Gun Buybacks Take Center Stage In Democratic Debate

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Gun Buybacks Take Center Stage In Democratic Debate
"Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47," presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke said.
SHOW TRANSCRIPT

"Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We're not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore," presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said. 

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke reiterated his support of a mandatory gun-buyback program of assault weapons during Thursday night’s democratic debate.   

"If the high-impact, high-velocity round, when it hits your body, shreds everything inside of your body because it was designed to do that so that you would bleed to death on a battlefield ... when we see that being used against children," O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke unveiled the gun buyback proposal in August, following a mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso,Texas, where 22 people were killed by a gunman at a Walmart. 

While O’Rourke’s comments garnered applause from the audience at the debate, Republican Texas Rep. Briscoe Cain tweeted his opposition to the buyback program, saying, “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis,” referring to O'Rourke's full name.

O'Rourke responded by tweeting, "This is a death threat Representative. Clearly, you shouldn't own an AR-15 — neither should anyone else."

According to CNN, Cain's tweet was removed from Twitter because it violated the company's rules against violence and wishing harm against others. In addition, CNN reports that O’Rourke’s campaign is reporting the tweet to the FBI. 

The majority of the remaining Democratic presidential candidates have expressed support of a new federal ban on assault-style weapons, as well as for a buyback program for existing weapons.

So where do Americans stand on the matter? According to a new PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist Poll earlier this month, 57% percent of adults say Congress should pass legislation to ban the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons such as the AK-47 or the AR-15. And 45% percent of adults say Congress should pass legislation to create a mandatory buyback program of assault weapons.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.