Kansas Republican gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach rode in a parade on a jeep mounted with a large replica of a gun, sparking backlash from people attending the event in Shawnee.
The streets of the Kansas City-suburb were lined with families as he made his way through the parade, waving to the crowd from the vehicle painted with the colors of the American flag.
“Had a blast in the Old Shawnee Days Parade in this souped up jeep with a replica gun. Those who want to restrict the right to keep and bear arms are deeply misguided,” Kobach tweeted.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
Kobach, the state’s secretary of state, is facing several candidates, including Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer, in the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.
Following his appearance at the parade celebrating the city’s heritage, city officials and organizers apologized to residents.
“Please know that the safety of our residents is always our highest priority and we apologize if this made anyone feel unsafe or unsettled,” they said in a statement. “We will be taking steps in the future to try to ensure something similar does not happen again.”
They assured residents that Kobach’s float does not represent their views and values. His actions also prompted backlash from residents and gun violence prevention groups.
“Kansas MomsDemand volunteers marched behind Kris Kobach today. Here’s who wasn’t having a blast: Gun violence survivors, children already afraid of gun violence in their schools, educators who teach students to hide in closets from these weapons,” Shannon Watts, a founder of Moms Demand Action, tweeted Saturday.
Kobach has previously made his views on guns known. He held a gun rights rally as students from around the nation joined in the walkout against gun violence in April, CNN affiliate KAKE reported.
“Instead of walking out of class why don’t you stay in class and spend the time studying the history of the Second Amendment. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” Kobach told a crowd outside the state capitol.
Kobach has made national headlines before.
After President Donald Trump won the 2016 election, he appointed him to help lead a voter fraud commission, which was disbanded earlier this year. In April, a federal judge found Kobach in contempt of court for failing to comply with court orders in a case challenging a controversial state proof-of-citizenship voting law.
CNN’s Clare Foran contributed to this report.