Trump Paid a Visit to Maker of Assault Rifle That Killed 3 People in Racist Shooting

The GOP frontrunner went to Palmetto State Armory—the same company that sold a gun to the white shooter who killed three Black people in Florida in August.

Trump Paid a Visit to Maker of Assault Rifle That Killed 3 People in Racist Shooting
Screenshot:YouTube/CNN-News 18 (Fair Use)

Former President Donald Trump made a campaign stop at a South Carolina gun store on Monday that was horrifying for multiple reasons: He went with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), the store is selling a Glock with Trump’s face on it, and the company also sold a weapon to the racist mass shooter who killed three Black people in Florida last month.

Trump’s visit to the Palmetto State Armory in Summerville, South Carolina came almost exactly one month after a 21-year-old white gunman shot up a Dollar General store in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Jacksonville. The gunman reportedly first went to the campus of a historically Black college nearby but security asked him to leave after he refused to say what he was doing there. During the attack, the shooter texted his father to tell him to check his computer, where he found racist writings but wasn’t able to alert the authorities in time.

Trump posed with store employees and the handgun with his face on it, which he said he wanted to buy. (He didn’t buy it, more on that below.) Reporting at the time noted that the Jacksonville shooter bought an assault rifle from the company, which it calls a PA-15 and is their version of an AR-15. The gun was engraved with the company’s logo and the shooter had drawn at least two swastikas on it.

It’s unclear if the Trump campaign knew about this connection and chose to go anyway as a fascist wink or if it was pure incompetence. Sherrilyn Ifill, the former president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, wrote on Twitter: “If not intentional, still grotesque and negligent.” Ifill suggested it may be Trump’s Philadelphia, Mississippi, moment, referring to then-candidate Ronald Reagan giving a 1980 speech on “states’ rights” in the town where the Ku Klux Klan murdered three civil rights workers in 1964.

Some outlets originally reported that Trump purchased the Glock, based on a now-deleted tweet from Trump’s campaign spokesperson, Steven Cheung. Per screenshots, Cheung posted a video with the caption “President Trump purchases a @GLOCKInc in South Carolina!” In the video, Trump said, “Wow…I’ve got to buy one. I want to buy one.” The New York Times reported that another voice could be heard saying of the Trump Glock, “That’s a big seller.”

But since Trump is under indictment for felony charges, it’s illegal for anyone to sell him a gun, or for Trump to receive a gun that’s been shipped across state lines. You’d think the Trump campaign would be very aware of gun laws given the firearms charges against right-wing boogeyman Hunter Biden, but alas.

Cheung later told reporters: “President Trump did not purchase or take possession of the firearm. He simply indicated that he wanted one.” Ok buddy thanks, I feel so much better now.

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