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O’Rourke Shifts Position Again on AR-15 Bans

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Beto O'Rourke | Image by Kimberly White / Getty Images

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Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate for governor of Texas, appears to have changed his stance on AR-15 rifles again.

O’Rourke’s campaign website section on “Gun Safety” recently underwent a discreet change with a statement altered from calling for the “decrease” of AR-15s in circulation to proclaiming that no civilian should own the rifle.

The Internet Archives’ Wayback Machine shows that as recently as April 1, the “Gun Safety” campaign page contained the statement: “And while it might not be the easy or politically safe thing to say, I strongly believe that we need to reduce the number of AR-15’s and AK-47’s on our streets.”

Sometime after April 1, the most recent date the website was archived, the campaign changed the statement to read as follows: “And while it might not be the easy or politically safe thing to say, I don’t believe any civilian should own an AR-15 or AK-47.”

O’Rourke has had various stances on the debate over the AR-15 and other semiautomatic rifles throughout his history of running for office.

In his 2018 run against Republican Senator Ted Cruz, O’Rourke stated he was against gun confiscation.

“We support the Second Amendment; if you own a gun, keep that gun,” O’Rourke said in 2018. “No one wants to take it away from you, at least I don’t.”

In his 2019 campaign for President, O’Rourke took a position opposite his 2018 stance by supporting an outright ban on AR-15s.

“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” O’Rourke famously said to cheers from a crowd at Texas Southern University. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”

O’Rourke made the viral statement at a Democratic presidential debate around five weeks after a mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart. The shooting resulted in 23 people killed in what federal law enforcement classified as an act of domestic terrorism.

State Representative Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park) tweeted in response: “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis.” The tweet appears to have since been removed.

Cain told The Texas Tribune at the time that he stood by his statement and argued he was not the one who was making threats.

“The threat was actually by the former congressman,” Cain said, “that he’s threatening to take my property.”

As late as November 2021, O’Rourke maintained his support for gun confiscation.

“Most of us understand the responsibility that comes with owning a firearm, and we will vigorously protect that Second Amendment right and also protect the lives of those around us,” he told The Texas Tribune. “But I think most of us also understand that we should not have military-style weapons used against our fellow Texans. We have four of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history right here in Texas that took place over the last five years.”

However, in February of this year, O’Rourke toned down his hardline stance on gun confiscation as his poll numbers slipped behind incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott.

“I have no interest in stealing anything or anyone else’s property. My primary goal is to ensure that we uphold our commitment to defending the Second Amendment. I want to ensure that we defend our fellow Texans in a significantly more effective manner than what we are doing right now,” he explained to reporters.

Some officials, like Cain, have pointed to O’Rourke’s shifting stance as serving his political agenda.

Rep. Cain told The Dallas Express, “Robert Francis will say anything that’s expedient to increase his appeal and lie to the people when he thinks it will increase his chances of getting elected. Make no mistake, he is a direct threat to the right of Texans to keep and bear arms. Texas will reject him and his ever-changing campaign promises in November. He won’t be taking anyone’s firearms. The only thing he’ll be taking is a big L in November.”

Even though O’Rourke’s campaign website indicates he has shifted his position on gun confiscation, he has yet to publicly declare whether or not he will attempt to prohibit the weapons in the state if elected governor of Texas.

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

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margaret barrett
margaret barrett
6 months ago

AR 15’s belong in the hands of the military. Period. O’Rourke is right in what he says but it should be done with a buy back and of course, no more sales to citizens.

C wilson
C wilson
Reply to  margaret barrett
6 months ago

Sweetie, the military has never used them and never will; they can fire only one round per trigger pull and the round is too small to be legal to hunt deer in many states.
However. They are great for hunting small varmints, target practice and for self-defense for people who need less kick than a shotgun and the lighter weight, like women, the elderly and the handicapped. O’Rourke, Biden, Harris and others like them leave lawful citizens defenseless prey for criminals who choose targets they know can’t stop them.

Politicians, celebs and the media who enjoy the protection of personal guards carrying more firepower than an AR can provide have been outright lying to us. Those too lazy to look up the truth will fall for their hysterical lies every time.

BeesInTheTrees
BeesInTheTrees
Reply to  margaret barrett
6 months ago

Marget – AR-15s are not military guns and are simply SemiAutomatic rifles. But you as with most libs don’t seem to understand what you are trying to write about.

Rob
Rob
Reply to  BeesInTheTrees
6 months ago

Must be some massive squirrels

margaret barrett
margaret barrett
Reply to  BeesInTheTrees
5 months ago

Yes, semi automatic, good for the military. Period.

Scott
Scott
Reply to  margaret barrett
4 months ago

The military gets full auto you loon.

Bob
Bob
Reply to  margaret barrett
5 months ago

Please keep your opinions to yourself. I don’t care about what you think. So don’t care about what I think. You’re not a brain cop with any Authority over someone’s thoughts. Though you libs want and need that power to exist and survive. You won’t ever achieve your foolish goal. So go sit in a closet and keep your controlling thoughts to yourself. Hope that helps. Best.

Charles Cartwright
Charles Cartwright
Reply to  margaret barrett
5 months ago

Move to Cuba, Venezuela, and live there . Your not taking the only guns America has to protect its self from ending up like Them Socialist Countries

Scott
Scott
Reply to  margaret barrett
4 months ago

Perhaps Texas isn’t the state for you.

Gary
Gary
Reply to  margaret barrett
3 months ago

If our military had ar-15’s we would be speaking Vietmanese now …. Research what it actually is please

Keepin it real!
Keepin it real!
6 months ago

These military weapons are so powerful, the bullet literally explodes inside the person. These are not “defensive” weapons for home and hearth, they are OFFENSIVE weapons for war…plain and simple. Beto is NOT advocating taking DEFENSIVE guns off the market, just OFFENSIVE guns.

Anybody who doesn’t understand this is not arguing in good faith….including this right-wing rag.

BeesInTheTrees
BeesInTheTrees
Reply to  Keepin it real!
6 months ago

You don’t know what you are talking about. You should learn more about what you are attempting to discuss. I am guessing you are not very well educated.

AR-15 Rifles shoot a .233 bullet one of the smallest centerfire bullets made. Just about every hunting rifle made shoots a bigger bullet carrying more energy.

AR-15s are not military guns and are simply SemiAutomatic rifles.

The bullet literally does not explode inside a person.

Please be more informed.

Bob
Bob
Reply to  BeesInTheTrees
5 months ago

It’s always entertaining and educational to watch the libs ignorance when talking about things they have no clue of. Like a chimp talking to Einstein about quantum physics. You just have to say. Bless their little heart. Them libs…..and their little hearts.

Last edited 5 months ago by Bob
Davidson
Davidson
Reply to  Keepin it real!
6 months ago

You are a fool if this is what you think. Do a little research before you mouth off about something you obviously do not understand. What you are claiming is FALSE which makes YOU the one not arguing in good faith. But this is the kind of drivel that comes from stupid liberals.

JIm
JIm
Reply to  Keepin it real!
5 months ago

You are incorrect and uninformed (like most of the public). Our military is not allowed to shoot hollow point bullets. They use full metal (copper) jackets bullets. The idea being that they cause less damage.

Dennis Griffin
Dennis Griffin
Reply to  Keepin it real!
5 months ago

Get an education there are no exploding bullets. There are more powerful rounds out there than .223 .556 . The AR platform is of no danger to anyone . There are however a lot of dangerous people out there. They will hurt you plenty given the chance. A gun is just a tool like any other the danger comes from black hearted people. Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people with a truck load of manure and diesel fuel. We didn’t ban rental trucks manure or diesel fuel. We didn’t even make it harder to obtain. By the way Robert Francis O’Rourke the fake Mexican can’t have my rifle. Why would I give anything to much less vote for an idjit who has never held a job a day in his life. Why would we hand over the world’s ninth largest economy to an idiot ?

George Walruff
George Walruff
Reply to  Keepin it real!
4 months ago

A weapon is neither offensive nor defensive, it is the person wielding it who is.
Bullets don’t explode in the body, but they do cause harm. The ones that expand are actually used in police and civilian applications. Military bullets under the laws of war are not allowed to expand.
There are still places where bolt action rifles are used in combat. And quite effectively. Again, it is who uses a weapon that determines the weapons use. A plinker shoots targets, a hunter -game, a soldier – enemies, a criminal – victims. So don’t blame the firearm, or other weapon for that matter, blame the one who wields it.
O’Rourke snakes his way around this topic, but since he was an elected official at one time, he seems to have forgotten the oath he took. It was to defend and uphold the Constitution. All of it, not just the parts that he likes. The Constitution is more than the sum of its parts, that’s the reason we continue to remain a representative Republic. Let’s keep it going. Think before you vote. If you want to push for anything, push all parties to give us decent, qualified candidates. People deserve better than someone who appropriates a name from another culture to get votes.

Davidson
Davidson
6 months ago

I don’t understand why ANYONE pays attention to this twat. I am Texican born and bred. Doesn’t anyone know about the Irish Mob?

JIm
JIm
5 months ago

O’Rourke is a clown. Hers never had a job, has a string of failed political campaigns and will say anything to a get a vote. Haven’t we had enough of do nothing/say anything politicians?

Robert Cordova
Robert Cordova
5 months ago

BETO’S IS NO GOOD FOR TEXAS SO DONT MESS WITH TEXAS

Bill mccall
Bill mccall
5 months ago

AR 15 STANDS FOR AERO LIGHT , the only smaller caliber legal to hunt deer with is a .222 and ar15 is a .223 and is a smallest rifle caliber.with minimum recoil suited for hunting The AR15 is not a military/assault rifle and has never been own or used by any military .A .223 is actually a 22 caliber bullet normally 90 grains, please libs know what your talking about as you look like idiots with some of the things I have read in your comments,

Robert
Robert
4 months ago

He is a liar and always will be. He just needs to go home and stay there we sure don’t need him in Austin.

Rod
Rod
4 months ago

He and his leftist junta want to have their way with Americans freedom. The need the armed citizen disarmed to do that.

Last edited 4 months ago by Rod
Stephen Sartain
Stephen Sartain
3 months ago

I think beto has dementia. He can’t remember from one day to next what he stands for. He will never get my vote or any of my weapons.