California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) slammed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in a new interview, calling Florida’s new concealed carry law clear evidence Republicans “don’t care about our kids.”
During an interview with MSNBC’s “Inside With Jen Psaki” in Montgomery, Alabama, Newsom told the former White House press secretary: “If they did, they’d ban these damn weapons of war. They would have background checks that require some common damn sense.”
While many are begging leaders to take action against gun violence, DeSantis has moved to make it even easier to carry firearms in the Sunshine State.
Days after three children and three adults were murdered at a Nashville, Tennessee, elementary school in March, DeSantis signed legislation allowing Floridians to carry concealed firearms without a permit.
The Republican, who is reportedly eyeing a 2024 run for president against Donald Trump, celebrated the law in a press release, declaring, “Constitutional Carry is in the books.”
Newsom warned that there would be consequences for taking an action that so many people oppose, saying DeSantis is “scared to death, scared of the people, scared of the public.”
The Democrat added: “I think the majority of NRA members probably oppose that position.”
A March survey from the University of North Florida found that 62% of Republican respondents in the state opposed the concealed carry bill “strongly or somewhat.” Overall, only 21% of Florida respondents indicated support for the measure.
Newsom told Psaki of Republicans, “They claim to care about life when the No. 1 cause of death for our children is guns? It’s shameful.” (In 2021, the CDC reported that 19% of childhood deaths in the U.S. were due to firearms.)
DeSantis and Newsom’s feud is nothing new. The Florida man complained about Democratic strongholds embracing a “woke ideology” during a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, in early March.
Newsom returned the jab while visiting the New College of Florida’s Sarasota campus weeks later.
“Fifty years of progress,” Newsom said. “Fifty years on voting rights, on civil rights, LGBTQ rights, abortion rights, contraceptive rights, all of that at threat, state after state, led by your state and your governor with a zest for demonization and othering people.”
Watch the full interview below. Newsom’s remarks about gun violence begin at the 18-minute mark.