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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
A Republican candidate for Congress is standing by his recent Facebook post that included a picture of his handgun and the words "Welcome to Tennessee Mr. Obama."
Brad Staats made the post on his fan page Sept. 28. He is trying to unseat Democrat Jim Cooper, who currently represents Tennessee's fifth district in Nashville.
The post reads, "Apparently Tennesseans are part of that crazy crowd that Obama says 'cling to their religion and guns.' Well, then I must be part of that crazy crowd. Here is something that I usually have with me." The update includes a picture of a silver Colt 1911.
The post closes, "Welcome to Tennessee Mr. Obama, where we appreciate our 2nd Amendment rights and the Constitution that was wisely given to us by our founding fathers."
While Staats said he talks a lot about the economy on the campaign trail, he said some voters had asked about his position on the Second Amendment.
"I thought if I put that out there, people would know exactly where I stand," he said.
Some people have interpreted the inclusion of Obama's name as a threat to the president, but Staats said it's not the case.
"It was definitely not meant as a threat against President Obama. The most dangerous thing I have against President Obama is my vote," he said.
In fact, Staats said the post was in reference to a United Nations small arms treaty and how he believes Tennesseans feel about their gun rights.
"There's 300,000 licensed gun carriers in Tennessee, and we want to keep our rights," he said.
What has surprised Staats the most is the reaction. He said he has taken calls from national news organizations and the National Rifle Association.
He has also gained quite a few new "likes"on his Facebook page and said the response has been mostly positive.
"I've been surprised that people have not been more worried about jobs and the economy. That would be my first response," he said.
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