AR-15 rifle stolen from GOP congresswoman’s unlocked garage

By Travis Gettys
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 12:39 EDT
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Renee Ellmers via screencap
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A Republican lawmaker who advocates responsible gun ownership had a rifle stolen from her home last week.

Police said an AR-15 rifle was among items stolen Oct. 15 from the unlocked garage of U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) after some family members went target shooting.

Officers said the rifle, which belongs to Ellmers’ college-age son, was leaned against a gun safe and the garage door left unlocked.

The congresswoman is a staunch supporter of gun rights, according to her website.

“Although she believes that gun owners must be responsible for the use and care of their guns, she does not want to see law-abiding gun owners penalized for the actions of criminals,” the site says. “It has become far too easy to place blame on guns, and their accessibility, rather than the criminals themselves.”

It’s not likely that anyone will be charged with leaving the gun unsecured unless the weapon was taken by a minor.

North Carolina’s gun-storage laws only apply when a minor gains access to guns and discharges it, and there are no federal laws requiring gun owners to lock up their firearms or prevent minors from gaining access to them.

“Gun safety is of the utmost importance in their household, which is exactly why she’s so upset and doesn’t understand how this happened,” said a spokesman for Ellmers.

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