UPDATE: Marilyn Manson has issued a statement regarding the performance via Variety.
"In an era where mass shootings have become a nearly daily occurrence, this was an act of theater in an attempt to make a statement about how easily accessible semi-automatic weapons are and how seeing them has become normalized," Manson said. "My art has always been a reaction to popular culture and my way to make people think about the horrible things that happen in this world.
"My performance was not meant to be disrespectful or show any insensitivity. The prop microphone I used on stage was handed to me with the approval of a police officer. My empathy goes out to anyone who has been affected by the irresponsible and reprehensible misuse of REAL guns," he concluded.
Playing his first show with new bassist Juan Alderete (the Mars Volta), following the recent departure of Jeordie White (a.k.a. Twiggy Ramirez), Marilyn Manson has sparked yet another controversy by pulling a fake gun on the crowd during his Knotfest performance yesterday (November 5th) in San Bernardino, California — a city that suffered one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history less than two years prior, in December 2015. Near the end of his headlining set at the Glen Helen Amphitheater — which marked his return to the stage after being crushed by a falling stage prop at a show last September — the shock rocker brandished a model rifle and pretended to spray the audience with imaginary bullets, while a stagehand dressed in medical garb wheeled him around the stage. The provocative act came during his rendition of "WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE," the lead single off his new album Heaven Upside Down, which was accompanied by a firearms-heavy music video. Check out footage above via TMZ. (Make sure to lower the volume first — the audio is very loud and blown out.)