Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke conceded Wednesday that his proposed gun control plan might result in sending police officers door to door to enforce compliance.
After weeks of insisting that his plan — a mandatory buyback program for “assault weapons” such as AR-15s and AK-47s — would not lead to door-to-door confiscation, O’Rourke admitted to “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough that failure to comply would have to result in “a visit by law enforcement to recover that firearm.”
O’Rourke began the segment by pushing back against Scarborough’s initial assessment of his plan, arguing that he had no intention of confiscating anyone’s firearms. “To be clear I’m not talking about confiscating anybody’s guns,” he said.
Scarborough then painted a hypothetical scenario — a Texas rancher who purchased an AR-15 legally and refuses to give it up, arguing that the law banning it was unjust and claiming that he needed it to defend himself and his property.
“So Congressman, so let me ask you, let’s say I have an AR-15, I bought it legally five years ago, I’m a law-abiding citizen, you want to buy it back as President of the United States. I say no, you give me other incentives, I say no, I bought this legally. I’m keeping this. I live on a ranch, I need it for protection, what would you do then?” Scarborough asked.
O’Rourke pushed back, saying that anyone who was truly “law-abiding” would follow his new gun laws, even if they disagreed with them. “I think it’s one of the things that distinguishes us as a country, we’re a country of laws,” he explained.
“Okay, but let’s just assume there’s a rancher in Texas that doesn’t, that says I’m not going to do this because this is an unjust law and it’s unconstitutional,” Scarborough continued. “What’s the next step? I think that’s what we need to concede because there will be people that don’t turn the guns back in. What’s the next step for the federal government there?”
O’Rourke was then forced to concede that, in order to enforce his proposed law, he might have to bring in law enforcement and physically confiscate firearms from those who refused to comply. (RELATED: Beto O’Rourke: Americans Who Don’t Turn In Their Guns Will Face ‘Consequences’)
“Yeah, I think just as in any law that is not followed or flagrantly abused, there have to be consequences or else there is no respect for the law. So you know, in that case I think there would be a visit by law enforcement to recover that firearm and to make sure that it is purchased, bought back so that it cannot be potentially used against somebody else,” O’Rourke admitted, adding, “But my faith is in this country and in my fellow Americans following the law and listening to people who own AK-47s and AR-15s, who concede they don’t need it for self-protection. They don’t need it to hunt. Its real true purpose and use is on a battlefield.”
O’Rourke made a similar admission on CNN’s “New Day,” resulting in a quick pushback from host Alisyn Camerota. “Mass shooters — they don’t follow the law, by definition.”
Shock: CNN’s Camerota calls out Beto — “you expect mass shooters to follow the law?”
“Mass shooters by definition don’t follow the law.” pic.twitter.com/SwxdDFeLaO
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 16, 2019