Pro-Gun GOP Congressman Doesn’t Understand Difference Between Auto and Semi-Auto Rifles


Pro-Second Amendment advocates have constantly called-out reporters and gun control advocates for their ignorance on firearm details and gun laws — but now one of their own is doing just that.

Representative Trent Franks, a Republican from Arizona, is a hardcore pro-Second Amendment member of congress — he even received an A grade from the National Rifle Association, which aside from an A+, is the highest praise a politician can receive from the powerful group. However, in a cringey interview on CNN, Franks revealed his ignorance on firearms by suggesting there is no difference between an automatic machine gun and a rifle with a rapid-fire attachment.

The difference between the two has been a hotly debated issue lately, as the Las Vegas shooter responsible for the deadliest mass shooting in US history is believed to have used a firearm modifier known as a bump stock. This feature allows a semi-automatic rifle, such as an AR-15 or an AK-47, to mimic a machine-gun by utilizing the guns recoil to increase a weapon’s rounds-per-minute. Gun-control advocates see this tool as a loophole around the Assault Weapon Ban of 1994 as it allows legal firearms to be shot at a rapid-fire rate, even if these bump stock fitted guns are legally still semi-automatic.

Which brings us to Franks’ head-shaking interview with CNN’s Ana Cabrera: The staunchly pro-gun conservative suggested that the shooter used “already illegal” guns, even though there is no police evidence suggesting that was the case. Franks clearly conflates automatic machine guns with semi-automatic rifles fitted with a bump stock — claiming the Las Vegas shooter used an “illegal weapon” when that was not the case.

“It’s important to keep in mind that a fully-automatic machine that he used was already illegal, and I suppose any number of different ways can be utilized to turn a semi-automatic into an automatic. I personally know that that is the case,” said Franks, even though the shooter used semi-automatic rifles.

A baffled Cabrera retorted, “First I am hearing about [a full-auto rifle]… Do you have any additionally information you can share about that?”

“A fully automatic that he was using is an illegal weapon,” responded Franks — doubling-down on his BS claim.

While Franks is certainly not the only person displaying ignorance on firearm laws, he may be the first pro-gun lawmaker to show his ignorance on weapons.

NBC News calling an AR-15 an AK-47, CBS citing “automatic rounds,” and CNN using a “bump stock animation” that erroneously did not include any bump stocks are all certainly unprofessional mistakes, but understandable given that media hubs like Washington, New York City, and Los Angeles are not exactly known for their gun-culture. However, you’d expect a pro-Second Amendment GOP lawmaker to understand basic firearm terminology, especially given that he represents one of the more gun-friendly states in America.

Franks ended his comments on gun minutia by saying, “If I’m wrong on that I’ll certainly express that.”

Well, in the case, we at Mediaite will be patiently waiting for you to take back your remarks, Mr. Congressman.

Watch above via CNN.

[featured image via screengrab]

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Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma