Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE, a former Texas congressman, said he supports a federal gun licensing program and would plan on implementing one if elected president.
“We should do it. We should have a national licensing program in this country,” O’Rourke said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
O’Rourke has been in his home city El Paso, Texas, since last weekend’s shooting that killed 22 people.
“I have listened to my fellow Americans, my fellow Texans, my fellow El Pasoans. This makes sense. It will save lives,” he said.
O’Rourke said in conjunction with red flag laws, universal background checks and closing loopholes, “we can end this epidemic of gun violence that will claim more than 40,000 lives this year, happening every single day in almost every single community.”
He also pushed back on criticism that gun licensing won’t stop mass shootings if criminals can access illegal guns.
“Then why pass any law, and why be a nation of laws? I think we pass those laws that we know will improve our lives, save lives, protect our fellow Americans. And then we have to vigorously enforce those laws. And, as, president I would,” he said.
Some of his 2020 opponents have also backed gun licensing as part of their campaign platforms, including Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE.