Maine candidate: Fire extinguishers ‘great deterrent’ for guns

Maine candidate: Fire extinguishers ‘great deterrent’ for guns
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A leading Republican contender running to be the next governor of Maine said in a radio interview Monday that teachers could use fire extinguishers to combat an active shooter in a school.

Shawn Moody, a state university system trustee who also ran in 2010, told a radio interviewer he supports gun rights, and that the mental health system and law enforcement had failed to prevent the shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school.

But, he said, instead of passing new restrictions on gun rights, teachers could use fire extinguishers that are already in every school.

“When you think about commonsense things, practical things we could do like, right now, there are fire extinguishers, dry chemical fire extinguishers in every commercial building, school, almost within a hundred feet of wherever you are. And a fire extinguisher can be a great deterrent if somebody gets out of control, or somebody, if anything happens, a teacher, anybody, can break that glass, set the alarm off, grab that chemical fire extinguisher and spray it towards somebody. And I’ll tell you right now that could put them to their knees,” Moody said.

In an email, a top Moody adviser pointed to a number of guides for active shooter scenarios that recommend using items like a fire extinguisher to stop an attacker.

One of the recommendations offered by the Defense Logistics Agency, an arm of the Defense Department, specifically suggests using a fire extinguisher: "Try your best to hit the assailant directly in the eyes or face with a fire extinguisher or other chemicals. If a pot of scalding-hot coffee is available, throw it on the attacker. The bottom line is: BE CREATIVE!"

Moody is one of five Republicans running to replace term-limited Gov. Paul LePage (R). A dozen candidates are running for the Democratic nomination.

--This report was updated at 11:27 a.m.