draw fire

Encounter criticism, as in His recent article was bound to draw fire. This expression uses the verb draw in the sense of “attract” or “provoke,” and transfers fire in the sense of “gunfire” to a somewhat milder attack.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.