“I don’t think most Texans want to give up their guns,” Paxton told “Fox & Friends,” pushing back against O’Rourke’s comments that most Texans are behind his mandatory gun buyback program.
Paxton said O’Rourke’s comments weren’t received as well as he would have anticipated.
“The reality is taking away guns from law-abiding citizens is not going to stop crazy people from using weapons to kill people.”
At the Democratic party's most recent 2020 presidential primary debate last week, O'Rourke declared, "hell yes," in response to a question about mandatory AR-15 buybacks.
“Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15, AK-47,” O’Rourke said on Thursday in Houston, receiving a loud round of applause from the audience.
“It’s certainly a comment that I think most Texans would not react well to and haven’t reacted well to," Paxton said. "Maybe it plays nationally in states he’s trying to win, but it certainly doesn’t play well in Texas."
On reducing gun violence, Paxton went on to say, “We need to do a better job securing our schools, our businesses, our churches. People need to be better prepared. We need more law enforcement involved in protecting those aspects of our society."
He added: “Nothing is going to work perfectly, but there are certainly things we can do to protect our citizens better.”
O’Rourke was complimented by some of his rivals on the debate stage for his outspoken efforts on the issue of gun violence. However, some Democrats, including 2020 rival Pete Buttigieg, argued that Republicans would twist the former Texas congressman's words, and his soundbite from the debate “will be played for years at Second Amendment rallies with organizations that try to scare people by saying Democrats are coming for your guns.”