Democrat Dan Helmer, an Army veteran running for the nomination to challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) strolled into a gun show in Chantilly last month & purchased a semiautomatic rifle in about 10 minutes w/o a background check. https://t.co/KkHSV3tNBR @MomsDemand @Everytown pic.twitter.com/sidy5X2UoC— Khary Penebaker (@kharyp) May 1, 2018
A Democratic contender vying to take on Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-Virginia) just released a campaign video in which he demonstrates how easy it is to buy a deadly weapon.
Democrat Dan Helmer, one of six candidates in the party hoping to win the nomination to face off against Comstock in November, produced the video to highlight the simple task of buying an “incredibly dangerous piece of weaponry that’s meant for war.” It took just 10 minutes for Helmer to buy an assault rifle without a background check at a gun show just two miles from a nearby school.
The primary race between the six Democrats is demonstrative of how Virginia politics is evolving, specifically on the issue of guns. All six candidates are taking a pro-reform approach on the topic, highlighting how they would fight for gun control measures in Washington if they’re elected to serve in their district.
Whoever wins the contest will face Comstock, an ardent proponent of loose gun laws, in November. Comstock has also received more than $137,000 in fundraising from the National Rifle Association. In short, she’s a reliable vote for the gun lobby.
Comstock’s district is seen as a potential pickup for Democrats in the fall. The 10th District in northern Virginia was won by Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 10 points, and more recently by current Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam by a similar margin in 2017. Following the shooting deaths at a high school in Parkland, Florida, and the immediate call for gun reform following that shooting, Comstock’s district is likely to be even more vulnerable, given her pro-gun views.
Undoubtedly, Helmer’s video serves to demonstrate just how terrifyingly easy it is to get a gun in his district. Whoever wins the nomination and the general election in November, needs to work to close the gun show loophole and dedicate themselves toward strengthening restrictions on gun sales throughout the nation.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Dave Kaup/Reuters