Democratic presidential hopeful Eric Swalwell said he would institute a buyback program for assault weapons that would result in jail time for those who resist.
The alternative, he said, would be to “keep them at a hunting club or shooting range.”
The four-term Democratic representative from California appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, telling host Jake Tapper he wants to ban military-style assault weapons and establish a program similar to the one implemented in New Zealand in the wake of the mosque shooting.
“The reason I’ve proposed this is because these weapons are so devastating. I’ve seen this as a prosecutor in the cases that I’ve prosecuted, we’ve seen these in the school shootings from Sandy Hook to Parkland,” he said. “It’s not just the violence that they’ve caused — it’s the fear, the immeasurable fear that our children live in.”
“I want to get rid of that fear.”
Tapper pointed out the “vast majority of gun-related deaths” in the U.S. are not related to semi-automatic assault weapons.
“The vast majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens who have purchased these weapons legally and used them safely,” he continued.
Swalwell said his proposal was not an incremental step toward a broader gun ban.
“You know, keep your pistols, keep your long rifles, keep your shotguns,” Swalwell said. “I want the most dangerous weapons, the weapons of war, out of the hands of the most dangerous people.”
Swalwell announced he would enter the crowded Democratic field for president April 14.
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