A Democrat running for Congress in Virginia is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) after an ill-advised campaign ad.
Karen Mallard, a schoolteacher who is running in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, aired an anti-gun ad.
After explaining that she grew up “surrounded by guns,” and that her husband bought an AR-15 “a while back,” Mallard proceeded to call for stricter gun control.
She also claimed that, after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month, she no longer wanted an AR-15 in her home.
She then took a handheld power saw to her husband’s AR-15, saying, “So today, we’re going to destroy it.”
After Mallard posted the video to social media, many commenters were horrified—claiming that she broke federal law by taking a legal firearm and illegally altering it. Some of them cited the Sawed-Off Shotgun and Sawed-Off Rifle Act, a federal law that prohibits anyone from having a gun that has been “modified to an overall length of less than 26 inches.”
Mallard’s alteration to the gun, caught on video, technically did just that—and now, ATF is investigating her for breaking federal law.
Mallard, however, claimed that she followed the legal procedure, writing on Facebook, “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?”