Beto O’Rourke wants to ban and buy back assault-style weapons. Exactly how he would convince others to get on board is unclear, and two undecided Texas voters recently pressed him on how he would build consensus for his plan and whether it would hold up in conservative courts.
At last month’s Democratic presidential primary debate, the former House Democrat emphatically declared his support for taking back some guns after a shooter killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, O’Rourke’s hometown.
“Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” O’Rourke said to huge cheers.
In NPR’s Off Script series of conversations with 2020 president candidates, Ruben Sandoval, 55, a social studies and civics teacher who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Connie Martinez, a 20-year-old first-time voter, wanted details.
Sandoval pressed him on the viability of his gun buyback plan given the Second Amendment and a conservative Supreme Court.
“We don’t know [the plan’s fate if challenged in court], but fear of that uncertainty shouldn’t prevent us from doing the right thing for all those Americans, whose lives we want to save in a country that loses 40,000 people a year to gun violence,” O’Rourke said.
The two voters, along with NPR All Things Considered host Michel Martin, also asked O’Rourke about immigration, Americans’ right to privacy and health care. Watch a longer version of the conversation here.
Off Script is edited and produced for broadcast by Ashley Brown and Bridget de Chagas. Eric Marrapodi is Off Script’s supervising editor.