O’Rourke: ‘We Need to Look at’ Mandatory Licensing of Gun Owners and ‘Move Forward’ ‘If it Makes Sense’ to the Public

IAN HANCHETT

During a town hall on CNN on Tuesday, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) stated that “we need to look at,” mandatory federal licensing of gun owners and that while he wants to start with other proposals, there should be “a full hearing” on licensing gun owners, “and if it makes sense to the American public, then let’s move forward.”

Moderator Dana Bash asked, “Do you support mandatory federal licensing for guns — gun owners rather, in the United States, similar to what you hear from Cory Booker?”

O’Rourke responded, “I think that’s something that we need to look at, and I’m grateful to Senator Booker for taking a bold approach to a very urgent problem that we have right now, but I would start with those four steps [universal background checks, bans on weapons ‘designed for use on the battlefield,’ red flag laws, and increased investments in mental health] that I just outlined. There’s consensus there. There’s agreement. We’re going to be able to make progress. But, yes, I think this is something that should be debated. We should have a full hearing on that, and if it makes sense to the American public, then let’s move forward. But I want to start with this area of agreement that we have right now.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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