Nevada state assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R) on Monday defended allowing her 5-year-old grandson to hold a handgun in the family Christmas photo, arguing that the boy had learned "total trigger control" from a National Rifle Association (NRA) cartoon.
Earlier this month, Fiore raised eyebrows when she posted her family's annual Christmas photo to Facebook showing each member dressed in a red shirt and holding a gun. At the center of the photo, her 5-year-old grandson, Jake, can be seen with a small pistol in his hand.
On Monday, Fiore told Fox News host Steve Doocy that she had received some of the "most vile and insulting comments" over the photo.
"Christmas is a family affair," the assemblywoman said. "I think getting a firearm as a present and giving firearms as presents is a great present. And I think, again, because Christmas is a family affair, I think our ultimate responsibility is to protect and make sure our family is safe."
Fiore explained that she allowed Jake to pose with an unloaded Walther P22 because he was "quite familiar with Eddie the Eagle, which is a NRA gun safety program for children."
"And just last night we were in the laundry room doing laundry and I said, 'Hey, Jake, what does Eddie the Eagle say? What do you do when you see a gun?' And he spouted it out, the songs and stuff," she recalled. "So, he got it."
Fiore added: "And if you look at that picture real close, you'll see his finger is not on the trigger. That 5-year-old grandson of mine has total trigger control."
Watch the video below from Fox News' Fox & Friends, broadcast Dec. 7, 2015.
Watch an NRA video with Eddie the Eagle below.