Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann says her “favorite gun” is the civilian version of the military’s M16 assault rifle.
Bachmann is more than half-way through her quest to visit each of Iowa’s 99 counties and during a stop in Henry County late Wednesday afternoon, Bachmann was asked to explain her views on gun rights.
“I own some guns,” a man on the crowd said, asking Bachmann: “How are you on the Second Amendment?”
The U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights includes a Second Amendment which says Americans have the right to “keep and bear arms.” Bachmann told the man and the rest of the crowd in Mount Pleasant that she has earned an A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association.
“I learned how to hunt here in Iowa from my dad. I went to gun safety when I was 12 and I helped Minnesota pass a conceal to carry law,” Bachmann replied. “I have a conceal to carry permit myself.”
In 2003, when Bachmann was a state senator, the Minnesota legislature passed a law which said that Minnesota officials “shall issue” concealed weapons permits, limiting the discretion of local law enforcement officials and requiring them to issue permits to Minnesotans who meet the minimum requirements.
During that campaign stop in Mount Pleasant on Wednesday afternoon, Bachmann grew laughter and applause with this admission: “My favorite gun is the AR15 and I’m a really good shot.”
The AR15 is a lighter version of the AR10. While the gun itself weighs up to eight pounds, it gets a bit heavier when the ammunition is loaded.
Today and tomorrow, Bachmann will visit 16 counties. About 100 people turned out for her stop at a bakery in West Burlington on Wednesday.
“Iowa is a word-of-mouth state,” Bachmann told a local radio reporter. “It’s a very personal, person-to-person state and I think the very best way to campaign is positively, on the ground, going from city to city, meeting as many people as we can.”
Bachmann’s first stop today is at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa.
(Theresa Rose at KILJ in Mount Pleasant and Michael Cation at KBUR in Burlington contributed to this report.)