Beto's Plan: Mandatory Gun Buyback, National Registry

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke laid out part of his plan on firearms if elected: a mandatory buyback program and national registration to own guns.

Beto's Plan: Mandatory Gun Buyback, National Registry

During a speech in New Hampshire, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke laid out part of his plan on firearms if elected: a mandatory buyback program and national registration to own guns.

While speaking Sept. 7 at the New Hampshire Democratic Party convention, the former Texas congressman called for extensive gun control measures nationwide. Along with the mandatory buyback and national firearms registry, he also said as president he would institute "red flag" laws. O'Rourke is one of more than 20 presidential hopefuls vying for the Democratic Party nomination for the 2020 election.

“This is a country that has produced the leadership that will ensure that we not only have universal background checks and red flag laws and end the sale of those weapons of war, but that we go the necessary steps further as politically difficult as they may be," he said.

The so-called "red flag" laws, which are risk protection orders in 17 states and the District of Columbia, have drawn scrutiny about due process concerns. They are used to seize firearms during the judicial process from someone believed to be a threat to themselves or others. Florida enacted a red flag law after the 2018 Parkland shootings and since then more than 2,500 orders have been issued. Gun control proponents have demanded national red flag laws in the wake of shootings in California, Texas and Ohio.

In New Hampshire, O'Rourke said his plan for a mandatory buyback would require owners of certain guns to sell them to the government. Democratic hopeful Kamala Harris of California also said she favors a mandatory buyback, possibly by executive order and bypassing Congress.

"A gun registry in this country, licensing for every American who owns a firearm, and every single one of those AR-15s and AK-47s will be bought back so they’re not on our streets, not in our homes, [and] do not take the lives of our fellow Americans," O'Rourke said.

“I want to be really clear that, that’s exactly what we're going to do,” O'Rourke said. “Americans who own AR-15s, AK-47s, will have to sell them to the government. We’re not going to allow them to stay on our streets, to show up in our communities, to be used against us in our synagogues, our churches, our mosques, our Walmarts, our public places.”

Congress returns Sept. 9 from its summer break and is expected to push harder for more gun control including universal background checks and a ban on AR-style firearms. Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) is pushing for an "assault weapons ban" with her bill. Other debates will focus on high capacity magazines that hold more than 10 or 15 cartridges.


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