Beto Says He Isn’t ‘interested’ In ‘taking’ Guns ‘from Anyone,’ Wants To Defend Second Amendment

Beto says he isn’t ‘interested’ in ‘taking’ guns ‘from anyone,’ wants to defend Second Amendment

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Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke appeared to back off his 2019 statement that “hell yes” he intends to take guns away from citizens if elected to office.

“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 we do is defend the Second Amendment.”

FILE - Texas Democrat gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke speaks during a campaign event (AP Photo / LM Otero, File)

FILE – Texas Democrat gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks during a campaign event (AP Photo / LM Otero, File)
(AP)

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While running for president in 2020, O’Rourke famously pledged to take guns away from American citizens if elected president.

AUSTIN, TX - JUNE 08: Texas Governor Greg Abbott attends a press conference where he signed Senate Bills 2 and 3 at the Capitol on June 8, 2021.

AUSTIN, TX – JUNE 08: Texas Governor Greg Abbott attends a press conference where he signed Senate Bills 2 and 3 at the Capitol on June 8, 2021.
(Photo by Montinique Monroe / Getty Images)

“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” said the El Paso, Texas native. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”

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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.”

In this Sept.  7, 2019 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former US Rep.  Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas,

In this Sept. 7, 2019 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former US Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas,
(Associated Press)

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“I want to make sure 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.