Politics

Beto’s AR-15 Flip-Flop: O’Rourke Supports Confiscation Now, But Opposed It Just Last Year

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Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter

Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke’s promise Thursday to confiscate AR-15s from Americans who legally own them is a flip-flop from his position on the issue when he was running for Senate last year in Texas.

“If you purchased that AR-15, if you own it, keep it. Continue to use it responsibly,” O’Rourke said in an April 9, 2018 interview on “The Chad Hasty Show” in Lubbock.

O’Rourke said in that interview that while he wanted to ban the sale of AR-15s, AK-47s and other semi-automatic rifles, he had no plans to try to confiscate the weapons.

“We support the Second Amendment. If you own a gun, keep that gun. Nobody wants to take it away from you — at least I don’t want to do that,” O’Rourke said at the time. (RELATED: Beto O’Rourke: ‘Hell Yes’ I’m Going To Take Americans’ Guns)

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But a lot has changed for O’Rourke since the interview. He lost his Texas Senate bid to incumbent Republican Ted Cruz. He joined a crowded Democratic presidential field this year riding high on buzz that he would be the party’s top choice to defeat President Trump.

But those high hopes have all but dissipated for O’Rourke, as he has dropped to the low single digits in most polls. The former Texas congressman has “reset” his campaign more than once, including on the issue of gun control.

He laid out that position in the starkest terms to date during the Democratic debate in Houston on Thursday.

“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”

O’Rourke is also selling t-shirts on his campaign website with the phrase “Hell Yes We’re Going To Take Your AR-15” printed on them.

O’Rourke’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on his change of position on AR-15s.

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