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Schumer: I don't know any 'Democrat who agrees' with O'Rourke on gun seizures

The Hill logo The Hill 9/20/2019 Aris Folley
a man wearing a suit and tie: Schumer: I don't know any 'Democrat who agrees' with O'Rourke on gun seizures © Greg Nash Schumer: I don't know any 'Democrat who agrees' with O'Rourke on gun seizures

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday told reporters that he doesn't "know of any other Democrat who agrees" with Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke's proposal to confiscate automatic weapons.

"I don't know of any other Democrat who agrees with Beto O'Rourke, but it's no excuse not to go forward," Schumer told reporters on a conference call Wednesday, according to the Times Union of Albany, N.Y.

The minority leader's comments come as a number of Democrats have come out in opposition to O'Rourke's proposed mandatory buyback program for assault-style weapons.

The former Texas congressman captured headlines with fiery comments he made about the proposal at the Democratic primary debate last week, saying, "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47."

Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) was one of the first Democrats to come out against O'Rourke's plan.

A day after the debate, Coons, who has backed former Vice President Joe Biden in the Democratic race, warned that O'Rourke's proposal would be "played for years at Second Amendment rallies with organizations that try to scare people by saying that Democrats are coming for your guns."

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is also a Democratic presidential candidate, said over the weekend that he thinks the Texas Democrat played into the GOP's hands with the comments.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told reporters on Wednesday that O'Rourke is "not taking my guns away from me" when asked about the program.

"Beto's one human being," Manchin said. "He gave his own opinion, OK? I think it was very harmful to make it look like all the Democrats. I can tell you one thing: Beto O'Rourke's not taking my guns away from me. You tell Beto that OK?"

O'Rourke's proposal during the debate also got pushback from President Trump, who said the lawmaker's comments "made it much harder" for his administration to "make a deal" with Congress on potential gun legislation in the wake of recent mass shootings.

"Convinced many that Dems just want to take your guns away. Will continue forward!" he added.

While discussing some of the criticism he's received from Democrats in particular on Wednesday, O'Rourke accused many in the party of being "complicit in what we see right now."

"I mean, the Republicans are the most obstinate and the most obstructionist and the most in the pockets of the NRA, but it's been a bipartisan problem that the Centers for Disease Control couldn't even study gun violence, that here we are in 2019 and we still don't have universal background checks or 'red flag' laws or we allowed the assault weapons ban to expire, even though it did so much good and saved so many lives," the former Texas congressman told CNN.

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