A Republican candidate for governor in Maine suggested that teachers who are confronted with school shooters could fight back with fire extinguishers.
Shawn Moody made the comments Monday in an interview with WVOM in Bangor.
"When you think about little commonsense things, practical things, we could do right now, there are fire extinguishers, dry-chemical fire extinguishers, in every commercial building, school, and almost within 100 feet of wherever you are, and a fire extinguisher can be a great deterrent if somebody gets out of control or if anything happens," Moody told the station.
"A teacher, anybody could break that glass, set the alarm off, grab that dry chemical fire extinguisher and spray it towards somebody and I'll tell you right now that could put them to their knees," he suggested.
Maine Democratic Party chair Phil Bartlett called Moody's remarks "deeply out of touch."
"A fire extinguisher is an effective tool for stopping a small fire -- not for stopping a hail of deadly bullets sprayed out of an assault weapon," Bartlett said in a statement. "This is not at all the type of serious leadership that Mainers are looking for in their next governor. Moody's comments demonstrate just how deeply out-of-touch he is with the problem of gun violence in schools and that he's not at all prepared to think through the issue in a thoughtful way, let alone to offer serious policy proposals to protect Maine students."
The Moody campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
GOP consultant Brent Littlefield defended Moody's comments in a series of tweets Tuesday. He highlighted a YouTube video from the LA County Sheriff's office that features advice on how to respond to active shooters, which mentioned using a fire extinguisher, among other recommendations.
"Instead of Democrat activists and their friends attacking @Moody4Gov, maybe they should do a bit of research first," Littlefield tweeted.
In a February survey from the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the 14 leading candidates for governor in Maine were asked about their positions on possible gun safety reforms. Instead of responding to the survey's specific questions, Moody's campaign spokeswoman, Lauren LePage -- daughter of outgoing Maine Gov. Paul LePage -- issued a blanket statement, expressing Moody's support for the Second Amendment.
"As governor, Shawn will always support our constitutional 2nd Amendment rights. There are thousands and thousands of peaceful gun owners in Maine, and Maine has a long history of responsible firearms ownership and safety," the statement said.