Former President Donald Trump did not purchase a handgun on Monday, despite what his campaign said shortly after he visited a gun store in South Carolina.
Trump was shown a weapon that had his face embossed on the grip and he said he would like to purchase the gun — a handgun made by firearms manufacturer Glock Inc., The New York Times reported.
A spokesman for the former president’s 2024 presidential campaign posted a video on Monday showing him at a gun shop in Summerville, South Carolina, declaring that Trump had just purchased the gun.
“President Trump buys a @GLOCKInc in South Carolina!” his spokesman, Steven Cheung, wrote in his post. The video showed Trump posing with a man holding the gun. A voice can be heard saying, “That’s a big seller.”
Within two hours of the video being posted on social media, it was deleted, the Times reported. Cheung issued a statement saying, “President Trump did not purchase or take possession of the firearm. He simply indicated that he wanted one.”
When the video was initially posted, debate broke out over whether Trump could even purchase a weapon since he is under indictment, The Associated Press reported.
Under 18 U.S.C. 922, a federal gun law, it is illegal for merchants to sell firearms to people who are under indictment for crimes carrying sentences of more than a year. However, the statute does not appear to prohibit anyone under indictment from buying or possessing weapons.
In all, Trump faces 91 felonies in four indictments, 40 felonies in the classified documents case alone. The most serious charge carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison in that case.
If a person is indicted and facing more than a year in prison, they are also barred from shipping or receiving any weapons that have crossed state lines.
A 2022 Supreme Court decision created new standards for firearm restrictions and some judges have declared the measure unconstitutional, according to the AP.
A federal appeals court is currently considering a challenge to the law.