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Beto on ‘Constitutional Carry’ and ‘Irresponsible Gun Ownership’

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Beto O'Rourke speaking on gun control in 2020. | Image from Texas Tribune

Former Congressman and now gubernatorial candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke believes the new gun policies ushered in by the Texas State Legislature during this year’s legislative session are creating an environment of “irresponsible gun ownership.”

O’Rourke made waves in 2019, when he ran for the presidency under the Democratic Party, after calling for a ban on AR-15s when he was asked about his position on how to deal with gun violence.

During the Democratic Party debate on September 12, 2019, O’Rourke declared “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47, you’re not going to be allowed to use it against your fellow Americans anymore.”

On November 21, O’Rourke made an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” where he was asked by Dana Bash if he still holds hardline pro-gun control policies.

O’Rourke responded by noting Texas has a “long, proud tradition of responsible gun ownership.” However, he believes Greg Abbott’s support for civilians owning “military-style” firearms, without training, could potentially threaten that tradition.

“Most of us here in Texas […] do not want to see our friends, our family members, our neighbors shot up with these weapons of war,” O’Rourke declared. “So yes, I still hold this view.”

“I have also been listening to my fellow Texans who are concerned about this idea of permitless carry that Greg Abbott has signed into law, which allows any Texan to carry a loaded firearm, despite the pleadings of police chiefs and law enforcement from across the state, who said it would make their jobs more dangerous and make it harder for them to protect those that they were sworn to serve in their communities,” O’Rourke added.

“So, we don’t want extremism in our gun laws. We want to protect the Second Amendment. We want to protect the lives of our fellow Texans,” O’Rourke re-assured listeners. “And I know that, when we come together and stop this divisive extremism that we see from Greg Abbott right now, we’re going to be able to do that.”

O’Rourke’s mentioning of permitless carry refers to the constitutional carry bill that Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) signed into law on June 16, 2021.

In signing this law, Texas became the 21st state to pass constitutional carry.