Did Rep. Debbie Lesko say she would shoot her grandchildren? Here's what she said and how she responded

Tara Kavaler
Arizona Republic
Representative Debbie Lesko speaks to supporters before a press conference on Nov. 5, 2020, at Arizona Republican Party headquarters in Phoenix.

Rep. Debbie Lesko responded on Twitter on Wednesday after a gaffe she made last month on the House floor went viral on social media.

In her floor remarks, Lesko, R-Ariz., said she would do anything to safeguard her grandchildren, including "shooting them." 

"It never ceases to amaze me the lengths gun control zealots will go! They turned my speech about protecting Second Amendment rights and my right to protect my grandchildren from violent criminals into a claim I would harm my own grandchildren," Lesko tweeted. "Absolutely ridiculous!"

On June 9, Lesko spoke out against H.R. 2377, which would establish a national "red flag law," which would allow authorities to take guns from people who are deemed to be threats to themselves and others.

"I would do anything, anything to protect my five grandchildren, including, as a last resort, shooting them if I had to to protect the lives of my grandchildren," she said in a clip posted to C-SPAN. 

The comment had generated 14.9 thousand tweets as of Wednesday evening, per Twitter's "trending" column.

Lesko used the same talking point in a video uploaded the same day on her YouTube Channel, albeit with a different ending regarding her grandchildren. 

"I have five grandchildren and I would do anything to protect my grandchildren including, as a last resort, shooting the killer because that's what a grandmother does."

Lesko represents an Arizona congressional district that includes Peoria and Surprise.

Tara Kavaler is a politics reporter at The Arizona Republic. She can be reached by email at or on Twitter @kavalertara.