The Michigan Republican Party is facing bipartisan backlash over social media posts Wednesday that tied recently passed gun bills to the Holocaust.
The firestorm started when the state GOP posted a photo showing wedding rings that had been removed from Holocaust victims, embossed with the words, “Before they collected all these wedding rings … they collected all the guns.”
On Twitter, the state party wrote that history “has shown us that the first thing a government does when it wants total control over its people is to disarm them.”
In its Facebook post, the party added that "no good can come from a disarmed population" and argued against what it called "unconstitutional red flag laws."
Several Jewish lawmakers sharply criticized the posts, some of them calling for them to be taken down.
Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., who last month announced a Senate bid, urged the party to delete and apologize for the tweet, which she said ignorantly compared gun safety "to the mass extermination of 6 million people."
Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., called the posts "inexcusable."
“We must continue to make bipartisan progress on gun safety like we did last Congress — not trivialize the Holocaust by making ignorant, insulting, and incorrect comparisons,” he tweeted.
Matt Brooks, the CEO of the Washington-based Republican Jewish Coalition, called the posts "absolutely inappropriate and offensive" and said they should be removed immediately.
Kristina Karamo, the Michigan Republican chair, defended the posts in a statement.
"Our 2nd Amendment was put in place to protect us from aspiring tyrants," she said. "MIGOP stands by our statement."
The Michigan Republican Party did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment Wednesday night.
The Michigan Senate recently approved a package of new gun laws along party lines that included “red flag” laws, safe storage requirements and universal background checks.
Parts of the Senate-passed package are still making their way through the Legislature.
Last year, President Joe Biden signed into law the most significant changes to gun statutes in three decades, with provisions for red flag laws and background checks that included juvenile records.