US Republican lawmaker pulls out loaded gun in public meeting

He pulled out his .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and placed the weapon on a table.
He pulled out his .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and placed the weapon on a table. Photo credit: Ralph Norman / Facebook

A Republican lawmaker in the US left his constituents fearing for their lives after he pulled out a loaded gun during a gun safety meeting.

South Carolina representative Ralph Norman held a meeting on Friday (local time) at a diner with members of the public. At the meeting he pulled out his .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and placed the weapon on a table while arguing its presence in the room made his constituents safer.

But many found it disturbing and feared for their safety.

"Rep Norman's behaviour today was a far cry from what responsible gun ownership looks like," said Lori Freemon, a Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense volunteer.

"I had looked forward to a respectful dialogue with my representative about common-sense gun violence prevention policies.

"Instead, I felt unsafe when he insisted on showing us his loaded gun and keeping it out on the table for much of our conversation."

Mr Norman told the Post and Courier he often carries his guns in public, and he pulled out the gun to show guns are only dangerous in the hands of criminals.

"I merely proved a point that guns themselves are not the issue," he told CNN.

"Given the scenario that if someone had walked into that diner and began to fire a weapon, I told them I would be able to defend myself and them as well."

South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Trav Robertson said he would request an investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division, arguing it was illegal to "present or point at another person a loaded or unloaded firearm".

Mr Norman said he'd continue to pull out his weapon in future constituent meetings.

"I'm tired of these liberals jumping on the guns themselves as if they are the cause of the problem," Mr Norman told the Post and Courier.

"Guns are not the problem."

Newshub.