A statement that Assemblywoman and Congressional candidate Michele Fiore made in an interview with Politics NOW’s Steve Sebelius is at the center of a growing controversy.
“I would never, ever point my firearm at anyone, including an officer of the law, unless they pointed their firearm at me. Now, once you point your firearm at me, I’m sorry, then it becomes self-defense,” she said on Politics NOW last month. “Whether you’re a stranger, a bad guy, or an officer, and you point your gun at me, and you’re going to shoot me, and I have to decide whether it’s my life or your life, well, I choose my life.”
The Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers (NAPSO) slammed Fiore for that comment in a letter to the Assemblywoman Thursday.
The group, which represents 21 law enforcement agencies and divisions, wrote, “These comments were utterly irresponsible, an embarrassment to your District and our State, and they continue to demonstrate why you are unqualified to hold the position of United States Congresswoman.”
“I was appalled,” said NAPSO Executive Director Rick McCann. “Michele, what are you thinking to even suggest in any way, shape or form, to even imply that it would be a valid course of conduct for a citizen to point a weapon at a law enforcement officer?”
Fiore is swinging back.
“If their leaders want to take a personal jab at me politically, bring it, and bring it all day long,” she said.
She claims she was referring to agents from the Bureau of Land Management during the high profile standoff in Bunkerville two years ago, which was discussed moments before Politics NOW co-host Steve Sebelius asked, “We don’t have a First or Second Amendment right, do we, to point a weapon at a duly authorized law enforcement officer who’s just out there doing his job, right?”
Thursday, Fiore responded to the letter from NAPSO.
“They can take the paper they printed it on, and he can use it in his restroom,” she said.
“Quite candidly, we’ve had enough of watching Michele and her behavior and some of the things she has stood for,” McCann said.
Support from law enforcement could help Fiore’s political ambitions; she is seeking Nevada’s District Three Congressional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Fiore, however, claims she doesn’t need NAPSO’s support.
The Republican primary takes place June 14. Early voting starts Saturday.
One of the Republicans running for the same seat, Dr. Annette Teijeiro, released a statement in response, saying, “Everyone should respect and work in collaboration with all First Responders, which include law enforcement, for the safety of our communities.”
The hotly contested primary also includes: Kerry Bowers, Sami Khal, Andy Matthews, Michael Roberson, and Danny Tarkanian.