Sarah Merkle's passionate pro-gun testimony before Maryland lawmakers went viral earlier this year. (Image source: NRA News)
To hear Sarah Merkle tell it, she's "the one little blonde girl you don't want to get stuck in a debate with, because it's going to be long and it's not going to be pretty."
That was certainly the case earlier this year, with the teen's three minutes of eloquent, pro-gun testimony before Maryland lawmakers that's been viewed more than 3 million times.
“By signing this legislation, you are not signing away gun violence but instead liberating American citizens of our constitutional rights,” Merkle, 15, testified in March about the state's since-passed gun law. “You are not eliminating guns from society but instead limiting our ability to protect our lives, liberty and pursuits of happiness.”
Her speech went viral within days, but Merkle told NRA News that at the time, she was wasn't sure people in the room were even paying attention.
"I thought I would say what I have to say and that's it," she said. It wasn't -- her testimony was widely shared online, including TheBlaze, and Merkle was interviewed about her Second Amendment views on TV.
Image source: NRA News
Merkle said she shot for the first time when she was 8-years-old, and now shoots a 12-gauge and an AR-15. Merkle said she was hoping to use her shooting skills to win a college scholarship -- something that's in jeopardy now because what she uses is completely banned under the new legislation.
"They call it common sense legislation, I just don't see anything common sense about it," Merkle said. Lawmakers say they want to minimize crime, but "you're never going to make a law that a criminal's going to follow."
Merkle said she sees the Second Amendment and the right to own guns as "the backbone of our American society."
"I don't want to be told that I can't shoot anymore, and I don't want to be told that you can't have guns in your home," she said.
Watch Merkle's original testimony: