California Gov. Gavin Newsom slammed his Florida counterpart Gov. Ron DeSantis for signing a bill allowing permitless carry into law last week, just days after the country’s latest school shooting in Nashville.
“They don’t care about our kids,” Newsom said in an interview that aired Sunday on MSNBC’s “Inside With Jen Psaki.” “Cause if they did, they’d ban these damn weapons of war. They would have background checks that require some common damn sense.”
DeSantis signed the bill in the week after the March 27 mass shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, which led to the deaths of three children and three adults. Since the shootings, protests at the Tennessee Capitol have roiled the state legislature. And Vice President Kamala Harris joined the clarion call, speaking to activists and students Friday at Nashville’s Fisk University.
“Constitutional Carry is in the books,” DeSantis said in a press release after signing the measure.
Newsom sat down with Psaki in Alabama, while on a tour of Republican-led states including Arkansas and Mississippi. Newsom recently announced the launch of a new political action committee called Campaign for Democracy, aimed at calling out red state policies and “authoritarian leaders.”
With Psaki, he lit into DeSantis, a frequent target of his ire who is expected to announce a run for the Republican presidential nomination at the close of Florida’s legislative calendar.
“[He’s] scared to death, scared of the people, scared of the public,” Newsom said. “I think the majority of NRA members probably oppose that position.”
Florida’s new concealed carry law has broad opposition, even from the state’s Republicans, according to a University of North Florida poll from early March: Sixty-two percent of them said they opposed the bill “strongly or somewhat,” to go along with 93% of Democrats and 77% of Independents. Just 21% of respondents indicated support.
“And then they claim to care about life when the No. 1 cause of death for our children is guns? It’s shameful,” Newsom said of DeSantis and his allies. “They’re shameful. And it should shock our souls but it’s becoming so normalized it’s a matter of hours now, not even days.”