Randy Fine 'warns' Biden in posts that critics say threaten President after school shooting

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Florida House Rep. Randy Fine Wednesday sparked controversy and widespread media coverage once again with a pair of social media posts that critics say amounted to threats against President Joe Biden.

"I have news for the embarrassment that claims to be our President — try to take our guns and you’ll learn why the Second Amendment was written in the first place,"  Fine wrote in a Twitter post Wednesday morning.

A nearly identical post on Facebook referred to Biden as "Traitor Joe."

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The posts came after Biden called for action Tuesday night in the wake of an elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two teachers.

Fine (R-Palm Bay) has a long history of incendiary comments that grab state and local headlines, which help to reinforce his reputation as a politically incorrect, conservative firebrand never afraid to fire up his followers on social media.

Supporters and critics flocked to the posts Wednesday, which by noon had amassed over 11,000 comments, with some accusing Fine of threatening the president.

Among them was Eric Swalwell, a Democratic U.S. Congressman from California.

"This MAGA-Republican argues we don’t need violent history checks on firearms by violently threatening the President. This is exactly why we need gun discipline in America," Swalwell wrote.

Fine denied he was seeking media attention with the comments. He also said that the posts were not intended as threats against the president — who Fine accused of making "demands (that) our guns be seized" — but as a warning from history.

"Joe Biden needs to learn a history lesson," Fine said, referencing attempts by the British to seize guns from colonists during the Revolutionary War. "(The colonists) hid what they could and then they fought back."

"The history of our nation is predicated on people being afraid of an overbearing federal government," he added.

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The notion that he was taking advantage of the tragedy to score political points "makes me angry," he said.

"Joe Biden can go on TV and not wait one minute before he blames Republicans and demands our guns be seized. That's apparently 'peace and unity.' We respond and we're riling people up," Fine said. "If the president of the United States wants to politicize a tragedy, he should expect people to get angry in return."

Rep. Randy Fine addresses the audience at a public forum on homeowners insurance in Melbourne.
Rep. Randy Fine addresses the audience at a public forum on homeowners insurance in Melbourne.

In a seven-minute address Tuesday, Biden called on politicians to stand up to gun manufacturers and lobbyists but did not make any specific proposals. He did not call on the government to seize legally owned firearms, but alluded to the 1994 federal "assault weapons" ban, which expired in 2004.

"What in God's name do you need an assault weapon for except to kill someone?" Biden said in the address.

Several commenters who accused Fine of threatening the president tagged federal agencies in responses and reposts, including the FBI and the Secret Service.

"Let me go ahead and tag the @FBI, @CIA and @SecretService to come and scoop you up," wrote Dr. Ebony Jade Hilton, a physician at the University of Virginia and MSNBC contributor.

FLORIDA TODAY has reached out to the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Eric Rogers is a watchdog reporter for FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Rogers at 321-242-3717 or esrogers@floridatoday.com. Follow him on Twitter @EricRogersFT.

Please consider subscribing to FLORIDA TODAY for a limited time offer of $1 for 6 months of unlimited digital access to local news coverage.

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Brevard Rep. Randy Fine denies threatening Biden over gun control