Republican Gov. Doug Ducey called on California Gov. Jerry Brown late Saturday to retract remarks in which he said Arizona and Nevada gun laws provide a “back door” for terrorists.
Brown, a Democrat, made the statements, published by the Sacramento Bee, while in Paris for climate talks, a trip he delayed by a day but took following the San Bernardino shooting attacks that left 14 people dead. According to the newspaper, Brown said that “wide open” gun laws in Arizona and Nevada provide a “gigantic back door through which any terrorist can walk.”
Ducey chastised Brown for his remarks, saying Arizonans mourn for the victims in the attacks.
“To politicize a tragedy of this magnitude and use it as an opportunity to attack our state is out of bounds,” a statement from Ducey read. “Not only will we be ignoring Gov. Brown’s advice, but I call on him to retract his incredibly thoughtless and ill-advised comments.”
Brown, when asked if more stringent gun control laws were needed following the attacks, told the Bee: “California has some of the toughest gun control laws of any state. And Nevada and Arizona are wide open, so that’s a gigantic back door through which any terrorist can walk.”
Arizona has some of the most lenient gun laws in the country. It is one of seven states that allows gun owners who qualify to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, a provision which became law in 2010, according to handgunlaw.us, a website that tracks firearms legislation.
Despite Brown’s remarks, the weapons used in the San Bernardino massacre were purchased [legally] from gun dealers in San Diego and Corona within the past three years, a federal official, who is not authorized to comment publicly, told USA TODAY.