Destroying a rifle on camera appears to be the latest trend among gun control proponents; a Virginia congressional candidate who did just that is now being investigated by the ATF.

Virginia Congressional Candidate Saws AR-15

Karen Mallard, a Democrat, is a school teacher running for Virginia’s 2nd congressional district seat currently occupied by Republican Rep. Scott Taylor. Mallard is running on an anti-gun platform which includes universal background checks; seven day mandatory waiting period for gun buys; ban on bump stocks; and a ban on “high capacity magazines” and “assault weapons.” In order to demonstrate her support for gun control, Mallard decided to film herself destroying her husband’s AR-15.

The video, which was posted to Mallard’s Facebook page, starts off with Mallard saying she “grew up around guns.” She also says she “wasn’t happy” when her husband decided to buy an AR-15 “a while back.” After the Parkland shooting, Mallard said she told her husband she wanted the AR-15 “out of my house.” Her husband agreed, and she set about destroying the gun. She then takes a grinder to the AR-15’s barrel.

The Fallout

Mallard’s video quickly went viral, racking up hundreds of thousands of views and comments in the span of a few hours. As of this writing, it has 2.9 million views. Some of the comments pointed out that, rather than destroying the rifle, Mallard appeared to have merely shortened the barrel to under 16 inches, thus making it a short-barreled rifle. As Valley News Live points out, SBRs are NFA-regulated items. It is a federal crime to create or own an unregistered weapon.

After being called out for her actions, Mallard told WTKR that she “knew exactly what I was doing. The gun was inoperable before I cut it. And we took it completely apart. And we didn’t put all that on video because I wanted to get the message to the students that I was standing with them.

She added the following on her Facebook page: “And yes for all the NRA trolls out there,I finished the job according to regulation and turned it over to the police. Why are you more outraged about me taking a gun out of circulation than about our children being murdered in our schools?”

Even so, Mallard has been reported to the ATF for the stunt. The Virginia Beach Police Department confirmed that they are in possession of the rifle. It is now waiting to be picked up by the ATF.

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