Republican congressional hopeful Eric Brakey is giving away an AR-15 rifle to one of his monthly campaign contributors.

“I want to give people a gun,” Brakey said Thursday.

The ex-state senator from Auburn told potential donors that “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and my opponent, Jared Golden want to take away your guns, but I want to give you one!”

His campaign plans next month to give what it calls “the ‘most wanted’ firearm by gun grabbers” to one of the people who have signed up by then to contribute a monthly donation of at least $5 to Brakey’s 2nd District congressional campaign in Maine.

Brakey said the firearms giveaway plan has already bumped up donations and attracted attention to his campaign.

Brakey, who represented Auburn in the state Senate for two terms, is one of three Republicans vying for the chance next year to take on Golden, a first-term Democrat from Lewiston. The other GOP contenders are Adrienne Bennett of Bangor, a former press secretary for Gov. Paul LePage, and Dale Crafts of Lisbon, a former state legislator.

Brakey readily embraces the mantle of an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment.

He said that four years ago he pushed through the constitutional carry law that lets Mainers have guns freely. He insists it is one reason Maine is the safest state.

Cover of Windham Weaponry’s most recent catalogue, featuring a gun similar to the one GOP congressional hopeful Eric Brakey plans to give away next month to a randomly selected campaign donor. Provided

Brakey said that easy access to guns gives ordinary citizens the same ability as criminals to be armed — and that helps convince potential wrongdoers to be wary.

“Washington Democrats are openly calling for banning and confiscating AR-15s,” Brakey said, and Golden “flip-flops whichever way the wind blows. We deserve better.”

“Functionally, there is no difference between an AR-15 and a hunting rifle. If they can take away one, they can take away the other,” Brakey said.

Brakey said he’s getting the AR-15 from Windham Weaponry, a Maine company. It costs about $1,200, he said.

He said he will probably pick a winner during a Facebook Live event after the Nov. 17 deadline to enter.

This story may be updated.


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