September 07, 2019

2020 Democrats Warm to Mandatory ‘Buybacks’ of Assault Weapons
(Bloomberg) -- As mass shootings pile up, several Democratic presidential candidates are embracing mandated “buybacks” of assault weapons, a proposal that sharpens the political divide on guns and raises the stakes for the 2020 election.In New Hampshire on Friday, Senator Kamala Harris of California told reporters that requiring owners of assault weapons to sell them to the government is “a good idea” because “we have to take those guns off the streets.”New Jersey Senator Cory Booker said he supports the proposal. He noted that other countries have been able to take military-style semiautomatic weapons “off the streets” and that the U.S. can’t let the National Rifle Association “tell us what’s possible.”At the New Hampshire Democratic convention on Saturday, former Representative Beto O’Rourke, who’s made buybacks a signature issue in recent weeks, pressed the idea to a cheering crowd that reflected the growing enthusiasm in the party for controlling firearm ownership. He said measures like universal background checks and “red flag” laws, which his 2020 competitors unanimously support, aren’t enough.‘Politically Difficult’“We must go the necessary steps further, as politically difficult as they may be -- a gun registry in this country, licensing for every firearm, and every single one of those AR-15 and AK-47s will be bought back so they’re not on our streets,” O’Rourke said.The Democrats’ embrace of a forced assault-weapons buyback program shows that segments of the party are throwing caution to the wind on gun control, backing aggressive measures that seemed unthinkable in mainstream circles even a year ago. It comes as the mounting bloodshed from firearms-induced massacres has nudged Americans to favor stricter laws, propelled by a shift among suburban and college-educated voters.Democrats’ shift toward gun control comes after its candidates have been largely wiped out in rural areas with a rich gun culture. The party retook the House majority in 2018 midterm elections, driven by gains in affluent and suburban districts. Its previous reliance on rural parts of the country is one reason Democrats didn’t pursue firearm restrictions when they last controlled the White House and Congress in 2009 and 2010.El PasoO’Rourke took up the cause vigorously after a recent mass shooting that killed more than 20 people in his hometown of El Paso, Texas. Before him, U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell of California pushed the idea of mandatory assault weapon buybacks during his short-lived presidential campaign.Implementing such a program would be a challenge. Swalwell floated jail time for Americans who refuse to sell their weapons, but O’Rourke wouldn’t go that far.“I would expect Americans to comply with the law,” O’Rourke told reporters on Saturday, saying he has met with owners of AR-15-style weapons who say they would “gladly comply” with a requirement that they give up those guns if it’ll make Americans safer.O’Rourke said it’s “a great sign” that some of his rivals are coming out for a mandatory buyback of certain guns.Partisan SplitA Quinnipiac poll released Aug. 29 found that 46% of Americans favored a “mandatory buyback of assault weapons, which would mean that people who own assault weapons would be required to turn them in and be compensated with money,” while 49% opposed the idea. In a sharp partisan divide, 71% of Democrats said they support the idea while just 18% of Republicans backed it.The idea has sparked fierce pushback from conservatives who say it would amount to unconstitutional confiscation of firearms from Americans who obtained them lawfully. It stands no immediate chance of becoming law -- but nor do even modest restrictions, which face opposition from President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.Several Democratic front-runners have also resisted the idea, including former Vice President Joe Biden and Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who instead favor a voluntary buyback program. Former Housing Secretary Julian Castro said he “at least” supports a voluntary buyback program and is open to making it mandatory.“I’m willing to hear the arguments on mandatory, but I at least support a voluntary buyback program,” Castro told reporters on Saturday.‘Big Enough Lift’Pete Buttigieg said his immediate focus is on assault weapons.“I would focus on banning new sales. We’ve got a big enough lift there. Plus we’ve got to do background checks and red flag laws,” the South Bend, Indiana, mayor told reporters. “Then we’ll see what the next logical steps are for this country.”Michael Bloomberg, owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, founded and helps fund Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit group that advocates for gun control measures like universal background checks and red flag laws. The group hasn’t called for mandatory buybacks.Booker, from Newark, New Jersey, spoke of gun control in searingly personal terms and said the U.S. needs a president who’ll make it “a central purpose.”“The majority of people being killed in this country are in communities like mine -- African American males are the majority of the homicide victims,” he said. “I live in a community where we see shrines to children who have been murdered on our sidewalks.”To contact the reporter on this story: Sahil Kapur in Washington at skapur39@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Ros Krasny, Steve GeimannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Ty Burrell Teases "Modern Family" Series Finale While Quarantined | Daily Pop | E! News
March 31, 2020
_IVrYVYTadI
Emma Chamberlain Is Fashion's Latest It Girl | E! News
March 31, 2020
Fpuf7Nctjxo
Where Kim Kardashian & Kourtney Stand After Their Fight | E! News
March 31, 2020
pRdKTTYDOck
Dr Oz Weighs in on Coronavirus Masks Debate | TMZ
March 31, 2020
m01n1P1eU5U
Ryan Seacrest Says 'Idol' Will Use New Tech to Deliver Full Season | TMZ
March 31, 2020
XBFllQsLq7M
Tichina Arnold Fired Up for Grandma Role in Netflix WWE's 'Main Event' | TMZ
March 31, 2020
712AmdGVhxQ
Nikki and Brie Bella take us inside their closets, talk pregnancy style | Page Six Celebrity News
April 01, 2020
T9art86o6FI
Are Tyler Cameron and Hannah Brown dating? TikToks hints at romance | Page Six Celebrity News
March 27, 2020
gkwXOYkNxNA
From ‘Queer Eye’ to ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: Carson Kressley Gives Exclusive Fashion Advice | Page Six
March 26, 2020
AiydbIWq4Z0
'The Bachelor' Star Colton Underwood Opens Up About Covid-19 Diagnosis on Variety Live
March 31, 2020
7CgTPS7nPAc
The 'Schitt's Creek' Cast On Their Final Season and Why Their Show's Name Caused Some Problems
April 01, 2020
ECOvW3qsxfM
'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Star Lisa Rinna Previews Upcoming Season on Variety Live
March 31, 2020
ZkQkHusKazk
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
08
Mar
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Inter Milan
08
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Manchester City
08
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Everton
08
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Betis - Real Madrid
08
Mar
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Genoa
07
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Burnley - Tottenham Hotspur
07
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - West Ham United
07
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Sociedad
07
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Sevilla
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k tudKp5Vhs3k iwWHibhssSo kQr0XHPbICM 5NeCb7JxaRk u5xQKdNqazE 56CdjlzJqSA kw7uFRs-Az0 xNv0JZWLV7w
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.