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The Latest: Solicitor recuses self from congressman gun case

April 9, 2018

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on a South Carolina congressman who pulled out a loaded handgun during a constituent meeting (all times local):

5 p.m.

A prosecutor who was asked to file charges against a South Carolina congressman who pulled out his own loaded handgun during a constituent meeting is recusing himself from the case.

Solicitor Kevin Brackett said in a letter released to reporters Monday that he couldn’t take the case because of a “personal friendship” with U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman. He said Attorney General Alan Wilson could pursue it if he “deems it appropriate.”

But Brackett also went on to say that he didn’t think Norman broke any laws when he placed a .38-caliber gun on a table during the meeting last week at a Rock Hill restaurant.

Earlier Monday, South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Trav Robertson asked Brackett to bring a felony charge against Norman for unlawfully presenting a firearm.

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1:30 p.m.

The chairman of South Carolina’s Democratic Party says felony charges are appropriate against a congressman who pulled out his own loaded handgun during a meeting with constituents to make a point about gun safety.

Chairman Trav Robertson on Monday asked state police to open an investigation of U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman for placing a .38-caliber gun on a table during a meeting last week at a Rock Hill restaurant.

Norman said he wasn’t going to be “a Gabby Giffords,” referring to the former Arizona congresswoman shot outside a grocery store during a constituent gathering in 2011.

Robertson says a local prosecutor should charge Norman with unlawfully presenting his firearm.

Norman said he’ll display his gun at future constituent meetings. His office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

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