ATLANTA -- The rifle is a semiautomatic AR-15. It can fire thirty shots in just a few seconds. "Commonly called an assault rifle," said Patrick O'Neal, of Range, Guns and Safes of Doraville. "I call it a sport rifle."
And it's the weapon Congressman Paul Broun (R-Georgia) chose to give away as part of an effort to promote his GOP candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
"The gun we're giving away is a reflection of what this president wants to do and that's take firearms away from individual citizens," Broun said Monday following a candidates forum in downtown Atlanta.
Broun worked the ballroom with five other Republican U.S. Senate candidates, all of whom tout their conservative credentials and their devotion to gun rights.
"Everyone up on that stage is strong on the second amendment," said former Secretary of State Karen Handel, also a Senate hopeful.
"But I don't have a semiautomatic rifle and I'm not going to raffle off one," said Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Georgia).
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Georgia) had a 100% NRA rating in 2012, according to votesmart.org. But Kingston says he never considered a firearms giveaway. "We're doing well with our fundraising through traditional barbecues," Kingston said.
In addition to self-defense, Broun says the second amendment protects individuals from the tyranny of the federal government. His AR-15 giveaway, he says, advances that message.
"The AR-15 is a very valid firearm to be used for personal protection, for sporting purposes because people do hunt with them," Broun said. "So there's no gun that is a bad gun."