Josh Kaul

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul accused Republicans of chasing conspiracy theories with a $680,000 taxpayer-funded investigation into the 2020 election.

Kaul said Thursday that Republicans instead should pass a pair of laws designed to reduce gun violence.

Kaul, a Democrat who is up for reelection next year, appeared with a host of Democratic lawmakers and gun safety advocates at a news conference to renew the call for a universal background check and “red flag” law. Both have been repeatedly rejected by Republicans who control the state Legislature.

Republicans have ordered investigations into the 2020 election won by President Joe Biden. Kaul said instead of spending money on that, Kaul said that Republicans should instead “address real issues Wisconsinites are actually focused on.”

Republican legislative leaders, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Two Republicans are running to challenge Kaul next year, University of Wisconsin professor Ryan Owens and Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney, Neither of their campaigns immediately returned messages seeking comment.

Under the “red flag” law, judges could seize guns from people deemed to be a danger by courts. The background check proposal is designed to require background checks for nearly all gun sales, including online or at a gun show.