Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., revealed Thursday she is a gun owner – but said she still wants stricter gun laws.
"I am a gun owner – and I own a gun for probably the reason that a lot of people do, for personal safety," the 2020 presidential primary contender told reporters in Iowa, the New York Post reported. "I was a former prosecutor."
A Harris campaign aide said the weapon she owns is a handgun, which she keeps locked up, CNN reported. The aide told the news outlet that Harris bought the gun years ago.
Harris discussed her gun history after meeting supporters at a house party in Des Moines — including members of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America, the grassroots movement that is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun control advocacy group in the country, CNN reported.
"For too long, and still today, we are being offered a false choice which suggests you're either in favor of the Second Amendment or you want to take everyone's gun away," Harris said, attributing the problem to a "lack of courage" from leaders.
Harris called gun violence a "clear problem in our country" and pushed for "smart gun safety laws — which include universal background checks and a renewal of the assault weapons ban. Period," she said, the Post reported.
At a January CNN town hall, shortly after declaring her candidacy, Harris said Congress would have acted after 20 children and six adults were murdered Dec. 14, 2012, at Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School if lawmakers had been placed in a locked room without press and required to examine "the autopsy photographs of those babies," CNN reported.
"And then you can vote your conscience. This has become a political issue," she said.
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