Beto O’Rourke said he would implement a sweeping government buy-back policy for two types of assault rifles, including one commonly used in mass shootings across the US, if he were elected president in 2020.
The Texas Democrat responded to questions on the campaign trail Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, about concerns the government would take assault weapons away from gun owners.
According to a Buzzfeed News reporter, he said: “I want to be really clear that that’s exactly what we are going to do.” The candidate later shared that quote on Twitter, adding: “We need to buy back every single assault weapon.”
Mr O’Rourke, whose mandatory buyback programme is a part of his comprehensive gun control plan, has also called for a ban on assault-style guns and high capacity magazines, which he has also said would be required to be sold to the US government under his administration.
Mr O’Rourke had made gun control a central focus of his 2020 campaign after suspending it to mourn with the community in his hometown of El Paso, Texas after a gunman stormed a Walmart earlier this month, killing 22 people and injuring 24 others.
The gunman in that tragedy used an AK-47 which he said he purchased overseas.