Texas Democrat gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke doubled down on his gun control support in an interview on Sunday, saying that he still believed he was correct when he declared, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” at a debate.
The one-time senate challenger to Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat presidential candidate told CNN’s Dana Bash that Texans didn’t want their family members killed by “weapons of war.”
When questioned about his previous comments at a Democrat presidential debate in 2019 regarding taking away people’s AR-15s and AK-47s, he said, “Look, we are a state that has a long, proud tradition of responsible gun ownership. And most of us here in Texas do not want to see our friends, our family members, our neighbors shot up with these weapons of war. So, yes, I still hold this view.”
O’Rourke also took shots at Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott for Texas’s unique “Heartbeat Bill” and constitutional carry law.
“The abortion ban that puts a $10,000 bounty on the head of any Texas woman trying to make her own reproductive health care decisions, the permit-less carry bill that he signed into law allows anyone to carry a loaded firearm in public without any kind of background check, without any kind of training whatsoever, these policies that pit Texans against one another,” he said.
Texas’s “Heartbeat Bill” allows anyone to sue individuals who assist or perform an abortion after an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected, typically around six weeks into the pregnancy. The woman who had the illegal abortion cannot be sued, meaning a ‘bounty’ is not actually placed on Texas women.
Texas’s constitutional carry law allows for eligible legal gun owners over 21 to open carry without a permit. Many are excluded from eligibility including felons, illegal aliens, and those who are otherwise ineligible to own a gun.
O’Rourke claimed that he valued the Second Amendment, but that he wanted to root out “extremism” in Texas gun laws.
“[We] don’t want extremism in our gun laws. We want to protect the Second Amendment. We want to protect the lives of our fellow Texans,” he added.
After O’Rourke’s comments about implementing a mandatory buyback of AR-15-like firearms, the National Rifle Association, a gun-rights association, named him the “AR-15 Salesman of the Month.”
Back in June, Abbott signed several laws aimed at strengthening gun rights. He called out those “who have threatened to take guns from law-abiding citizens.”
“Politicians from the federal level to the local level have threatened to take guns from law-abiding citizens — but we will not let that happen in Texas,” he said. “Texas will always be the leader in defending the Second Amendment, which is why we built a barrier around gun rights this session. These seven laws will protect the rights of law-abiding citizens and ensure that Texas remains a bastion of freedom.”
O’Rourke officially launched his campaign against Abbott last week calling the incumbent divisive. The Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) responded by noting some of the leftist policies touted by the former Texas representative.
“Texas voters have already rejected Beto O’Rourke for statewide office, and they’ll do so again now that they know just how radical he really is,” said RGA spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez.
She continued: “Beto 2.0 vowed to confiscate the firearms of law-abiding citizens, pledged to tear down physical barriers along the border, and supported regulations that would kill over a million jobs across the state and raise taxes and the cost of living on families and small businesses. There’s no telling how far Beto 3.0 will go in his vain attempt to stay relevant after running out of promotions to chase in Washington.”
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