Beto O’Rourke called Friday for gun licensing and a mandatory buyback program for assault weapons, expanding on a controversial gun control platform he advanced in his return to the presidential campaign the previous day.
Part of a proposal to address gun violence and white nationalism, O’Rourke said that, if enacted, anyone who failed to forfeit a banned assault weapon would be fined.
The mandatory buyback proposal goes further than most Democrats in the 2020 presidential field, though Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has suggested she supports such a program.
In addition to banning assault weapons and requiring their forfeiture, O’Rourke said he would work to implement a voluntary buyback program for handguns. He proposed increasing the excise tax on gun manufacturers and fines on gun traffickers to fund buybacks.
The proposal comes nearly two weeks after O’Rourke paused his campaign following a mass shooting at a Walmart in his hometown of El Paso, Texas. The former congressman returned to the campaign on Thursday with a blistering speech blaming President Donald Trump for instigating acts of racism and violence.
“I’m confident that if at this moment, we do not wake up to this threat,” he said in a speech in El Paso, “then we as a country will die in our sleep.”
O’Rourke on Friday called for a ban on assault weapons, trigger cranks, silencers, bump stocks and high-capacity magazines, and he pledged, if elected president, to work with Congress to enact universal background checks, red-flag laws and other restrictions.
In the gun-licensing and registry system he proposes, gun owners would have to complete gun safety training and register their guns. O’Rourke would limit licenses to people 21 and older, with an exception for younger gun owners who have hunting licenses.
O’Rourke said he would also seek to limit people to buying one gun per month in an effort to prevent stockpiling. He said he would declare gun violence a public health emergency, make gun trafficking a federal crime and treat right-wing violence as an issue of organized crime.
He said he would also seek to hold internet companies accountable for hate speech online, requiring large social media platforms to create systems designed to weed out activities that incite violence.
He also continued to blame President Trump for the shooting in El Paso, but did not mention the shooting in Dayton.
“The terrorist attack on El Paso, fueled by the racist rhetoric of Donald Trump, was not only an attack on America, but an attack on the aspirational ideals of this nation,” O’Rourke said in a prepared statement. “Congress’ failure to act has resulted in a democracy that is unwilling to confront an epidemic of gun violence. It’s time for those in positions of public trust to stand up, tell the truth and offer bold solutions without fear of political ramifications so we can finally start making progress and saving lives.”
Delivered by The Daily Sheeple
We encourage you to share and republish our reports, analyses, breaking news and videos (Click for details).
Contributed by Sean Walton of The Daily Sheeple.