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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is reportedly investigating a video showing a Democratic Virginia congressional candidate sawing an AR-15 in half to exhibit her support for gun control.

Karen Mallard, a teacher from the Virginia Beach area, is challenging incumbent Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Va.) in the midterm elections.

Mallard's campaign posted a video of her outside with what appears to be a circular saw, cutting an AR-15 rifle in half. 

In the video, Mallard said her husband purchased the AR-15, and that after the Florida school shooting she asked if she could get rid of it.

She said she grew up around guns in Wise County, Va. - in the mountains near the Kentucky state line - and that her family kept them for protection and recreation.

"These gun owners heard you, and we're going to stand by you," she said.

Mallard said she later surrendered the destroyed weapon to local police, according to WTVR.

The ATF is now investigating the incident as some critics said the action violates gun modification laws, Rachel Campos-Duffy reported.

A statement posted on Mallard's campaign website said the video was intended to show her support for the students affected by the Florida school shooting last month.

It also said that she is receiving a "barrage of misogyny, hate and calls to 'lock her up'" from critics after the video was published.


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