SACRAMENTO -- Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican candidate for governor, on Tuesday likened President Obama to dictators such as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin on the issue of gun control.
The comparison, issued in a tweet, included an image with two rows of portraits. The first one showed George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and others who Donnelly said "stood for gun rights." The second had Obama alongside Hitler, Stalin and King George III as people who "stood for gun control."
Donnelly, a lawmaker from San Bernardino County, has made expansion of gun rights a central part of his platform, aligning himself with advocates who view gun regulations as a dangerous form of government overreach. He's also criticized Neel Kashkari, another Republican gubernatorial candidate, for not having similar views.
In a recent fundraising appeal, Donnelly said Kashkari "wants to trample your rights and seize your guns." Kashkari is a gun owner who has said that a background check and waiting period when purchasing firearms did not bother him.
Although firearms have been a core issue for Donnelly, they've also gotten him into trouble. He was placed on probation for three years after taking a handgun to an airport in January 2012; Donnelly said he had accidentally left it in his briefcase.