Beto O’Rourke Calls For Mandatory Buybacks Of ‘Assault Weapons,’ Nationwide Gun Licensing Program

EL PASO, TX - AUGUST 15: Democratic presidential candidate, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) speaks to media and supporters during a campaign re-launch on August 15, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. O’Rourke paused his campaign in order to return to El Paso following the act of terror targeting the city's Latinx community at a Walmart and has remained in his hometown to honor the legacy of the twenty-two people who lost their lives and provide support to the community. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke on Friday called for mandatory buybacks of so-called assault weapons, and a nationwide gun licensing program.

The Democratic presidential candidate unveiled his five-point plan a day after he announced a reset of his campaign. O’Rourke, who is polling in the low single digits, suspended his campaign after a mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso on Aug. 3. Patrick Crusius, 21, killed 22 people in what is being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism and a potential hate crime.

Crusius allegedly posted an anti-Hispanic screed online shortly before the shooting.

While most Democratic presidential contenders support expanding gun control measures, only New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has gone as far as O’Rourke in calling for mandatory buybacks and a national licensing system.

O’Rourke also proposes a ban on “assault weapons, trigger cranks, silencers, bump stocks, and high-capacity magazines.”

He also reiterated support for universal background checks and enacting so-called “red flag” laws that will be voted on in the House.

“Today, we are releasing our plan to prevent atrocities like these from happening again—a plan which would not only reduce gun violence, but also combat the spread of hate and white nationalism taking place through online radicalization,” O’Rourke wrote on Instagram.

O’Rourke said in an interview days after the El Paso shooting that he was “open” to a gun licensing system, as well as mandatory buy backs like one implemented in Australia in 1996.

The Australian government commandeered 700,000 semi-automatic weapons and shotguns as part of the program, which followed an April 28, 1996 mass shooting that left 35 people dead.

Written by Chuck Ross

Chuck Ross is a contributor to The Schpiel.

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