Confusion plagues the Trump campaign after differing reports emerged over whether the former president bought a firearm during his trip to a gun store while in South Carolina on Monday – despite facing multiple criminal charges.
Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung posted a clip on Monday, in which Mr Trump can be heard saying, “I wanna buy one,” while touching a gun. Mr Cheung wrote, “President Trump buys a @GLOCKInc in South Carolina!”
That post has since been taken down.
Mr Cheung later walked back the comment, telling CNN later on Monday that Mr Trump did not purchase a firearm at the gun store.
To add to the confusion, Mr Trump shared a post from a Truth Social user, who, alongside a clip of Mr Trump seemingly in awe of the gun, wrote: “MY PRESIDENT Trump just bought a Golden Glock before his rally in South Carolina after being arrested 4 TIMES in a year. LIKE A BOSS!!!”
The New York Times said it had asked the gun store in Summerville, South Carolina whether the former president had purchased a gun during his visit; the salesperson said he hadn’t.
If he had in fact bought one, it would have been illegal. A federal law prohibits people under felony indictments — a group that includes the former president — from purchasing firearms.
The 2024 Republican frontrunner faces numerous federal indictments, including for his handling of classified documents and his efforts to overturn the 2020 election in his favour.
Former DOJ prosecutor Andrew Weissmann took the implications one step further by pairing the law with a photo posted by Georgia Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene, who travelled to the gun store with the former president.
He wrote on X, “It is a felony for Trump to ‘receive’ a firearm that has travelled in interstate commerce (the latter requirement is almost always satisfied as it just means the gun at some point after manufacture went from one state to another prior to the receipt).”
Mr Weissmann then added, “So this photo is proof of the crime: he is in receipt,” while including tweet from the Georgia Republican that included a photo of a smiling Mr Trump holding a gun.
President Trump doing a little shopping in South Carolina!
He will protect our great Second Amendment!! pic.twitter.com/Qs6Imc8LEb
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) September 25, 2023
“It shall be unlawful for any person who is under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year to ... receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce,” he wrote, noting that “Glocks are manufactured overseas or in Georgia – so receiving a Glock in South Carolina would mean the ‘interstate or foreign commerce’ requirement was met.”