Kamala Harris: 'I am a gun owner' for personal protection

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden, Sanders to be center stage at first debate Biden, Sanders to be center stage at first debate Poll: Six Dems lead Trump in Florida match-ups MORE (D-Calif.), a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, said Thursday that she owns a gun for personal safety reasons, adding that she believes in some changes to gun laws. 

“I am a gun owner and I own a gun for probably the reason that a lot of people do, for personal safety,” she told reporters in Iowa. 

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The presidential candidate blasted what she believes is a "false choice" between supporting the Second Amendment and taking away guns, which she said is "born out of a lack of courage from leaders."

“For too long and still today we are being offered a false choice which suggests you’re either in favor of the Second Amendment or you want to take everyone’s guns away,” she said. 

She added that she supports "smart gun safety laws" such as universal background checks and renewing the assault weapons ban. 

Harris is among more than a dozen people who are competing for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination. She has support from just 7 percent of Iowa Democratic voters according to a poll released Thursday.