(WMC-TV) - A Tennessee candidate for Congress is standing by Facebook comments he made about gun ownership and President Barack Obama.
As he runs for a seat in Congress, Staats is working on name recognition and he is getting a lot of it lately following a controversial Facebook post.
The post said, "Many people keep asking me about my opinion on Second Amendment rights. Apparently Tennesseans are part of that crazy crowd that Obama says cling to their religion and guns. Well then I must be part of that crazy crowd. Here is something that I usually have with me. Welcome to Tennessee Mr. Obama where we appreciate our Amendment rights and the constitution that was wisely given to us by our founding fathers."
Now, he is defending his decision to announce his stance on gun rights.
"I'm going to say what I mean and mean what I say and I want Tennesseans and Americans to know that I'm not going to back up on what I say," said Staats. "I do want President Obama to know, as well as the rest of Congress and everyone else regarding our constitutional, rights don't tread on America's constitution."
And Staats went on to say, "I think that your liberties, your life can be defended by the proper instructed use of a handgun."
He said the Facebook post was never meant to be an attack on the president but it is in reference to the recently passed U.N. Small Arms Treaty.
Staats said his strong stance on handguns stems from the trauma his mother suffered during an attack.
"She would have either been raped or murdered had she not had a handgun in her car. She actually got ran off a road and it was obvious she was getting ready to be assaulted," he explained.
Staats is challenging U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper in November.