An Arizona rancher and Republican congressional candidate said during a primary debate Saturday that the vast majority of mass shootings in the United States are committed by Democrats.
“If you look at all the fiascos that have occurred, 99 percent of them have been by Democrats pulling their guns out and shooting people,” Gary Kiehne, who is running for the state's 1st U.S. Congressional District, said during Saturday's GOP primary in Florence, Arizona. “So I don’t think you have a problem with the Republicans.”
When asked how he would protect gun rights, Kiehne, a hotel owner and member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, said he probably owns more guns and ammunition than any of his fellow candidates ("I'm from the country; it's a long ways to town to buy ammo," he said) and that "everyone should own a gun."
The Arizona Daily Star posted audio of Kiehne's remarks on its website. About 60 people attended the debate, the newspaper said.
Kiehne's campaign office did not immediately return requests for comment.
Kiehne is running against Arizona State Rep. Adam Kwasman and House Speaker Andy Tobin in the Aug. 26 primary election. The winner of the primary faces incumbent Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat.
Arizona's 1st Congressional District, the largest in the state, does not include Tucson, where in 2011 a gunman opened fire, killing six people and wounding 13 others, including then-Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
The Democratic congresswoman suffered a gunshot wound to the head in what prosecutors say was an assassination attempt.