(USA Features) A voter challenged Democratic presidential contender Michael Bloomberg over his gun control agenda during a Fox News town hall in Virginia on Monday, while the billionaire media mogul has armed guards protecting him.
Clarke Chitty, who said he supports Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, rose to ask Bloomberg, “How do you justify pushing for more gun control when you have an armed security detail that is likely equipped with the same firearms and magazines that you seek to ban the common citizen from owning? Does your life matter more than mine, or my family’s, or these people’s?”
The question drew immediate applause from the audience.
Bloomberg responded that he gets dozens of threats every week and that he pays for his armed security detail himself.
“Look, I probably get 40 or 50 threats every week, OK, and some of them are real,” he began. “That just happens when you’re the mayor of New York City or you’re very wealthy and if you’re campaigning for president of the United States.
“You get lots of threats. So, I have a security detail, I pay for it all myself, and … they’re all retired police officers who are very well trained in firearms,” he added.
“The Second Amendment gives you the right to bear arms. Nobody suggests that we’re going to change the Constitution — even if you wanted to, I don’t think you’d get it done — so nobody’s going to take away your right to bear arms,” Bloomberg continued.
“The Supreme Court said you can have reasonable restrictions, and the only restrictions which I am in favor of is to prevent us from selling guns to people with psychiatric problems, criminals, or people that are minors, OK?” he added.
Radio host and former NRA spokeswoman Dana Leosch pushed back on Twitter, calling Bloomberg’s positions uninformed.
“Private sales are STILL subjected to federal restrictions. Bloomberg should be embarrassed, it’s the height of cringe for a presidential candidate to be this uneducated on the law he demands to change,” she wrote.
Cam Edwards, editor of Bearing Arms, wrote on Twitter, “Bloomberg saying the only thing he wants is universal background checks is a huge lie. He’s promoting a national gun licensing system and bans on commonly owned firearms on his campaign website.”
On his campaign website, Bloomberg advocates for “red-flag laws” in every state, requiring “every gun buyer to get a permit before making a purchase,” and reinstating “the federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” noting “current assault weapons owners will be allowed to keep their guns, but will have to report them to federal officials.”