He promised to use government force to implement gun-confiscation laws. And he would lead a President Joe Biden’s gun-control plans.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke endorsed the former vice president Monday night at a rally in Dallas, and Mr. Biden reciprocated by saying the Texan would be in charge of his anti-gun efforts.
“I want to make something clear, I’m going to guarantee you this is not the last you’ve seen of him,” Mr. Biden said of Mr. O’Rourke, the New York Post reported. “You’re going to take care of the gun problem with me. You’re going to be the one who leads this effort.”
The former vice president continued to his former 2020 Democratic presidential rival: “I’m counting on you. I’m counting on you … the state needs you, the country needs you. You’re the best.”
Mr. Biden did not elaborate on what “leads this effort” would mean in practice.
But Mr. O’Rourke raised plenty of eyebrows last year during a presidential-primary debate when he vigorously endorsed mandatory buybacks of assault weapons or other banned guns — a “confiscation” stance Republicans have long said has been the Democrats’ secret wish and which Democrats have denied.
“If it’s a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield … hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” he said.
When asked to elaborate in subsequent days, Mr. O’Rourke was asked what would happen if the owner of a banned weapon subject to a mandatory buyback refused to comply.
“Just as in any law that is not followed or flagrantly abused, there have to be consequences or else there is no respect for the law. So, in that case, 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,” he said on MSNBC.
His campaign insisted that he never called for any gun confiscations or police raids.