A Republican candidate for Georgia governor said Monday he opposes any ban on bump stocks and will give away one of the devices.
“The tragedy in Las Vegas broke my heart, but any talk of banning or regulating bump stocks is merely cheap political lip service from career politicians. In reality, the bump stock is the new, shiny object politicians are using to deceive voters into believing they are taking action against gun violence," state Sen. Michael Williams said in a statement.
"Many firearms experts determined the Las Vegas shooter’s use of a bump stock actually prevented more casualties and injuries due to its inconsistency, inaccuracy, and lack of control. There is zero evidence that banning bump stocks would prevent any gun violence deaths," Williams continued.
Williams said he will give away a bump stock "to one lucky winner" in a show of defiance as momentum grows for more restrictions in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting.
"Georgia's gun owners deserve a governor who will stand with them when liberals and Hollywood elites attack our fundamental rights. That's why I am standing for the second amendment and giving away a bump stock as a show of support," Williams said in the statement.
Bump stocks increase the rate of fire for semi-automatic weapons, and a number of the devices were found in the hotel room of the Las Vegas shooter.
Lawmakers have unveiled legislation to ban the devices, but GOP leaders say that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should instead take the lead on reviewing regulations.
The National Rifle Association opened the door to new restriction on bump stocks but says it opposes legislation.
Williams pointed to mental health as the key issue politicians should focus on to reduce gun violence.
"You cannot regulate evil out of existence. Blaming guns or bump stocks for the actions of a lunatic, is the same as blaming McDonald’s for heart disease,” he said.
Williams is a long-shot candidate, going up against well-known state politicians like Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp in the GOP primary. Cagle and Kemp have reportedly raised millions for their campaigns, while Williams is expected to use his personal finances to fund his campaign.