POLITICS
02/19/2013 06:40 pm ET

Joe Heck Walks Back Suggestion That Gabrielle Giffords Was Used As A 'Prop' For Gun Control Advocates

Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) on Tuesday was forced to clarify earlier comments in which he appeared to agree that former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) had been used during President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech as a "prop" for gun control advocates.

During an interview between the congressman and Alan Stock of KDWN, the conservative radio host called it "nauseating" that Obama had specifically invoked Giffords -- who is still recovering from a devastating gunshot wound to the head suffered during a mass shooting in 2011 -- as a reason to bring gun control legislation to a vote in Congress.

She "can't even clap her hands," Stock said. "I think that is just a shameful act by putting her up there as a prop. I'm sorry, I really did."

Heck seconded Stock's claim.

"I agree," he responded. "In the cloud of emotion that's surrounding the unfortunate incident in Connecticut that those that are anti-gun want to use that as their opportunity to try to limit our Second Amendment rights."

Heck later attempted to walk back the claim in a statement to Nevada reporter Jon Ralston.

"My statement was in reference to the idea of gun control grab coming out of Washington DC," he said. "Of course there is no way that I think that Gabby Giffords is a prop. ... Should I have come to her defense? You know, in a fast-moving interview, in retrospect, I should have said something but I didn't. I was just looking to get past that and talk about gun control in general."

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:

PHOTO GALLERIES
Gabrielle Giffords' Road To Recovery
Subscribe to the Politics email.
How will Trump’s administration impact you?

CONVERSATIONS