- The Washington Times - Friday, September 13, 2019

Republican leaders slammed Beto O’Rourke’s gun comments at Thursday’s debate, saying it was one of the most concerning moments of the night.

“I think history shows the idea of taking guns away from law-abiding citizens does not bode well for those who try,” Minority Whip Steve Scalise told reporters at the GOP retreat.

In one of the more viral moments of the debate, the former Texas congressman said as president he would require people to turn in their AR-15 and AK-47s.

“Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15, your AK-47, we are not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore!” he said.

Mr. O’Rourke argued the recent shooting in Odessa, Texas, warranted the government embrace a mandatory gun buyback plan.

The string of deadly shootings over the August congressional break has reignited the long-standing debate over gun control in Washington.

Democrats have repeatedly demanded that President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell take up their background checks legislation, but it’s unlikely it will make any progress with Republican senators.

Rather, Senate Republicans are meeting with the president on a number of options, including red flag laws and a bipartisan background-check expansion that would cover all commercial gun sales.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Mr. O’Rouke’s push for a confiscation plan should be contrasted with Mr. Trump’s approach.

“He wants to gather all the information first and make sure whatever we move forward solves the problem so this never happens again,” he said.

The president has yet to announce his firm support for any particular plan, but Mr. McCarthy said he believes Mr. Trump will make that decision soon.

— Seth McLaughlin and S.A. Miller contributed to this report.

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