Posted by 03 September 2019
In the wake of recent mass shootings, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke thinks he has the answer – the government mandating that gun owners relinquish certain guns in return for a payment.
O’Rourke, a former member of Congress from Texas, proposed this buyback plan after two mass shootings in that state. He said that “weapons of war” should not be on the street, and that the owners of what he calls “assault weapons” should have to turn them over to the government. In return, the government will compensate gun owners.
Various cities have operated gun buyback programs for decades. However, these are voluntary operations, with individuals bringing in guns to receive cash or gift cards. There has never been a mandatory gun buyback program in the United States.
O’Rourke says that this is the only way to remove these guns from public use. He argues that this will reduce mass shootings. Critics counter that only law-abiding gun owners will comply, which would not affect crime. They also note that this plan would face legal challenges for violating the Second Amendment.
Various Democratic candidates have proposed stricter gun control laws as they jockey for the 2020 presidential nomination. High-profile events where a gunman has killed numerous people with a semi-automatic firearm has galvanized activists who are pushing for stricter limits on gun ownership. The House of Representatives has passed bills that would impose background checks on private gun sales, but the Senate has yet to act on this legislation.
Do you think that the government should force gun owners to give up “assault weapons” in return for compensation?