California Gov. Calls Semi-Auto Rifles ‘Goddamn Weapons Of Mass Destruction’

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom called the semi-automatic rifle used by the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter a “goddamn weapon of mass destruction,” in a statement Monday.

“You can’t put borders up, speaking of borders, to a neighboring state where you can buy this damn stuff legally,” he said, according to the LA Times, Monday, “How in the hell is that possible? I have no problem with the 2nd Amendment, you have a right to bear arms but not weapons of goddamned mass destruction.”

Newsom’s profanity-laden rant at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center was spurred by the events of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, which left three dead and 11 injured. The weapon the shooter used was outlawed by California’s assault weapons prohibition, but the shooter was easily able to get one in neighboring Nevada, LA Times reported(RELATED: California Town Declares Itself Second Amendment Sanctuary City)

Weapons of mass destruction are defined as explosives, incendiary devices, or poison gases capable of a large amount of destruction. Semi-automatic rifles are not listed in these parameters, an FBI report details.


BOULDER, CO – APRIL 21: Marty Combs openly carries his AR-15 pistol at a pro gun rally on April 21, 2018 in Boulder, Colorado. The city of Boulder is considering enacting an ordinance that will ban the sale and possession of assault weapons in the city. (Photo by Rick T. Wilking/Getty Images)

Newsom also aimed attacks at the National Rifle Association (NRA).

“And we could only do it for our state. We have to fight in the courts and fight these organized National Rifle Association, but then you have an entire party it seems, completely bankrupt, no capacity,” Newsom said in an LA Times report. “And don’t claim to be compassionate if you’re participating complicitly in the world you’re living in. Society becomes how we behave. The lack of resolve, it’s just an outrage.”

Newsom also adds that “California is doing its part,” but the White House stands as an obstacle, according to the LA Times.

“California’s doing its part, but Jesus, these guys, the folks in the White House have been supporting the kinds of policies that roll back the work that we’re doing in states like ours to get rid of large-capacity magazines, to address the issues that we’re trying to advance on background checks,” he adds according to the LA Times.

However, California is home to two of the most violent cities in the U.S. — Stockton (no. 10) and San Bernardino (no. 15), according to 2019 USA Today rankings.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact