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Beto: I Don't Think People Who Have AR-15s Now Should Be Able to Keep Them

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke (D) has leaned heavily into not just banning AR-15s and similar types of modern sporting rifles but also the confiscation of said firearms, even before the the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.


During a campaign stop in San Angelo a few days before the shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead, O'Rourke said he does not believe people who already own AR-15s should be able to keep them. 

"Not only should no one be able to purchase an AR-15 or AK-47 because they're designed to kill humans and that high impact, high velocity round will just tear up everything inside you, you'll bleed out before we can get you back to life, but I don’t think that the people who have them right now in civilian use should be able to keep them," O'Rourke said. 

O'Rourke conceded many in the audience for the veterans town hall probably have AR-15s, but he wants to be able to debate the issue on if civilians should be able to own those types of rifles should he become governor.


O'Rourke previously said he did not want to confiscate AR-15s at the start of his run for Texas governor, which was a different stance from when he said "hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47" while running for president during the 2020 election.

"I’m not interested in taking anything from anyone. What I want to make sure that we do is defend the Second Amendment,” he said in February. "I want to make sure that we protect our fellow Texans far better than we’re doing right now. And that we listen to law enforcement, which Greg Abbott refused to do. He turned his back on them when he signed that permitless carry bill that endangers the lives of law enforcement in a state that’s seen more cops and sheriff’s deputies gunned down than in any other."

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