POLITICS

Nevada Lawmaker Defends 'Young, Hot Little Girls' Comment About Allowing Guns At Colleges

FILE - In this June 3, 2013, file photo,  Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, R-Las Vegas, works in committee during the fina
FILE - In this June 3, 2013, file photo, Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, R-Las Vegas, works in committee during the final day of the 77th Legislative session at the Legislative Building in Carson City, Nev. Taxation Committee Chairwoman Michele Fiore broke her weeklong silence about dozens of tax liens filed against her and her companies, saying an unnamed employee who stole from her and systematically deceived her accountant was at the root of the problem. Fiore, a sophomore Republican lawmaker and Assembly majority leader, told conservative radio host Alan Stock on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, that she has addressed the issue. She also argued that her experience working with the IRS though the resolution process is a reason she should retain her leadership on the tax committee. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison, File)

A Nevada state legislator who is sponsoring a bill that would allow college students to carry concealed guns on campus has been put on the defensive over her comment that potential perpetrators of sexual assault would be deterred "if these young, hot little girls have a firearm."

Republican Assemblywoman Michele Fiore released a statement Wednesday clarifying her remarks following the publication of a New York Times report about the push in multiple state legislatures to pass such legislation.

“That may not be the most eloquent way to phrase it,” Fiore wrote in the statement. “However, I stand wholeheartedly by that sentiment because I want every citizen, whether they’re on a college campus or not, to have the right to defend him or herself from sexual assault.”

Nine states allow concealed carry on college campuses, albeit with some restrictions.

In the Times story, Fiore suggested that "the sexual assaults that are occurring would go down once these sexual predators get a bullet in their head," as Republican legislators appear to be using heightened awareness of how higher education institutions address gender-based violence to further their advocacy of gun rights.

Gun control advocates have linked the push to allow concealed carry based on a sexual assault prevention justification with the firearms industry's recent attempts to appeal more broadly to women and young people, arguing it is motivated by profits rather than safety. Opponents of campus concealed carry legislation have pointed out that since an estimated two-thirds of sexual assault incidents occur between people who already know each other, the bills are unlikely to reduce the rate of sexual assaults. And, since such incidents often follow alcohol or drug consumption, gun possession could make for a combustible situation.

Studies have found that purchasing a firearm provides limited protection against homicide and actually increases the risk of being murdered by a partner, as ThinkProgress noted in 2013.

Since Republicans control both chambers of the Nevada state legislature, as well as the governorship, Fiore's bill is seen as having a good chance at passage.

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