Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) campaign on Thursday announced a giveaway of a Barrett M82A1 sniper rifle, which comes just days before a rally at the U.S. Capitol in support of Capitol riot defendants that some on the Hill fear could turn violent.
In a video posted to her campaign’s YouTube account, Greene compared the .50 caliber rifle to U.S. military equipment left behind during the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan last month, later seized by the Taliban, a major source of GOP criticism.
Greene said she is doing a “gun giveaway of my own,” but for “Americans only,” stating that she is going to “blow away the Democrats’ socialist agenda” in 2022 before using the rifle to destroy a Prius labeled “socialism.”
Greene’s campaign even set up a website for the raffle, which includes details about the rifle, calling it the “same type of gun that TRIGGERS the Fake News Media and Democrats.”
The raffle comes days ahead of a planned September 18 “Justice for J6” rally at the Capitol, which has raised concerns about potential violence, with Capitol security officials re-installing fencing around the complex, asking for National Guard assistance and urging lawmakers and staff to avoid the area.
Greene, who has emerged as one of most vocal advocates of the Capitol riot defendants in the House, does not plan to attend the event, nor do Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) or Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), according to their spokespeople.
“There is no possibility of violence [from] our peaceful protest. We have held two similar rallies in D.C. without incident,” former Trump campaign aide Matt Braynard, the organizer of the rally, told Forbes, adding he has cooperated with law enforcement for over a month and has a private security team and volunteers “who will ensure this is a safe and productive event.”
Greene was stripped of her committee assignments in February in part over past social media activity in which she signaled approval for executing top Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Greene also drew rebukes from colleagues for initiating a verbal altercation with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in May, which Pelosi called “verbal assault.”
Greene has held several gun giveaways in the past. In September, while she was a House candidate, she tweeted that she was giving away a sniper, and in November she announced she was giving away an AR-15. In April, as a member of Congress, she raffled off a Honey Badger AR pistol.
“Do we want to work in a place where we are afraid or concerned about the actions of our colleagues, that it might impact our safety, our health or the safety of our staff?” Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.), who has championed an effort to expel Greene from Congress, told Forbes in May, noting that Greene has said she carries firearms.