Wisconsin Republican gubernatorial candidate and construction executive Tim Michels slammed “red flag laws” on Friday, saying that they were “unconstitutional.”
Michels made the comments during a Friday evening televised debate in Madison against Governor Tony Evers (D-WI), who expressed support for red flag laws and universal background checks at the debate.
“We need to make sure that we uphold the Constitution and that law abiding gun owners are not having their guns confiscated. I will be there for responsible gun owners,” Michels said after calling red flag laws a “slippery slope.”
Evers called red flag laws and universal background checks “reasonable” proposals, before claiming that “responsible gun owners don’t have to worry about red flag laws because it will never be an issue for them.”
While answering a previous question on crime in the Badger State, Michels said the Left’s answer to violence was to just take away guns.
“The Left always just wants to take away guns and thinks that’s the problem. I am responsible gun owner; I will protect your Second Amendment rights,” Michels said.
The two candidates, who are in a tight race that could come down to the wire, also clashed over abortion and education during their first general election debate.
Michels, who said he “make[s] no apologies” for being pro-life, said he supported Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban, but would back exceptions for rape and incest. Evers, who sought and failed to have the Republican-led state legislature repeal the ban over the summer, wants abortion protected by state law.
On education, the Trump-backed Michels has supported universal school choice policies, while Evers wants more funding for public schools.
In statements following the debate, Michels team said Evers had failed as governor, while Evers called his Republican challenger “extreme.”
“This election is a referendum on Tony Evers’ tired, old leadership that has freed violent criminals, shut down our state economy, and failed our students,” said Patrick McNulty, Michels’ campaign manager.
Evers’ campaign manager Cassi Fenili said that Michels had “staked out the most extreme positions possible, with the goal of dividing our state and pitting neighbors against one another.”
The Wisconsin’s governor race has mirrored the state’s Senate race, where Democrat candidates have doubled down on abortion while Republicans focus on crime and inflation. A poll from Marquette Law School found Evers and Michels neck and neck with less than a month before the election.
The poll found Evers with 47% of likely voters in Wisconsin while Michels had 46%.