During the Democratic presidential candidate debate earlier this month, former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke flatly stated that he supports a mandatory gun-buyback program of assault-style rifles. "Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47," he said.
"We're not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore," he declared. "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," O'Rourke said. Now, he added, it is being used against innocent civilians, including children.
O'Rourke's comments come as the U.S. faces an epidemic of mass shootings, including in his hometown of El Paso, where 22 people were killed and over two dozen wounded at a Walmart in August. After that shooting, O'Rourke unveiled a proposal calling for a national gun registry, a nationwide gun licensing system and the mandatory buyback of assault-style rifles.
Over the past week, NFN readers have responded to our snap poll, which asked if they support such a mandatory buyback program. By a margin of 36-4, the answer was in the affirmative.
Meanwhile, Colt Firearms announced Thursday that it is suspending production of the AR-15 rifle for the civilian market, although it will continue to produce the weapons for military and law enforcement purposes. Company CEO Dennis Veilleux said Colt is still committed to the consumer market and the Second Amendment, but that demand for the weapon has declined.
“Over the last few years, the market for modern sporting rifles has experienced significant excess manufacturing capacity,” Veilleux said. “Given this level of manufacturing capacity, we believe there is adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future.”
The AR-15 has been used in several recent mass shootings, including in Newtown, CT.; Orlando, FL.; and Parkland, FL.
Earlier this month, Walmart announced it will no longer sell ammunition for handguns or the AR-15.
The company also will stop allowing customers to openly carry firearms inside its stores, and called on lawmakers to consider passing new gun control legislation.
In a Facebook post, CEO Doug McMillon said the company has been “focused on store safety and security” in the wake of the Aug. 3 shooting at the El Paso store that killed 22 people and wounded over two dozen others.
“We’ve also been listening to a lot of people inside and outside our company as we think about the role we can play in helping to make the country safer,” McMillan explained. “It’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable.”
Two weeks after the Parkland shooting on February 14, 2018, Dick's Sporting Goods decided to drop the sale of assault-style rifles like the AR-15, as well as high-capacity magazines. It also raised the age for the sale of any firearm to 21 from 18. Rather than sell off its inventory of assault rifles to another retailer, Dick's had the weapons destroyed.
Then, in late August, the company said it is considering whether to pull out of the "hunt" business, including stopping the sale of all firearms. In its Aug. 22 quarterly report, the company said that possibility was still under consideration.
New Poll: This week's Not Fake News Snap Poll deals with President Trump's effort to dismantle regulations aimed at protecting the environment and attacking climate change. Please respond today. Deadline will be Friday, 9/27 at 3 p.m.