Lindsey Graham Talks Background Checks

Presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham, second from right, talks with gun dealers during a campaign stop at the Gun Show in Concord, New Hampshire. photo from

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham may be at the back of the pack of Republican presidential hopefuls these day, but he hasn't given up, appearing at a gun show in New Hampshire on Sunday.

Graham was attending the Gun Show in Concord, checking out some shotguns and talking with gun dealers during the campaign stop in the state that holds the first presidential primary election. The Concord Monitor caught up with him outside the show to ask him about his feelings on gun control and about the shooting at a historic black church in South Carolina in June.

"It altered my view about humanity," Graham said of the incident. "The families of victims in Charleston did a better job representing my state than I ever could have done. They embraced the shooter, they prayed for him, they forgave him and they set South Carolina on a different course. The (Confederate) flag came down because they focused on who we were and tried to bring out the best in my state and we're well on the path to becoming a better state."

Graham holds up a shotgun during a campaign stop at the Gun Show in New Hampshire. photo from

The Concord Monitor reporter asked him specifically about the shooter and gun control, to which he said, "He shouldn't have had a gun to begin with. There are about a million who have been adjudicated to be a danger to themselves and others at the state level, and that adjudication is not in the background system. I'm working with (New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly) Ayotte on legislation to incentivize states to enroll in the federal background system."

Last month, Graham took reporters, including Ashley Parker of the New York Times, along on a predawn skeet shoot during a retreat of Republican donors and operatives. The excursion revealed that firearms were a part of Graham's upbringing.

"Mr. Graham had grown up hunting with his father and his favorite gun had been a gift from his dad on his 16th birthday, a Browning Sweet 16 shotgun," wrote Parker.