Police officers will physically show up to gun owners' homes and enforce 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke's mandatory assault weapons buyback if he is elected president, the Texas Democrat said during a Wednesday interview.
“Any law that is not followed or flagrantly abused, there have to be consequences or else there is no respect for the law," he said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
"I think there would be a visit by law enforcement to recover that firearm and to make sure that it is purchased, bought back so that it cannot be potentially used against somebody else."
O'Rourke quickly back-peddled however and said he's banking on the conscience of everyday Americans to understand that they don't need assault weapons for self-defense and will turn in their weapons willingly.
"My faith is in this country and in my fellow Americans following the law and listening to people who own AK-47s and AR-15s who acknowledge, who concede, they don’t need it for self-protection," he said.
"They don’t need it to hunt. Its real, true purpose and use is on a battlefield." O'Rourke continued. "When you talk to the people of Dayton, who saw nine gunned down in under 40 seconds, or in El Paso, 22 killed in under three minutes, it’s hard to answer their question as to why this continues to happen or why we would continue to allow more than 16 million of these weapons in our country."
O'Rourke cited Australia as a prime example of a gun buyback program and said the people there turned over their guns willingly, thereby eliminating the need for federal authorities to go door to door, and implement the ban by force.
"We also have an example in Australia where those weapons of war were successfully bought back without going to a door-to-door confiscation -- and where you’ve seen a dramatic reduction in gun violence and a dramatic reduction in mass shootings in that country," he added.
In September, O'Rourke called for red flag laws, the establishment of a national gun registry and mandatory buybacks, all in the same speech.
“This is a country that has produced the leadership that will ensure that we not only have universal background checks and red flag laws and end the sale of those weapons of war, but that we go the necessary steps further as politically difficult as they may be," he told the crowd at the New Hampshire Democratic Party convention.
During the interview, O'Rourke said he would not move to restrict citizens from owning handguns. He said it would be unconstitutional but previous Supreme Court rulings could allow "common-sense limits to the Second Amendment" concerning more high-powered weapons.