Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham claimed on Friday that he owns an AR-15 to protect himself in case of a hurricane or another scenario in which law enforcement would not be able to defend him.
The South Carolina senator made the comments to reporters aboard Air Force One that he maintains an AR-15 in case “there’s a hurricane, a natural disaster, no power, no cops, no anything.”
His remarks were first revealed by Voice of America on Twitter. A reporter then asked him to clarify if he meant the semiautomatic rifle was for looters.
“Yeah, people, they’re not going to come to the AR-15 home,” Graham responded. “Well, I think if you show up on the porch with an AR-15, they’ll probably go down the street.”
On Air Force One, @LindseyGrahamSC tells reporters he owns an AR-15 in case "there's a hurricane, a natural disaster, no power, no cops, no anything" and looters will know not "to come to the AR-15 home."
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) August 9, 2019
Graham, a staunch defender of gun rights, posted a picture of himself shooting an AR-15 at a gun range in Greenville, South Carolina, in 2013.
Enjoyed shooting my AR-15 today at Sharp Shooters in Greenville. pic.twitter.com/Vltf7F5fj7
— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) August 16, 2013
Graham also said during a Senate hearing on gun control following the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that he owned an AR-15 and was uncertain about regulating gun owners’ rights.
“You could find yourself in this country in a lawless environment from a natural disaster or a riot,” Graham said. “I have an AR-15 at home, and I haven’t hurt anybody, and I don’t intend to do it.”
His most recent comments follow two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, last weekend, which took the lives of over 30 people.