SC GOP rep pulls gun out at meeting with voters, democrats call for investigation

The South Carolina Democrat Party wants state police to open an investigation into U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman after the congressman pulled out a gun during a meet and greet in Rock Hill last week. 

Norman (R-SC), pulled out a .38 caliber handgun Friday during a meet and greet event with voters at the Rock Hill Diner. It happened when Norman, who has a concealed carry permit, was confronted about gun violence. 

The congressman said the point was to show that guns alone are not the problem, but that mental illness and a lack of morality is where it starts. 

He went on to tell FOX 46 that he offers no apologies.

"So I took it out, I laid in on the table safely. This wasn't done maliciously," the congressman told FOX 46. "I know I didn't break any laws. Let them investigate all they want."

FOX 46 spoke with several of Norman's constituents, on and off camera, who are split on his show and tell tactic.  

"It's inappropriate," said one constituent. "Gun ownership is not about showing them." 

But Norman's supporters are coming to his defense.

One person writing on his Facebook page,"I agree with you. Guns are not the problem. We have too many with mental issues and feeling entitled."

A second writing "Good job."

A third, "Thank you so much Ralph for standing up to our second amendment rights."

Jim Thompson, the York County Democratic Chair and concealed weapons permit holder himself, calls Norman's actions irresponsible.

"You don't use your firearm as a prop," he told FOX 46. "When you put your gun on the table like that, someone could easily have grabbed it. It was a dangerous, outrageous political stunt."

State solicitor Kevin Bracket tells FOX 46 that he won't investigate the gun incident due to his personal friendship with Norman. He also said he feels there was no criminal intent involved.