Beto O’Rourke went after assault rifles in his run for president. Will that hurt him with gun-loving Texans?

Beto O’Rourke went after assault rifles in his run for president. Will that hurt him with gun-loving Texans?

Sign up for The Brief , our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news. Still raw from a deadly mass shooting that took place in his hometown of El Paso, Beto O’Rourke unapologetically defended his support for a mandatory assault weapon buyback program at a September 2019 debate in Houston. “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” O’Rourke famously said to roaring applause from a crowd at Texas Southern University. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.” At the time, the former congressman was seeking the Democratic nomination for president, trying to distinguish himself among primary voters in a wide field of candidates. Now, he’s running for governor in a state with the most gun owners in the nation against an incumbent who routinely touts his record on relaxing firearm restrictions. In an interview with The Texas Tribune to announce his run, O’Rourke said he won’t be backing down from his message on guns. He also said many Texans who support gun rights, regardless of party, agree that most people shouldn’t have access to assault rifles. “Most of us understand the responsibility that comes with owning a firearm, and we will vigorously protect that Second Amendment right and also protect the lives of those around us,” he said. “But I think most of us also understand that we should not have military-style weapons used against our fellow Texans. We have four of […]

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