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Dem candidate who sawed AR-15 in political stunt gone viral gets hit with major reality check

The ATF is investigating a Democratic candidate for Congress after she cut off the barrel of an AR-15 in a political stunt that went viral. (Image via Facebook/Karen Mallard for Congress screenshot)

A Virginia woman running for Congress as a Democrat is now being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after she sawed off the barrel of an AR-15 rifle in a political stunt.

What happened?

Karen Mallard, who is running for Virginia's second congressional district, went viral this week after she posted a video to her Facebook page that showed her cutting the barrel off of an AR-15 rifle that her husband bought "a while back."

Mallard said she was spurred to "destroy" the rifle after the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school on Feb. 14.

However, as the video illustrated, Mallard didn't actually destroy the rifle. Instead, she only shorted the rifle's barrel, transforming it into an illegal firearm as defined by the National Firearms Act. Thousands of commentators on the video pointed that fact out, and apparently, Mallard's stunt didn't go unnoticed with law enforcement.

What happened next?

According to WVEC-TV, a Virginia Beach police department spokesperson confirmed the ATF was investigating the incident. The news station also confirmed Mallard surrendered the damaged rifle to local law enforcement.

How did Mallard respond?

She wrote in her Facebook post that she followed the law and accused "NRA trolls" of being more concerned about firearms than the safety of school children.

"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?" she wrote.

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