- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 19, 2019

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York said Wednesday that White House hopeful Beto O’Rourke is the only fellow Democrat he knows in support of confiscating certain guns.

“I don’t know of any other Democrat who agrees with Beto O’Rourke, but it’s no excuse not to go forward,” Mr. Schumer said, the Times Union of Albany reported.

Mr. O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman seeking the Democratic nomination to run in 2020 against President Trump, has campaigned on enacting sweeping gun control measures if elected, including banning semi-automatic weapons used in recent mass shootings and implementing a mandatory “buyback” program requiring gun owners to sell them to the government.

“Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” Mr. O’Rourke said during the Democratic presidential primary debate last week. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”

Virtually all major Democratic presidential candidates have spoken in favor of reforming existing gun laws, though Mr. O’Rourke’s proposed plan has been roundly rejected by most Republicans in addition to some members of his own party.

“I can tell you one thing: Beto O’Rourke’s not taking my guns away from me,” Sen. Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, said Wednesday.

About two-thirds of Americans surveyed said they support banning assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons, according to the results of a Fox News poll released last month, including 86% of Democratic respondents and 46% of Republicans.

Bipartisan members of Congress have recently been in negotiations with the White House in hopes of drafting new gun control measures agreed by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Weighing in Wednesday morning on Twitter, Mr. Trump claimed Mr. O’Rourke’s proposal was making it “much harder” to reach a deal, however, accusing the candidate of making it seem like Democrats “just want to take your guns away.”

At least three of Mr. O’Rourke’s fellow Democratic presidential hopefuls — Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio — support “some form of mandatory buyback,” NPR reported last week.

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