'Hell yes': Beto O'Rourke says he'll take AR-15s away from Americans

Former Texas congressman announced his support for a mandatory gun buy-back program for weapons "designed to kill people on a battlefield."

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September 13, 2019 - 8:05 am
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WASHINGTON (KMOX/AP) - If elected president, Beto O'Rourke says he will make sure military-style guns aren't in the hands of the American people.

Speaking at Thursday's third Democratic debate, the former Texas congressman announced his support for a mandatory gun buy-back program for weapons "designed to kill people on a battlefield."

"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," O'Rourke told the audience at the ABC News sponsored event. He was asked about a mandatory federal buyback of assault weapons that he has endorsed since a gunman opened fire at a Walmart in his native El Paso, killing 22 people.

News of the plan wasn't taken well by Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain, who tweeted "My AR is ready for you Robert Francis." The social media site removed the Republican's message, saying it violated their rules against violence and wishing harm against others.

In the wake of the El Paso shooting, O'Rourke has remade his presidential bid. He has focused more on the urgent need to curb gun violence. He has decried what he calls racism on President Donald Trump's part. He is still frequently traveling to the states that kick off presidential primary voting: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. But he has also visited an Arkansas gun show and said there's more bipartisan agreement on the need for federal firearm limits than many believe.

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