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South Dakota governor says 1-year-old granddaughter has guns

South Dakota governor says 1-year-old granddaughter has guns
Posted at 11:08 AM, Apr 17, 2023

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is facing backlash after saying her one-year-old granddaughter already has guns.

Speaking at the annual National Rifle Association convention Friday in Indiana, Gov. Noem talked about her early exposure to weapons as a young girl and said her granddaughter "is set up" to follow in her footsteps.

"Now Addie, who you know — soon will need them. I want to reassure you, she already has a shotgun and she already has a rifle," Noem told the crowd. "And she's got a little pony named Sparkles too, so the girl is set up."

Noem also took time during her 24-minute speech to sign an executive order that blocks state agencies from contracting with banks that discriminate against firearm-related industries.

"This Executive Order will protect the God-given right to keep and bear arms from being infringed upon by financial institutions," Noem said. "South Dakota is setting the standard for the most Second Amendment-friendly state in the nation. But it’s not just the media and big government that are attacking our rights. Now, we have seen banking institutions go after law-abiding gun owners. Well, not on my watch. I won’t stand for it, not in South Dakota."

While statements supporting the Second Amendment aren't anything new at NRA events, it was Noem's comment about "little Miss Addie" that drew criticism online.

"Absolutely sickening. How the hell is this real life in America?" Tennessee Democrat Chris D. Jackson tweeted in response to a clip of the governor's speech.

While it's unknown whether Noem's granddaughter already has access to weapons, it's speculated that she likely meant they will be available when the toddler is old enough to begin learning about gun safety. 

Nonetheless, her comments come in the wake of yet another mass shooting involving children, after six people — including three nine-year-old students — were killed at a Nashville Christian school last month.

SEE MORE: Nashville school shooting victims are remembered at a solemn vigil