Beto O'Rourke says he will try to buy back Texans' AR-15s: 'I don't think anyone should have one'

Despite expressing support for taking away Texans' guns, O'Rourke called Gov. Abbott "authoritarian."
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Beto O'Rourke
Beto O'Rourke
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke says he does not believe anyone should own AK-47s and AR-15s, and he wants to organize a gun buy back for them if he is elected.

Texas Tribune CEO and co-founder Evan Smith asked O'Rourke for his thoughts on firearms during an event over the weekend.

He first claimed that it is easier to carry a gun in the Lone Star state than it is to vote, KVUE reported.

Smith pressed O'Rourke to clarify his thoughts on confiscating assault-style weapons, as the failed Senate candidate and failed Democratic presidential primary candidate has flipped positions on the issue.

"I don't think anyone should have one," O'Rourke said, per KVUE. "And if I can find the consensus within the Legislature to have a law in the state of Texas that allows us to buy those AK-47s and AR-15s back, we will. As you said earlier, I cannot mandate or dictate anything as the next governor of the state of Texas. I'm going to have to do this by listening moving forward."

During his failed Democratic presidential primary run, O'Rourke said in 2019 that "Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15." He also said he would prioritize "mandatory buybacks of assault-style weapons."

He told Texans at a campaign event last month that he was uninterested in taking away firearms.

"I’m not interested in taking anything from anyone. What I want to make sure that we do is defend the Second Amendment," O'Rourke said, The Center Square reported.

Even though O'Rourke voiced support for measures that would seemingly infringe upon Second Amendment rights, he still called incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott "authoritarian," during his discussion Saturday.

"We talked about the fact that you're seeing the continued rise of authoritarians and thugs across the world, and we have our own right here in the state of Texas," O'Rourke said. 

When asked if he saw Abbott as a thug, O'Rourke replied, "He's a thug. He's an authoritarian."