A Tennessee lawmaker on Friday is defending his plans to give away two AR-15 rifles as a political fundraiser.
â€œWe had this planned long before the Florida attack,â€ said Tennessee State Representative Andy Holt to the FOX Business Networkâ€™s Stuart Varney.
â€œWe are going to be giving these two rifles away next Saturday night at a barbecue and also a turkey shootâ€¦ We thought in addition to of course good barbeque and a marksmanship contestâ€¦. what would help draw in a crowd? And we figured that an AR-15 rifle would help do that,â€ he said.According to authorities, Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen used an assault-style rifle called the Sig Saucer MCX, which is aesthetically similar to an AR-15, during the horrific attack that killed at least 49 people and injured 53.
Holt says despite receiving multiple death threats, the giveaway is still happening.
â€œWe are not going to let the intentions of an Islamic terrorist change or divert the plans that we have in place -- and I would encourage all Americans not to allow individuals that have purported these terrible and murderous crimes on U.S. citizens to change any plans. Itâ€™s not going to change my devotion to the Second Amendment [and] itâ€™s not going to change my devotion to all constitutional privileges weâ€™ve been given in those rights and the embodiment of those rights,â€ he said.
Meanwhile, the Orlando shooting has sparked a renewed political debate between Democrats and Republicans over gun rights vs. gun control.
Trump campaign spokesperson Healy Baumgardner on Friday confirmed on the FOX Business Network that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee plans to meet with the NRA over barring people on the Terror Watch List from legally purchasing guns.