If Candidate Wins, He Promises an AR-15 Giveaway

Dave LaRock kicks off his Virginia write-in campaign with a promise
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2023 6:00 PM CDT
If Candidate Wins, He Promises an AR-15 Giveaway
Del. Dave LaRock, right, talks with a colleague on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates in Richmond in February 2020.   (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

If a Republican candidate for the Virginia Senate wins his write-in campaign, he wants to thank voters in his own way: with an AR-15 rifle. Dave LaRock, who's a member of the House of Delegates now, announced the offer in an email to voters last week, the Washington Post reports. "When you think of Dave LaRock, remember I'm the guy that's so pro-gun that I give them away for free," the email says. When contacted by a Post reporter, LaRock seemed to pull the offer, then later said it's on. He explained that he was adjusting the terms after checking with his counsel. LaRock said that there's no charge to qualify for the giveaway, that the 10 winners will be picked at random, and that the "transfer of rifles will be conducted to comply with Virginia law."

LaRock came in second out of eight candidates in the June primary that determined the GOP nominee for the Senate seat. He told the Winchester Star that he'll throw a "gun bash celebration" if he's elected. "The way I see other gun bashes managed, I think it's very orderly," the candidate said. The lucky voters would be given a voucher to take to a gun store, he said, adding, "at that point, they would be subject to any laws or background checks that are applicable." A University of Mary Washington political science professor pointed out that if LaRock loses, fulfilling his campaign promise will cost nothing, per the Post. "Politicians—especially write-ins—have to do more and more to get noticed," Stephen Farnsworth said. (More Virginia stories.)

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