News and Commentary

Beto Expands His Anti-Gun Platform, Takes Aim At Credit Card Companies
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 1: Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks during Day 2 of the California Democratic Party Convention at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, June 1, 2019. (Photo by Ray Chavez/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)
Ray Chavez/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) urged credit card companies on Thursday to refuse to provide service to gun sellers or manufacturers since Congress won’t ban the financing of firearms.

“Credit cards have enabled many of America’s mass shootings in the last decade. For example, the man who shot up a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, got away with buying $11,000 in assault rifles, gas masks, grenades, and ammo,” O’Rourke’s campaign wrote in a fundraising email. “He just charged it to his credit card.”

“However inadvertent or deliberate, credit card companies and banks profit off of those who terrorize our communities. As we know that in this moment, no one can sit on the sidelines. Everyone has a responsibility to do their part,” the email continued. “These companies are no exception. That’s why we’re calling on the financial industry to do their part to cut off the sales of these weapons of war.”

After facing mounting pressure to drop out of the presidential race, O’Rourke instead re-launched his campaign in August with a primary focus on his anti-Second Amendment platform. Days later, the former Texas congressman revealed his support for a nationwide government-run gun confiscation program for all so-called “assault weapons.”

While O’Rourke was the first major 2020 Democratic candidate to endorse a federally mandated gun buyback program, a host of his primary challengers, including Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, have followed suit. None of the proponents of this program have defined what constitutes an “assault weapon.”

O’Rourke has consistently expanded his support for anti-gun measures. Only days after his revamped campaign kicked-off, he endorsed an expansive set of policies crafted by former Parkland students known as “The Peace Plan.”

The policy proposal includes red flag laws, universal background checks, increasing the purchase age to 21, prohibiting more than one firearm purchase per month, implementing storage requirements, and further demands a national gun registry and licensing system for both firearms and ammunition, which imposes annual fees.

In order to obtain a license, the multi-step process would include “background checks, in-person interviews, personal references, rigorous gun safety training, and a waiting period for 10 days for each gun purchase.” The license would expire after one year.

On Thursday, O’Rourke added to his expanding anti-gun platform by calling on credit card companies to comply with three demands: refuse to provide services for the sale of “assault weapons,” stop processing transactions for gun sales online or at gun shows without background checks, and stop doing business with firearm or ammunition manufacturers who produce or sell “assault weapons.”

“If this Congress and this president won’t act, the least the financial industry could do is stop profiting off of the sales of these weapons. If enough of us speak out, they’ll consider it. That’s why it’s so important for us to get as many signatures on this petition as possible,” O’Rourke’s campaign email continued with a link to a petition.

“The financial industry has played a part in government efforts to stop the illegal drug trade, trafficking, and other violent crimes. It’s time for them to step up now and stop the easy flow of assault weapons to terrorists,” the campaign said. “If enough of us make our voices heard now, we stand a chance to make this happen.”

Related: DNC Warns Candidates Not To Swear During The Debate, As O’Rourke Racks Up The F-Bombs