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GOP Rep. Defends Pulling Out Loaded Gun in Meeting With Voters: ‘I Didn’t Do Anything Wrong’

Rep. Ralph Norman appeared on Fox & Friends Monday morning to explain why he pulled out a loaded gun during an 8 a.m. meeting in a diner with constituents.

The South Carolina Republican took heat over the weekend after the Friday “coffee with constituents,” in which during a discussion of gun rights he whipped out a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson to demonstrate that firearms are not dangerous by themselves — reportedly disturbing a number of his constituents.

After a backlash, Norman appeared on Fox & Friends to explain himself.

He said in the restaurant, which did not ban firearms, there was a group of women wearing “Moms Demand Action For Gun Safety in America” t-shirts, and that he engaged in a debate with them.

“I said let me make a statement that I’m sure everyone can agree with,” Norman recounted. “And that was that shooters, people that kill people, have mental emotional and spiritual problems.”

“And then I said I’m tired of the police being demonized, I’m tired the NRA being demonized, and I’m tired of guns ending up themselves being demonized,” he said.

“And then I reached in my pocket, safely pulled out the gun and laid it in front of me. And I said ‘this gun doesn’t shoot by itself. It takes a person to fire it.'”

Norman said he then put the gun away, but he’s made front page news for the stunt since.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said.

The backlash was compounded by some particularly tasteless comments Norman made after the diner meeting, in which he explained carrying a gun by declaring, ““I’m not going to be a Gabby Giffords,” referring to the Democrat representative who was shot in the head in a 2011 assassination attempt.

That remark earned him the scorn of a number of lawmakers, including Republican Sen. Jeff Flake:

[image via screengrab]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: [email protected] Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin