Despite Florida shooting, GOP candidate going ahead with AR-15 giveaway

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In the wake of Wednesday’s school shooting in Florida, some might have thought that Kansas GOP candidate Tyler Tannahill would curtail his plans to hold a contest giving away an AR-15 rifle, especially in light of the fact that the gunman used the same kind of weapon.

Tannahill, who is looking to take Rep. Lynn Jenkins’ 2nd Congressional District seat, posted a link on Facebook and Twitter urging people to enter the contest on Feb. 13, the day before the shooting.

The Facebook post has since been deleted, but the Twitter post remains, according to a report in the Washington Examiner. The contest is still active on Tannahill’s campaign page.

“An an avid sportsman, I’m excited to announce our first AR-15 Giveaway!” Tannahill wrote on Twitter. “You can earn multiple entries and no purchase is necessary to win! Enter today.”

The giveaway was planned last month to coincide with the Kansas Republican Convention this weekend in Wichita, Kan.

“Me and my team talked about what to do after the shooting,” Tannahill told the Washington Examiner. ”I believe there does need to be a dialogue on how to address the issue on safety at schools and the mental health issue we do face in this country.”

Wednesday night, Tannahill posted on social media that he and his wife were “heartbroken to learn of the tragedy today at a Florida school.” He also said there were things that could be done to help and provided a solution that did not involved gun control.

“I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment,” Tannahill said about why he chose to continue the contest following Wednesday’s events in Florida. “Teachers should be able to open carry if they do choose and be trained to take care of children should they be injured in the classroom as they wait from EMTs to arrive.”

Tannahill said he decided to run for Congress because he wanted to tackle and solve the tough issues.

“I am a pro-life candidate. I am a pro-gun candidate. But we can continue the dialogue. How do we keep the Second Amendment and keep our country safe?” Tannahill posed.

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