Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke said on Sunday that he wants to protect Second Amendment rights, but that automatic and semiautomatic firearms, as well as laws like permitless carry, prevent responsible gun ownership.
Former Democratic senatorial and presidential candidate told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” that Texas has a “long, proud tradition of responsible gun ownership.” But Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s support of civilians owning military-style weapons, now without training and background checks, has threatened that tradition, he said.
“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,” he said. “So yes, I still hold this view.”
O’Rourke was responding to a question Bash posed about whether he maintains a position he shared in 2019Support them while you do so. mandatory buybacks for semiautomatic weapons. He said: “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47, you’re not going to be allowed to use it against your fellow Americans anymore.”
AR-15s or AK-47s can be semiautomatic guns that are designed to kill quickly in large numbers. used in most of the deadliest shootingsIn the last decade. They are both available in the United States and are not subject to federal restrictions.
“That AR-15, that AK-47 has one, single solitary purpose, and that is killing people as effectively, as efficiently, in as great a number, in as little time as possible. That was what we saw in Kenosha. We saw that in El Paso, Texas, where 23 people were murdered by someone with an AK-47 just in a matter of minutes,” O’Rourke said. “This is crazy. And we should not come to expect this as a matter of course in America.”
O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman, is the newest candidate in the state’s 2022 gubernatorial race. While Democrats have invested millions in Texas over the past few years, Republicans continue to be dominant. Abbott, who seeks a third term in office, is a nationally recognized figure. aggressive push for hard-right policies ― including on issues like abortion, voting rights, vaccines, bail reform gun ownership.
On Sunday, O’Rourke brought up a bill Abbott signed into lawThis law was passed in the summer and allows civilians to legally carry handguns in public. The last rules for adult gun ownership in public are now eliminated by the law.
Texas has seen at least 52 mass shootings in Texas this year. This resulted in 59 deaths and 213 injuries. according to records kept by the nonprofit group Gun Violence Archive. Texas was home to at least 22 mass shootings and 23 deaths when Abbott passed its relaxed gun law.
“I have also been listening to my fellow Texans who are concerned about this idea of permitless carry that Greg Abbott has signed into law, which allows any Texan to carry a loaded firearm, despite the pleadings of police chiefs and law enforcement from across the state, who said it would make their jobs more dangerous and make it harder for them to protect those that they were sworn to serve in their communities,” O’Rourke said.
“So, we don’t want extremism in our gun laws. The Second Amendment must be protected. We want to protect the lives of our fellow Texans,” he said. “And I know that, when we come together and stop this divisive extremism that we see from Greg Abbott right now, we’re going to be able to do that.”