Rep. Franks Jokes About Gun Violence While Supporting Criminals' Ability To Carry Guns

October 17, 2011 8:45 am ET — Matt Gertz

During a congressional hearing on Friday, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) joked that "In Arizona sometimes to gain office you have to have shot someone." Earlier this year, Franks' fellow delegation member Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in a mass shooting that killed six.

REP. STEVE COHEN (D-TN): If you have a law in Arizona and they don't have that prohibition in Ohio the person in Ohio who comes to Arizona can have a gun when they couldn't have one in Arizona. I know in Arizona you have to have a gun.

FRANKS: In Arizona sometimes to gain office you have to have shot someone. I'm joking, of course. I hope that the media understands that.


Franks' comment came while the House Judiciary Committee was marking up the National Right-To-Carry Reciprocity Act, which would force states with strong restrictions on concealed carry permits to recognize permits issued by states with weak restrictions.

During the mark-up, Franks joined his GOP colleagues in voting down Democratic amendments that would have prevented misdemeanant sex offenders, those on the Terrorist Watch List, those with misdemeanor convictions for stalking, and those who have been the subjects of domestic protection orders in the last ten years from carrying guns legally outside their home states.

Franks has a long record of letting his rhetoric get him into trouble. Previously:

  • Franks responded to a question about the possibility of a balanced budget amendment forcing judges into the federal spending process by invoking the Nazis, who "said that the Jew was 'untermensch,' sub-human, and they took away their personhood" and stating that judges could "try to intervene in this process" of budgeting the same way they did in Nazi Germany.
  • Franks cited abortion to state that "far more of the African American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by slavery."
  • Franks claimed that President Obama's administration has an "ideological commitment" to "weaken America."
  • Franks asserted that Planned Parenthood "kills children for profit."