In Aurora, Beto O’Rourke says he’s open to broadening gun buyback proposal
AURORA, Colo. — Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke says he’s open to broadening his proposal to require owners of AK-47s and AR-15s to sell them to the government.
During an emotional town hall Thursday in Aurora, a man who identified himself as a survivor of the 1999 Columbine massacre noted that the shooters there didn’t use the military-style weapons O’Rourke wants to take. They instead used regular semi-automatic weapons. He challenged O’Rourke to confiscate those arms as well.
O’Rourke told reporters afterward: “If there’s a way to improve what we proposed, I want to make sure we’re reflecting that.”
Most pistols and many rifles in the U.S. are semi-automatic. In contrast, there are about 10 million AK-47s and AR-15s out of more than 300 million firearms in private hands in the country.
O’Rourke may have unknowingly answered the question precisely how the Columbine survivor wanted him too. Multiple conservative operatives confirm the man who asked the question is a gun rights activist who has spoken out against gun control in the past.
Regardless, the moment was just one of many impactful moments during the question and answer period between O’Rourke and the crowd.
One woman, Lauren Boebert, who traveled from Rifle, Colorado, told O’Rourke “Hell no” he won’t take away her guns.
Other gun control supporters cheered the candidates proposals.
“We shouldn’t have to live in fear,” one woman from El Paso Texas said.
Afterward, O’Rourke told Fox 31 political Reporter Joe St George he understood his gun plan stirs emotions – he just cares about those who have been victims of gun violence more.
“Those are the emotions, I care about,” O’Rourke said.