Mike Lee ripped a gun safety group for fundraising off of the Texas school shooting. Lee’s campaign has used fears about gun control to fundraise.

Lee’s campaign has run several ads on social media promoting his pro-Second Amendment stance.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) U.S. Sen. Mike Lee attacked a pro-gun control group for sending a fundraising email following a school shooting in Texas. Lee's campaign has used fear of gun control to fundraise on social media several times.

Sen. Mike Lee leveled harsh criticism toward the pro-gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety for sending out an email asking for support following Tuesday’s shooting at a Texas elementary school that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

On Wednesday, Lee brought up the Everytown email during his turn questioning President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Steve Dettelbach.

“Everytown’s fundraising email attempts to play on the emotions of those whose lives have been ripped apart by this tragic shooting,” Lee said, asking Dettelbach if he would disavow the group which has endorsed his nomination.

“Are you willing to disavow their shameless immediate fundraising after the Texas tragedy, just hours after this tragedy occurred?”

Dettelbach said he was unaware of the email that upset Lee and could not comment.

“I want to repeat and promise you, as ATF director, politics have absolutely no place in law enforcement. I don’t view this as a Democrat or Republican issue. I view it as an opportunity to work together to make things better,” Dettelbach replied.

“I do think it’s unfortunate that they’re doing this literally hours after the shooting. I don’t think that’s too difficult to disavow, but you’re apparently not inclined to do that,” Lee said.

Lee has a history of using fears about gun control in his fundraising efforts.

In April, Lee ran a Facebook ad attempting to paint independent U.S. Senate candidate Evan McMullin as soft on gun rights.

“Evan McMullin on gun control,” the ad reads. “Now: Supports expanded background checks. Then” ‘Our 2nd Amendment rights must be protected.’ Which Evan McMullin can you trust?”

The ad ran for a week and was seen by approximately 50,000 people.

In March and April of 2021, Lee’s campaign ran a trio of Facebook ads showing the silhouette of what appears to be a hunter holding a shotgun with the title “Support the Second Amendment.”

The messages on the ads differ, but the consistent theme is that the Second Amendment is for citizens to check the federal government’s power, which is also the reasoning behind the three separate branches of government established in the Constitution.

Lee’s first ad says the Second Amendment allows citizens to protect each other because “government can’t be everywhere, all the time.” It then explains the other reason for the Second Amendment is so citizens can protect themselves from a “government that tried to be everywhere, all the time.”

A second ad suggests the Second Amendment is for citizens to protect themselves because the police and government are not infallible. The third ad says nothing about the Second Amendment but warns against government surveillance.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign arm of Senate Republicans, ran a fundraising ad earlier this year on behalf of Lee, warning, “In Joe Biden’s America, our gun rights are under ASSAULT!” complete with gun emojis.