Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) announced his support for an expansive set of gun-control policy proposals that was crafted by a group of anti-gun Parkland students.
“Following the lead of the students marching for their lives, and for all of ours, we will end this epidemic,” O’Rourke said on Wednesday. “I support their Peace Plan For A Safer America — and I call on everyone else in this race to do the same.”
O’Rourke’s endorsement came only hours after The Washington Post unveiled the students’ sweeping policy measures. The so-called ‘Peace Plan’ demands a ban on “assault weapons” and any magazine above the standard capacity, red flag laws, universal background checks, increasing the purchase age to 21, and forbidding more than one firearm purchase per month.
It also implements federally mandated safe storage requirements and a government-run gun confiscation program, where civilians will be required to hand over any “assault weapons.” It also creates programs “to encourage voluntary civilian reduction of handguns and other firearms.”
The Peace Plan further demands a national gun registry, as well as a licensing system for both guns 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 of 10 days for each gun purchase.” The license would expire after one year.
“I think that this plan is something that we can truly — as a country and as Americans united against violence and fighting for peace — can get behind,” David Hogg, a co-founder of March For Our Lives, former Parkland student, and left-wing activist, told the Post.
After facing mounting pressure to drop out of the presidential race, O’Rourke doubled down last week and re-launched his campaign for a third time. Accordingly, the former Texas lawmaker revealed that going forward he would be focusing on heavily populated immigrant areas and making his anti-gun platform a central issue to his campaign.
O’Rourke has long been an advocate for various strict gun-control measures, such as requiring background checks, banning the sale of “assault weapons,” — a vague term used by activsts —and opposing conceal carry reciprocity, but he has becoming increasingly anti-gun since his unsuccessful run to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
While debating Cruz, O’Rourke repeatedly claimed that he supported the Second Amendment and an individual’s right to keep and bear arms, but failed to name a single judge that he supports who would keep the Second Amendment in tact.
O’Rourke received massive backlash in 2018 after he argued that the most popular rifle in America, the AR-15, should no longer be sold in the country. He later aggravated both sides of the aisle when he suggested that Americans who currently own an AR-15 should be able to keep it, but that the firearm should no longer be manufactured going forward.
O’Rourke again shifted positions in early-April, however, when he revealed that he was open to implementing a mandatory gun buyback program.
“Yes, and I’m open to them right now as a candidate,” O’Rourke responded when asked on the “Pod Save America” podcast if he supported the measure along with requiring gun licenses.
“It absolutely has to be a part of the conversation,” he continued. “If at the end of the day it’s going to save lives, if it’s going to prevent the kind of tragedies that we saw in El Paso or Gilroy or Dayton or this weekend in Chicago or all over the country on a daily basis, then let’s move forward and do it.”