Disgraced former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens fitness to own a gun has become an issue in the Missouri Senate battle to replace retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO).
Greitens resigned as governor in 2018 after damning allegations of sexual assault and campaign finance violations.
He's now seeking a comeback, but is in the middle of a bruising primary with Attorney General Eric Schmitt, U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long. Gun-brandisher Mark McClowsky is also running.
The winner is expected to face Democrat Lucas Kunce, a lawyer and Marine Corps Reserve officer who served as the International Negotiations Officer for the joint chiefs of staff.
In campaign finance reports through the end of March, Greitens reported total receipts of $1.9 million and $345,000 cash on hand. Kunce reported total receipts of $3.3 million and $942,000 cash on hand.
Kunce raised the issue of Greitens' fitness to own a firearm in a campaign ad.
"Terrorists, child abusers, and criminals like @EricGreitens shouldn't even be able to get a weapon. I'm the Marine veteran running against him," Kunce tweeted to introduce the ad. "Send me to the U.S. Senate, and I'll keep our families safe from criminals like him."
In the ad, Kunce addresses the camera while displaying a picture of a Rolling Stone article with Greitens holding a shotgun titled, "GOP Senate Candidate Fantasizes About Murdering Political Opponents in New Ad."
He played a clip of Greitens' controversial ad.
"Join the MAGA crew, get a RINO [Republican In Name Only] hunting permit. There’s no bagging limit, no tagging limit, and it doesn’t expire until we save our country," Greitens said.
The ad then switched from video of Greitens with a shotgun to Kunce holding an AR-15.
"Now he thinks that teenagers, criminals, and terrorists should be able to get their hands on a weapon like this," he said, holding up the rifle as a tweet from Greitens appears on-screen.
\u201cIf a politician says you don't need a gun, you need a gun.\u201d— Eric Greitens (@Eric Greitens) 1654219060
"Well, assault, blackmail, and stealing from a veterans charity," Kunce says. "For any everyday Missourian, the question wouldn't be what type of gun he's going to buy, the question would be how long he's going to be in prison."
"Eric Greitens got a free pass because he was a politician with power. Send me to the U.S. Senate and I'll end that double standard," he said. "Lock. Him. Up."
\u201cTerrorists, child abusers, and criminals like @EricGreitens shouldn't even be able to get a weapon. I'm the Marine veteran running against him. \n\nSend me to the U.S. Senate, and I'll keep our families safe from criminals like him.\u201d— Lucas Kunce (@Lucas Kunce) 1657157467