© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kobach's Replica Gun At Shawnee Parade Sparks Criticism, City Apology

Kris Kobach
Kris Kobach rode what he calls a "patriotic jeep" through the Old Shawnee Days parade with a machine gun replica mounted on top.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is drawing national scrutiny after he appeared in the Old Shawnee Days parade in Johnson County on Saturday riding in a Jeep with a large machine gun replica mounted on it.

In a tweet after the parade, Kobach called the vehicle a “souped-up Jeep,” and posed with it. The gun appeared to be a .50 caliber machine gun. Kobach said the firearm was a replica.

The City of Shawnee quickly released a statement on Twitter, apologizing and saying the float “in no way” reflected the city’s values.

"Please know that the safety of our residents is always our highest priority, and we apologize if this made anyone feel unsafe or unstettled," the statement said. 

On Sunday, Kobach took to Twitter again to defend himself, calling the negative response to his gun display a “snowflake meltdown” and framing it as an attack on Second Amendment rights.

Chris Reeves, a member of the Democratic National Committee from Kansas, called the gun a “ridiculous weapon” and implied Kobach may have violated federal law by displaying it in public.

Jo Ella Hoye, head of the Kansas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, told The Star that Kobach was "misguided." Moms Demand Action also had a float in the parade.

A now-deleted tweet from the Kansas Division of Emergency Management read "Hey Kris, I think you are a bad guy with a gun. Also, maybe worse, you a dumb guy with a gun."

The Division later claimed on Twitter that its account had been hacked.

Nicolas Telep is KCUR's morning news intern. 

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.