O’Rourke claims he’s not taking Texans’ guns after saying he would during presidential run

By Bethany Blankley 

At a campaign event in Tyler, Texas, Thursday, the leading Democratic candidate running for governor in Texas, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, said he wasn’t interested in taking away Texans’ guns even though he vowed to do so when he was running for president in 2019.

When asked about his position on gun ownership, he said, “I’m not interested in taking anything from anyone. What I want to make sure that we do is defend the Second Amendment.

“I want to make sure that we protect our fellow Texans far better than we’re doing right now. And that we listen to law enforcement, which [Gov.] 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.”

In response, one of Abbott’s Republican challengers, former state Sen. Don Huffines, a strong Second Amendment advocate, tweeted, “Does he really think Texans are going to believe this?”

Another Twitter user posted a screen shot of O’Rourke famously tweeting in 2019, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15.” 

In 2019, during a Democratic presidential primary debate, O’Rourke said if he were president, he’d prioritize “mandatory buybacks of assault-style weapons,” NPR, and other news outlets, reported. His campaign repeatedly focused on taking away “assault style” weapons from Americans.

Republican candidate for governor, Lt. Col. Rt. Allen West, who’s also running against Abbott in the GOP primary, said, “An armed man is a citizen. A disarmed man is a subject. Self-defense is a natural right endowed by our creator to protect our life, liberty, and property. The first step a communist government takes in reaching power is confiscating guns from their citizens. This will not happen under my watch.”

As governor, Abbott signed into law campus carry and permitless carry bills, the first governor of Texas to do so. The state legislature also passed numerous bills protecting gun rights, which he signed into law in the last two legislative sessions.

“Beto O’Rourke continued trying to reinvent himself by misleading Texans on his support for confiscating guns from law-abiding citizens,” Mark Miner, communications director for Abbott’s re-election campaign, said. “This is yet another example of Beto O’Rourke lying to the public about his extreme liberal views that align him more with President [Joe] Biden than the people of Texas.”

Abbott is facing seven primary challengers; O’Rourke is facing five. The primary election in Texas is March 1.

In 2020, the greatest number of police officers shot were in California, 379; in Texas, 300 police officers were shot. Both numbers account for less than one half of one percent of each state’s total police force.

According to FBI data, 70 law enforcement officers were fatally wounded in 2021, with 25 being victims of unprovoked attacks. Another 56 died from accidents, with 31 dying in a motor vehicle crash.

The reason why so many police officers are being assaulted and shot in Texas, and specifically in Harris County, Ray Hunt, executive director of Houston Police Officers’ Union, told The Center Square, is because of illegal immigration, and activist Democratic judges who are releasing repeat violent criminals onto the streets instead of sending them to jail.

“Texas is the first state that MS-13 people come in from Honduras, it’s the first place they come,” he said. “And Harris County is doing nothing to keep people behind bars who are serious felons.”

O’Rourke, and his Democratic challengers, support the Biden administration’s open border policies that are directly causing the surge of crime in Harris County and Texas, his Republican challengers claim, although they’ve expressed different approaches to how they’d secure the Texas border. A bail reform bill that Abbott signed into law last year didn’t have any impact on Harris County judges who continue to release repeat felony offenders into the community, Republicans claim. Houston, the largest city in Texas and in Harris County, has the highest overall crime and homicide rate in the state.

“Houston should not be south Chicago,” West said. If elected governor, he said, “judges and DAs who tolerate injustice and embolden criminals will be dealt with. No citizen should be afraid in Texas . . . illegals and thugs will be.”

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