Virginia congressional candidate Karen Mallard’s grandstanding may have crossed the line and violated the law. Of course, it’s not unusual for politicians to get a bit too overzealous and say something they probably shouldn’t have, or to have difficulty navigating the byzantine labyrinth of campaign finance laws.

Only Mallard didn’t do any of that.

No, she decided to grandstand by destroying an AR-15.

I took a personal stand for gun safety and I'm not backing down. A staffer took down this video to try to protect me from these vicious comments, but I'm not the one that needs protection our children do. And yes for all the NRA trolls out there, I finished the job according to regulation and turned it over to the police. Why are you more outraged about me taking a gun out of circulation than about our children being murdered in our schools? Thanks for listening and sharing.We need gun reform now. #SafeguardOurChildren

Posted by Karen Mallard for Congress on Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Apparently, this is the second time the video was posted.

I took a personal stand for gun safety and I’m not backing down. A staffer took down this video to try to protect me from these vicious comments, but I’m not the one that needs protection our children do.

And yes for all the NRA trolls out there, I finished the job according to regulation and turned it over to the police. Why are you more outraged about me taking a gun out of circulation than about our children being murdered in our schools?

Thanks for listening and sharing.We need gun reform now. #SafeguardOurChildren

However, her claim that it was finished according to regulation isn’t doing her any favors. Instead, the ATF is apparently investigating the congressional candidate who is seen here turning an AR-15 into a short barrel rifle illegally.

Whoops.

Many of those comments were negative. Some people accused Mallard of political grandstanding.

Several others said Mallard broke federal law by taking a legal firearm and altering it, making it into an illegal one. Many of them referred to details contained within the Sawed-Off Shotgun and Sawed-Off Rifle Act which, in part, prohibits people (except for those permitted by the act) from having a rifle that has been “modified to an overall length of less than 26 inches.”

Master Police Officer Tonya Pierce, spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach Police Department, confirmed that the rifle was in the department’s possession. Pierce told 13News Now the ATF was looking into the situation.

Mallard concludes her video with the promise she will fight for comprehensive gun control and states:

And to those students in Florida and across our country, keep standing up and speaking truth to power. These gun owners heard you, and we’re gonna stand by you.

Except, she still broke the law, even if she eventually cut the receiver. To make matters worse, however, she posted a video of her doing it so there’s no doubt that the barrel was cut first.

Look, I get that she’s doing the grandstanding bit. Politicians do that.

The problem is that her grandstanding broke the law. It broke a law that you or I would be in jail for breaking. If Mallard gets a pass for this, something is definitely wrong in Virginia. It’s proof that politicians and the rest of us are two separate classes, that the rules that apply to us don’t apply to them.

She needs to learn the error of her ways in the same manner as the rest of us would for such an act. That is, at the very least, an arrest. Probably a lot more.

It’ll serve her right.