Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) praised Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke on Thursday for being honest about his desire to seize millions of firearms from law-abiding American citizens.
“Look, there are two groups of people behind these bills,” Kennedy told Fox News host Sandra Smith while discussing forthcoming gun control legislation.
“There’s a group of people who I think in good faith honestly believe that further curtailing our Second Amendment rights will enhance public safety,” Kennedy said. “But there’s another group that just hates the Second Amendment, and I want to thank Congressman Beto O’Rourke for being honest — I mean, his honesty was refreshing.”
Kennedy’s remarks were in reference to O’Rourke’s recent proposal to implement a federally mandated gun confiscation program for so-called “assault weapons.” The anti-Second Amendment plan is so radical that even members of his own party swiftly distanced themselves from the proposal.
“Beto’s copy of the Bill of Rights goes from one to three. Mine includes the Second Amendment,” Kennedy said. “But there are a whole host of people here in Washington D.C. — not all of my Democratic friends, but many of my Democratic friends — they don’t believe in the Second Amendment.”
“They would be happy to confiscate America’s guns,” he continued. “And if you don’t believe that, then you probably also still believe in Big Foot. I mean, it’s a fact and everybody up here knows it.”
Kennedy, like many Republicans on Capitol Hill, had recently met with Attorney General William Barr to discuss possible gun control legislation in the aftermath of a slew of deadly mass shootings.
The White House is reportedly considering expanding background checks amid mounting public pressure to act. While the plan has largely been unpopular with Republican lawmakers, many are understandably waiting to see the legislation before publicly opining.
Kennedy revealed to Smith that at this point in time, he’s still not sure if both sides of the aisle will ultimately be able to agree on infringing any further gun rights for American citizens.
“I wouldn’t bet my house on it [that something gets done], and if I were betting your house, I’d probably say maybe,” the Louisiana senator said. “We’ve got to see what the proposals are first. The president’s opinion matters. I met with Bill Barr yesterday. I think the White House sent him up here because most people in the Senate have great respect for him.”
Kennedy further noted that when it comes to restricting constitutional rights, the burden is on the lawmakers to prove the necessity in doing so.
“The Bill of Rights isn’t an a la carte menu,” Kennedy said. “The Second Amendment is just as important as the Fourth and the First.”
“As usual, I’ll probably find what the president has to say to be persuasive, but I want to make it very clear, it’s dispositive for me,” he continued. “If the president puts a bill on the floor that I think curtails or hurts people’s constitutional rights without substantially enhancing public safety, uh uh, that’s a bridge too far for me. I’m going to fight for our Constitution.”