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Rand Paul Says He And Half His Staff Members Carry Rifles, Elaborates On Appropriate Use Of Lethal Force

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RAND PAUL RIFLE
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) admitted Thursday morning that he and "half" of his staff carry rifles. (AP Photo/James Crisp) | AP
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In a Thursday morning discussion about the U.S. government's right to use lethal force against its own citizens, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) revealed that he carries around his own lethal weapon.

"I'm not talking about people who are carrying a rifle around -- that would be half of the South, myself included, and half of my staff," Paul said, with a hint of humor, on Glenn Beck's radio show Thursday.

He clarified that all weapons should not be viewed equally; while he argued guns are just fine, other weapons might rightfully draw a stronger government response.

"If you're just carrying a bomb into a building ... you're bringing lethal force," Paul said. "You don't have to even have your finger on the button. You can eliminate someone who's carrying a bomb, carrying a weapon. There's all kinds of things that can be done."

The Kentucky senator spent nearly 13 hours Wednesday and into Thursday filibustering the nomination of John Brennan to lead the CIA, in part because he hoped to force the Obama administration to say whether or not it believes the president has the power to carry out drone strikes on citizens within the United States.

On Beck's radio program Thursday, Paul described a specific situation in which it would be appropriate to use lethal force against an American citizen on U.S. soil.

"I am talking about if you've been investigating a group and obviously [if] you see them going into the World Trade Center basement with a bomb, lethal force can be used at many stages," he said.

Paul has a history of supporting gun rights and hasn't been shy in the past about his own use of firearms. In June 2010, while campaigning for his Senate seat, Paul went to a gun show in Louisville and shot automatic weapons, WDRB reported at the time.

In January, Paul proposed legislation to nullify every one of the 23 executive actions on gun control that President Barack Obama ordered in response to the shooting in Newtown, Conn. In the wake of the Newtown massacre, Paul also suggested teachers and principals should carry firearms in order to protect students.

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