last week to strengthen gun control, adding that he might take a stronger stand on assault weapons.
“As president, I’m going to use all the resources at my disposal to keep people safe,” Biden said in a televised address on Mar 24.
“The United States Senate should immediately pass the two House-passed bills that would close loopholes in the background check system,” he said.
“We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country once again. I got that done when I was a senator. It passed, it was the law for the longest time, and it brought down these mass killings. We should do it again.”
However, gun reform faces obstacles in the form of the Senate filibuster.
Two gun bills have already made it through the House, but they are unlikely to get the 60 votes needed in the Senate, which is currently split 50-50.
However, Democrats and activists are pushing to eliminate the filibuster and make it possible to pass legislation at a simple 51-vote majority, particularly in light of these back-to-back mass shootings.