Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tried to tout his home state’s hands-off approach to gun control as a solution to crime. Instead, he received a blunt reminder of South Carolina’s rising crime rates via a fact-check provided by Michael Steele, former chair of the Republican National Committee.

Graham went on Fox News on Monday to attack crime in “big Democratic cities and states,” then suggested it was not a problem in South Carolina because of all the guns.

“If you do this crap in South Carolina, you’ll be lucky if you go to jail,” Graham said. “You’ll be lucky if someone doesn’t shoot you.”

Graham also blamed crime on a lack of deterrence in some places.

“People no longer feel afraid to assault someone in the streets,” he said, then suggested that South Carolina kept its crime rates down because people were deterred by all the gun owners.

Steele pointed out why that was not the case:

Umm Senator perhaps you should speak with your State Law Enforcement Division before jawboning about South Carolina shooting people as a deterrence to violent crime: The murder rate went up around 25% in 2020; aggravated assault went up around 9% in 2020.

— Michael Steele (@MichaelSteele) July 27, 2021

Over the past five years, murders in South Carolina were up by 51 percent, the South Carolina’s State Law Enforcement Division said last month.

Graham also attacked California in his Fox News interview, even though CDC statistics showed that South Carolina had more than double the homicide rate and nearly three times the firearm injury death rate per 100,000 people. According to FBI data compiled by US News, South Carolina even had some of the highest rates in the nation of property crime and violent crime.

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