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Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, the Democratic candidate for U.S. senator, tweeted in July 2013 that he “could not care less about a 2nd Amendment ‘right.’ Bear arms all you wish, but you should pay for your mishandling.” Other tweets written minutes later reveal that he was reacting to the acquittal that day of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. “Our own individual liberties should never be able to trump another’s life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness,” Barnes wrote.

Barnes said in a May 2022 interview that he believed that “we can respect the Second Amendment” while increasing “common-sense” gun control measures including universal background checks. 

As a state representative, Barnes advocated for gun control measures, including waiting periods and strengthened background checks and has continued to do so as lieutenant governor.  


Mandela Barnes: Tweet from July 14, 2013. 9:17 p.m. CDT.

Mandela Barnes: Tweet from July 14, 2013. 9:22 p.m. CDT.

Mandela Barnes: Tweet from July 14, 2013. 9:22 p.m. CDT.

Channel 3000: For the Record: Interview with Mandela Barnes on gun control

Giffords: Mandela Barnes

Wisconsin State Legislature: Mandela Barnes legislative record

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Jacob Alabab-Moser / Wisconsin WatchFact Checker

Jacob Alabab-Moser joined as Wisconsin Watch’s fact checker in September 2022, as part of the effort by The Gigafact Project in partnership with different state-level news outlets to combat misinformation in the 2022 midterm elections. Jacob has several years of experience as a fact checker and research assistant at a variety of organizations, including at The Gigafact Project. He holds a BA from Brown University and is pursuing a MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.