According to O'Rourke, military-style weapons and permitless carry are preventing responsible gun ownership


The Texas gubernatorial candidate stated, "We don't want extremism in our gun laws."

Beto O'Rourke, a Texas gubernatorial candidate, said on Sunday that he supports Second Amendment rights, but that automatic and semiautomatic firearms, as well as laws like permitless carry, make responsible gun ownership impossible.

On CNN's "State of the Union," the former Democratic presidential and senatorial candidate said Texas has a "long, proud tradition of responsible gun ownership." However, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's support for civilians possessing military-style weapons without training or background checks, he claims, has jeopardised the tradition.

"The majority of us here in Texas... do not want to see our friends, family members, and neighbours shot up with these war weapons," he said. "So, yes, I still believe this."

O'Rourke was responding to a question from Bash about whether he still supports mandatory buybacks for semiautomatic weapons, a position he expressed support for in 2019. "Hell yes, we're taking your AR-15, your AK-47, and you won't be able to use it against your fellow Americans anymore," he said.

AR-15s and AK-47s are semiautomatic rifles designed to kill in large groups quickly; the AR-15 has been used in the majority of the deadliest shootings in the last decade. Both are available in the United States, and possessing them carries no federal restrictions.

"That AR-15, that AK-47 has one, single solitary purpose, and that is to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible." That was evident in Kenosha. "We saw that in El Paso, Texas, where 23 people were murdered in a matter of minutes by someone with an AK-47," O'Rourke said. "This is insane." And we should not expect this in America as a matter of course."

Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke is the newest candidate in the state's gubernatorial election in 2022. In recent years, Democrats have poured millions of dollars into Texas, but Republicans have maintained their hold on the state. Abbott, who is seeking re-election, has become a national figure as a result of his aggressive push for hard-right policies on issues such as abortion, voting rights, vaccines, bail reform, and gun ownership.

On Sunday, O'Rourke brought up a bill signed into law by Abbott this summer that effectively allows any civilian to carry a loaded handgun in public without a licence, training, or a background check. The law effectively repeals the last remaining restrictions on adults carrying firearms in public.

According to records kept by the nonprofit group Gun Violence Archive, Texas has had at least 52 mass shootings this year, with 59 people killed and 213 injured. Texas had at least 22 mass shootings at the time Abbott passed the relaxed gun law, with 23 people killed.

"I've also been listening to my fellow Texans who are concerned about Greg Abbott's idea of permitless carry, which allows any Texan to carry a loaded firearm despite the pleadings of police chiefs and law enforcement from across the state, who said it would make their jobs more dangerous and make it harder for them to protect those they were sworn to serve in their communities," O'Rourke said.

"We don't want extremism in our gun laws, so we don't want it in our gun laws." The Second Amendment is something we want to protect. He stated, "We want to protect the lives of our fellow Texans." "And I know we'll be able to do that when we come together and put an end to the divisive extremism that we're seeing from Greg Abbott right now."

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