Elon Musk risks MAGA ire by calling for gun control

Musk says ‘right to bear arms is an important safeguard against potential tyranny of government’

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Thursday 26 May 2022 16:33
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Related video: Elon Musk says he ‘will vote republican,’ can ‘no longer support’ democrats

Elon Musk has called for tighter background checks but still defended the Second Amendment in the wake of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 children and two teachers dead.

The Tesla and SpaceX founder wrote in emails to CNBC that he supports “tight background checks” on all gun purchases, adding that he’s in favour of limits on the sale of assault rifles to only be allowed under certain circumstances – such as to gun range owners and those living in “high risk” locations, like where “gang warfare” is an issue.

But the billionaire also said that he “strongly” believed “that the right to bear arms is an important safeguard against potential tyranny of government. Historically, maintaining their power over the people is why those in power did not allow public ownership of guns”.

“Assault rifles should at minimum require a special permit, where the recipient is extremely well vetted,” Mr Musk tweeted on Thursday.

“Regarding recent events, the shooters are obviously doing this to generate the most amount of attention possible. Why is the media doing exactly what the mass murderers want?” Mr Musk told CNBC.

Mr Musk’s companies have large facilities in Texas, with Tesla moving its headquarters from California to Austin last year because of the less restrictive business laws in the state, as well as incentives worth around $64m on both the state and local level.

The electric carmaker opened a new factory near Austin last month that makes vehicles and batteries. SpaceX launches reusable rockets from Boca Chica in the southern parts of the state.

Despite his gun control stance, Mr Musk said earlier this month that he plans to vote for the Republican Party. The GOP appear poised to take control of the House and possibly the Senate in November’s midterm elections.

According to Forbes, Mr Musk is the richest person in the world – he’s estimated to be worth more than $200bn. He’s currently in the process of acquiring Twitter in a deal initially worth more than $40bn. He has said that former President Donald Trump would be allowed to return to the platform if the deal is successful.

In Texas, a state led by Republicans, SpaceX has requested permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to expand its facility in Boca Chica to launch its Starship Super Heavy vehicles from the area.

Mr Musk was recently accused of sexual harassment by a SpaceX flight attendant, Insider reported. The CEO has denied the allegation.

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