New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed on Thursday that if elected president, he would implement a federal gun confiscation program where American citizens would be required to turn over their semi-automatic rifles to the government, but law enforcement officers would be excluded from the ban.
"You have said that you're for mandatory buybacks of semi-automatic rifles," Fox News host Tucker Carlson said to de Blasio. "There are tens of millions of these rifles in circulation now, and presumably some large number of people won't feel like selling them to the government. What do you do with those people?"
"We've got to end the availability of assault weapons in this country, so I think if there was a ban on assault weapons and there was a buyback program, the vast majority of people, I think, would do the smart thing and they would sell them back," the Democratic mayor replied. "I don't have a specific answer for you, but I think it's a good question."
Carlson sounded the alarm that a federal gun-grab could lead to violent clashes across the nation as law-abiding gun owners fear they would be losing their ability to defend themselves and their families. He subsequently pressed the Democratic presidential hopeful on the logistics of how the plan would be executed considering it is unlikely that gun owners would willingly hand over their firearms.
"I'm being honest with you, I think anyone in public life should say, you know, when we think we have an answer or whether it's something we still have to work out," de Blasio said. "What I know is this: we cannot have assault weapons in our society – we've seen the devastating impact, they need to be banned. And that means by definition you don't leave millions and millions of them out there."
"The buyback's the obvious approach," he continued. "How we deal with someone who doesn't want to participate in the buyback, that's something we'll have to resolve going forward."
De Blasio put forth that the ban would not violate the Second Amendment considering there would still be a variety of other firearms available for both hunting and self-defense, but the so-called "military grade assault weapons" do not belong in the hands of ordinary Americans.
Carlson further questioned whether the security detail that de Blasio is provided as mayor would be subject to the same limitations as their fellow citizens. The Democratic lawmaker contended that as a government official he is potentially more exposed to violence and therefore needs the additional protection that semi-automatic rifles provide.
"They're sworn law enforcement officers," de Blasio said referring to his bodyguards. "Sworn law enforcement officers who are here to protect all of us."
"Someone who serves in public office for a limited period of time, and in the society that we're living in, and I hate to say it but public servants are vulnerable to violence in a different way," he continued. "Our law enforcement officers are there to protect all of us."