Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said there was a "certain amount of hypocrisy" in politicians like President Obama and Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling for gun control while under armed protection.
The Kentucky lawmaker said he didn't "begrudge" the lawmakers their security details, saying there are "enough crazy people out there" that such precautions are necessary.
Still, Paul said there was irony in those politicians calling for gun control.
Paul's comments were also critical of celebrities who back gun control but have armed guards.
"Many rich Hollywood celebrities have armed guards with them at all times and many regular people who live in a poor neighborhood, who have a business in a poor neighborhood and a neighborhood that may have higher crime — those people have to suffer the vicissitudes of violent crime without protection sometimes because of gun-control laws," he said. "So, yes, I think there is a certain amount of hypocrisy.”
The comments come as actor Jim Carrey has faced conservative criticism over his pro-gun-control stance. Carrey released a recent video that mocked pro-gun rights supporters.
Obama marked the 100-day anniversary of the Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting on Thursday with an impassioned plea for congressional action on new gun controls.
Bloomberg, meanwhile, has pledged $12 million in television advertisements to ratchet up pressure on swing-state senators ahead of a planned Senate vote on new gun-control measures next month.
Paul's criticism is one that gun activists have cited throughout the debate over an expansion of gun controls. In January, the National Rifle Association released an ad blasting Obama as an "elitist hypocrite" for employing Secret Service protection to protect his children while pursuing measures toughening gun regulations.
“Are the president’s kids more important than yours?” asks the narrator in the ad. “Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?”