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Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) revealed on Monday that the nationwide gun confiscation program that he would implement if elected president would not include law enforcement going to the homes of gun owners and seizing their firearms.
“No, I don’t see law enforcement going door to door,” O’Rourke told reporters while at a campaign stop in New Hampshire. “I see Americans complying with the law.”
“I see us working with gun owners, non-gun owners, local, county, state, federal law enforcement to come up with the best possible solution,” he continued. “I have yet to meet an owner of an AR-15 who thinks it is ok that we have these kind of mass killings in this country.”
After facing growing pressure for O’Rourke to drop out of the race in August, the Democratic presidential hopeful instead re-launched his campaign with a focus on his anti-gun platform.
O’Rourke was the first major 2020 Democratic candidate to endorse a federally mandated gun confiscation program for so-called “assault weapons.” A host of his primary challengers, including Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, have followed suit.
“I would expect Americans to comply with the law and we are seeing some good indications that that will be the case,” O’Rourke said. “In Texas, there was a story of a man coming forward and just giving his AR-15 to the police department though he legally purchased it, and legally owns it, and is responsible about its use and care. [He] understands that there’s no reason to have a weapon that’s designed to kill people on the battlefield in his home, and so he gave it to the police department.”
“So, we expect Americans to follow the rules,” he added.
The former Texas congressman has faced massive criticism for what many considered to be a dangerous proposal. While co-hosting “The View,” Meghan McCain warned that a federal gun-grab could lead to violent clashes as Americans fear that they would be losing their right to defend themselves and their families. He swiftly fired back that criticism of his proposal is “not helpful” because it is “self-fulfilling.”
O’Rourke has been vague about how a nationwide gun confiscation program would work in the event that Americans would refuse to voluntarily turn over their firearms to the government.
“How do we enforce any law?” O’Rourke replied when asked the logistics of his plan. “I mean, there’s a significant reliance on people complying with the law.”
“You know, that law is not created in a vacuum, it will have the input of members of Congress who are going to reflect their constituents interests,” he continued. “And, at the end of the day I think we’re going to get to a solution that protects your Second Amendment rights while protecting the lives of everyone in this country. I’m confident America can do it.”
The Democratic presidential hopeful has long advocated for strict gun control measures, such as requiring universal background checks, banning magazines above the standard capacity, opposing conceal carry reciprocity, and banning the sale of “assault weapons,” or what he refers to as “weapons of war.”