Virginia congressional Democratic candidate Karen Mallard is under investigation after she posted a video of herself on social media cutting apart an AR-15 rifle to advocate for gun reform, according to a local news report.
The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is investigating Mallard after she posted a video Wednesday on Facebook of herself sawing off the barrel of her husband’s rifle.
Several people who replied to the post said Mallard broke the law. Virginia’s Sawed-Off Shotgun and Sawed-Off Rifle Act prohibits people from having a rifle that has been “modified to an overall length of less than 26 inches.”
“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 said in the video before noting the Feb. 14 shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School convinced Mallard and her husband to destroy the rifle.
“So, today, we’re going to destroy it,” Mallard said before using a handheld power saw to slice and dice the semi-automatic weapon. Mallard, a school teacher and Democrat running for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, said she followed legal procedure for destroying a firearm.
“And yes, for all the NRA trolls out there; I finished the job according to regulation and turned it over to the police,” she wrote in a post accompanying the video. “Why are you more outraged about me taking a gun out of circulation than about our children being murdered in our schools?”
A Virginia Beach Police Department spokeswoman confirmed to a local news outlet the rifle was in the department’s possession. The ATF is now looking into the situation.