George Santos gives bizarre defence for GOP plan to make the AR-15 the ‘National Gun of America’

Fantasist New York Congressman George Santos claimed AR-15s “save lives on a daily basis” while justifying his support for a bill that would declare the assault rifle the “National Gun of America”.

Mr Santos is co-sponsoring a bill brought forward by Alabama GOP Representative Barry Moore to enshrine the semi-automatic weapon used in countless mass shootings under federal law.

Mr Santos, who is facing multiple federal, state and local law enforcement investigations, told ABC7 in an interview this week that the bill was “about recognition”.

“This is a gun manufactured in the United States, creates jobs in the United States, it’s a made-in-America gun. We have national everything, why not have a national gun?” he said. “It saves lives on a daily basis, and it’s not reported. And I think it’s good to have that contrast.”

The demonstrably false claim was condemned by New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who called the New York lawmaker’s actions “outrageous and appalling” in a statement.

“This weapon of war has been used in mass shootings across the United States — from my hometown of Buffalo, where the shooter used a modified AR-15 to murder ten people in a despicable act of white supremacist terrorism, to Parkland, Florida, where the shooter killed seventeen innocent people with an AR-15-style weapon,” Gov. Hochul said. “This bill, which attempts to glorify the weapons that have been part of such horrific tragedies, adds unforgivable insult to injury for those families. It should never become law, and Congressman Santos should immediately remove his name from it, if he has any respect for New Yorkers.”

AR-15-style assault weapons were used in school shootings including Uvalde, Texas, in 2022, Parkland, Florida, in 2018, and Sandy Hook in 2012.

The bill to see it recognised as America’s “National Gun” is being co-sponsored by Lauren Boebert, who owns a gun-themed restaurant in Colorado, and Georgia Congressman Andrew Clyde, a gun store proprietor from Georgia.

Mr Santos and other Republicans have been seen wearing AR-15-style lapels in Congress.

Since his election in New York’s third congressional district in November, the 34-year-old has been unmasked as a serial fabricator who invented most of his resume, educational history and family background.