Firearms legislation has been a point of contention ever since 17 were killed in the latest school shooting. News outlets have covered every angle, and no matter where you stand on the topic personally, it seems we cannot escape this never-ending conversation. Now one congressional candidate who tried to make a statement has found herself part of an ATF investigation.
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Karen Mallard is now being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after she posted a Facebook video of her dismantling her husband’s AR-15.
By dismantling, we mean she cut it in half with a angle grinder. The video has been watched by thousands of people, all with differing views on the matter. Shortly after the upload, ATF announced an investigation into Mallard. If she is charged and convicted in the investigation, she could have a felony record.
Mallard, who is running for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, sliced away the front part of the handguard and barrel. In doing so, she inadvertently broke the law. The National Firearms Act clearly states that an individual cannot create a short barreled rifle with a barrel less than 16-inches long.
According to Patriot Gun News, commenters on her video tried to point out that what she had just done was illegal, but she was said to have written them off as nothing more than “NRA trolls.”
Mallard must have understood the severity of the situation at some point as she soon deleted the video before reposting it and including video proof that she fully dismantled the AR-15.
According to WUSA9, Mallard was a teacher for 30 years before moving into politics. She is running against Republican incumbent Scott Taylor, a former Navy SEAL.
Before cutting the AR-15 open, she explained she had been around guns her whole life. “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.
When Nickolas Cruz killed 17 people at a Florida high school, she vowed to push for stricter gun control. It’s unclear if ATF plans to continue the investigation after she posted the additional video of the firearm being fully dismantled.