NEW YORK (AP) - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, whose pro-gun stance has attracted criticism from fellow New York Democrats, has moved two rifles she kept under her bed for protection because of news reports about the weapons.
In a Newsday interview published earlier Monday, Gillibrand said she and her husband, Jonathan, kept the rifles to protect their upstate New York home. The couple has two young children.
Gillibrand spokesman Matt Canter told the newspaper in a story posted on the its Web site Monday evening that the rifles were removed for security reasons because their location had been reported. Gillibrand representatives didn't immediately return a telephone call from The Associated Press on Monday evening.
Canter said the rifles were not loaded and the Gillibrands follow gun-safety procedures. He would not say if they kept ammunition nearby.
Gillibrand was a little-known second-term congresswoman from a rural Republican district when she was tapped by Gov. David Paterson to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
As a member of the House, she had earned a 100 percent rating from the National Rifle Association.
The day her appointment was announced, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy threatened a 2010 primary challenge. She was elected to Congress after her husband was killed and her son wounded in a shooting rampage on a Long Island Rail Road train in 1993.
Gillibrand has said that her views are broadening as she moves from representing one rural district to the entire state. She has said she would work to fight gun violence while still protecting hunters' rights.
Gillibrand told Newsday that while she and her husband don't hunt, her mother, brother and father do.
"I grew up in a house where my mom owns about eight guns," she said. "She keeps them in a gun case."
Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com