- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said he’s open to supporting an Australian-style mandatory gun buyback program, as well as gun licenses, after the weekend shootings in Texas and Ohio that have left at least 30 people dead.

“I’m open to them right now as a candidate — absolutely has to be part of the conversation,” Mr. O’Rourke said this week on the “Pod Save America” podcast.

“At the end of the day, if it’s going to save lives, if it’s going to prevent the kind of tragedies that we saw in El Paso, or Gilroy, or Dayton, or this weekend in Chicago or all over this country on a daily basis, then let’s move forward and do it,” said Mr. O’Rourke, a former congressman who hails from El Paso.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat who dropped out of the presidential race last month, had proposed a mandatory buyback program for military-style, semiautomatic firearms that included prosecution for people caught breaking the new law.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, the current front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, said in an interview with CNN on Monday that he would support a national buyback program for those weapons and a ban on them, but that he would not push to actively confiscate them from people.

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