Virginia governor hopeful giving away AR-15 rifle

Posted at 12:26 PM, Dec 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-12 12:30:54-05

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. -- A Republican candidate running for governor in the Commonwealth is causing controversy with a campaign contest, WTVR reports.

In a campaign email, Corey Stewart wrote he is giving away an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle to a supporter.

Gun control advocates pointed out that type of rifle was used in mass shootings like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 students and six adults dead.

Stewart told The Washington Post Saturday that he did not see this as a controversial contest.

"Look, this is a rifle that people are permitted to own in the United States. There’s nothing wrong with that," he said. "It’s a semiautomatic rifle. It is not an assault rifle. This is a great hunting rifle, and it’s also great for recreation use."

Stewart, who is chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, was fired from Donald Trump's campaign after organizing an unauthorized protest outside the Republican National Committee in October.