Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke on Wednesday said people who refuse to give up their semiautomatic rifles under his mandatory buyback proposal can expect a visit from law enforcement.
“I think just as in any law that is not followed or flagrantly abused, there have to be consequences or else there is no respect for the law,” Mr. O’Rourke, a former congressman from Texas, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Mr. O’Rourke had been asked about a hypothetical “rancher” in Texas who said he wouldn’t comply with the law because he thinks it’s unconstitutional.
“So in that case, I think there would be a visit by law enforcement to recover that firearm and to make sure that it is purchased, bought back, so that it cannot be potentially used against somebody else,” he said.
“But my faith is in this country and in my fellow Americans following the law,” he said.
At Tuesday’s debate, Mr. O’Rourke had said that “we don’t go door to door” in the country to enforce the law.
“If someone does not turn in an AR-15 or an AK-47, one of these weapons of war, or brings it out in public and brandishes it in an attempt to intimidate, as we saw when we were at Kent State recently, then that weapon will be taken from them,” he said at the debate. “If they persist, [there] will be other consequences from law enforcement.”
Former housing secretary Julián Castro said if the scheme doesn’t involve door-to-door visits, then it’s not really a “mandatory” buyback program.
“I am not going to give these police officers another reason to go door to door in certain communities, because police violence is also gun violence, and we need to address that,” Mr. Castro said.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, had said at the debate that it didn’t sound like Mr. O’Rourke’s idea was fully fleshed out.
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