Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders said during a campaign event Sunday that he opposes mandatory gun buybacks as believes they are “unconstitutional” and essentially constitute “confiscation” of legal gun owners’ firearms.
The story: The Vermont senator was answering questions at a green jobs rally in Charles City, Iowa, where he was asked for his opinion about mandatory buybacks of AR15s and AK47s. He said:
“I don’t support — a mandatory buyback is essentially confiscation, which I think is unconstitutional. It means that I am going to walk into your house and take something whether you like it or not. I don’t think that stands up to constitutional scrutiny.”
Sanders explained his gun control plan, which would include action against the National Rifle Association (NRA), expanding background checks, and outlawing assault weapons sales, according to Fox News.
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“We cannot allow the NRA to dictate policy because they’ve intimidated [President] Trump and they’ve intimidated the Republican party,” he added. “I’m not going to be intimidated by them.”
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke was among the most vocal proponents of mandatory buybacks of AR15s and AK47.
“A gun registry in this country, licensing for every American who owns a firearm, and every single one of those AR-15s and AK-47s will be bought back so they’re not on our streets, not in our homes, [and] do not take the lives of our fellow Americans,” O’Rourke said at the New Hampshire Democratic Party convention in September.
“Any law that is not followed or flagrantly abused, there have to be consequences or else there is no respect for the law,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“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 dropped out of the Democratic presidential race earlier this month.
Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg has also objected to mandatory buyback of certain firearms, drawing backlash from O’Rourke, and Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.
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(Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)