A petition calling for TV host Piers Morgan to be deported from the US following his outspoken comments on gun control has attracted more than 73,000 signatures.
Morgan last week lambasted pro-gun guests on his show, after the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman shot dead 26 people, including 20 children.
The CNN host provoked the fury of gun rights activists when he interviewed Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt, in the wake of the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and said to him: "You're an unbelievably stupid man, aren't you?
"You have absolutely no coherent argument. You don't actually give a damn about the gun murder rate in America."
Following the interview, a petition was posted on the White House website claiming that Morgan, 47, "is engaged in a hostile attack against the US Constitution by targeting the Second Amendment".
"We demand that Mr. Morgan be deported immediately for his effort to undermine the Bill of Rights and for exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens," the petition said.
US citizens can file a petition on the White House website, whitehouse.gov, if they collect at least 25,000 signatures within 30 days. The White House is then obliged to issue a response.
Morgan, 47, a former newspaper editor in London, shot back at his critics on Twitter. He repeated his past calls for the United States to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and conduct background checks on all gun purchases.
"I don't care about a petition to deport me. I do care about poor NY firefighters murdered/injured with an assault weapon today. £GunControlNow," Morgan tweeted on Monday, referring to a shooting in New York that killed three people, including the gunman.
Christa Robinson, a CNN spokeswoman, said the network had no immediate comment on the petition.
Publicist Howard Bragman, vice chairman of Reputation.com, said the controversy will get Morgan attention that may translate into higher ratings and wouldn't harm his reputation.
"A lot of it comes from his being British, he's seen the differences between the U.S. and UK, he's passionate and authentic in taking this issue on, and it's probably only going to help him attract more people to his show," Bragman, told Reuters.
More than 73,000 people have signed the petition, which hit the 25,000-signature threshold to get a White House response.
Morgan joked on Twitter: "If I do get deported from America for wanting fewer gun murders, are there any other countries that will have me?"