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“I’m not interested in taking anything from anyone,” O’Rourke told reporters in Tyler, Texas on Tuesday, according to KLTV. “What I want to make sure that we do is defend the Second Amendment.”
While running for president in 2020, O’Rourke famously pledged to take guns away from American citizens if elected president.
“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” the El Paso, Texas native said. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”
Last November, O’Rourke stood by that remark shortly after announcing his bid for governor telling CNN’s Jake Tapper, “I still hold that view.”
O’Rourke explained to reporters on Tuesday that his position on guns is based on his desire to “listen to law enforcement.”
“I want to make sure that we protect our fellow Texans far better than we’re doing right now,” O’Rourke said. “And that we listen to law enforcement, which Greg Abbott refused to do. He turned his back on them when he signed that permitless carry bill that endangers the lives of law enforcement in a state that’s seen more cops and sheriff’s deputies gunned down than in any other.”
The Texas gubernatorial primary is scheduled to take place on March 1 where O’Rourke is expected to move on to the general election to face the state’s current Republican Gov. Greg Abbott provided he survives a primary opposition from more than half a dozen contenders, including former Texas GOP chair Allen West, a former congressman from Florida, and former state Sen. Don Huffines.
According to the US Concealed Carry Association, 21 states including Maine currently have permitless carry.