A Democratic congressional candidate is coming under fire from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms after she appears to have converted an AR-15 rifle into a short-barreled rifle in a video posted to her Facebook page.
Karen Mallard, who is running for Congress in Virginia’s Second District, recorded a video of her claiming to “destroy” an AR-15 rifle bought by her husband. Thousands of comments pointed out that all Mallard did was shorten the barrel of the rifle, which would still likely function in its damaged state.
Converting a legal long barrel rifle into a rifle with a barrel shorter than 16 inches legally transforms the rifle into a short barrel rifle, or SBR. SBR’s require a tax stamp, and for the gun to be re-registered by the U.S. Government. They are largely illegal for the average American citizen to own.
Hilariously, one of Mallard’s campaign staffers originally uploaded the video, and removed it after a flurry of comments explained the legality of Mallard’s actions. Mallard personally reuploaded the video, claiming that she would not be bullied by “NRA trolls” who simply explained already existing gun laws in the comments.
Now ABC10 reports that Mallard is under investigation by the ATF for the modifications made to the gun in the video, and local police confirm they have the modified weapon in their possession.
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.
Mallard, for her part, claims that everything she did – on video and after – was completely legal and above board. At the conclusion of her video, she claims she will continue to fight for gun control if elected.
Ironically, Mallard also claims that she grew up “surrounded by guns.” Apparently no one in her vicinity had the decency to explain gun laws.
Update: The original version of this article incorrectly said that rifles shorter than 26 inches were considered short barrel rifles. It is 16 inches.