'Hell yes, we're going to take your AR15s': Beto O'Rourke calls for mandatory gun buybacks

Third democratic debate sees strong calls for gun control measures among Democrats

Clark Mindock
New York
Thursday 12 September 2019 22:11 BST
Beto O'Rourke calls for mandatory gun buybacks - 'We're going to take your AR15s'

During the third democratic debate in Houston, Beto O'Rourke doubled down on his plan to implement a mandatory gun buyback programme, an extraordinary measure to take on America's gun violence problem that has been compared to confiscation.

After describing the impact he has seen of military weapons on shooting victims, Mr O'Rourke promised to remove assault style weapons from the streets of America.

"Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15s," Mr O'Rourke said, to applause.

Mr O'Rourke has focused on this issue since the shooting last month in his home city of El Paso, Texas.

But, beyond Mr O'Rourke's stances, the issue has taken on a particular saliency in the Democratic party, especially after the shooting in El Paso and in Parkland, Florida, a year and a half ago.

Others on the debate stage also took aim at the gun violence issue, including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who both described corruption as a major obstacle to gun reforms.

Mr Sanders, for his part, claimed that he is not afraid of the National Rifle Association, which has been effective in its mobilisation against gun control measures including background checks, and assault weapons bans.

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