The National Rifle Association seized on former Texas lawmaker Beto O’Rourke’s bombshell pledge to essentially confiscate AR-15 and AK-47 rifles from Americans during the third Democratic Presidential Debates.
On Thursday, the gun rights organization tweeted out an image of O’Rourke with a caption that read, “AR-15 Salesman Of The Month,” which was presumably a nod to a possible uptick in gun sales after O’Rourke’s debate announcement on the subject. They added, “Possibly even of the year…” to the end of the tweet. The image was also shared on the NRA’s official Facebook page.
When asked by one of the debate moderators about his plans for gun control should he become president, O’Rourke proclaimed, “Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15.” Part of his plan to crack down on gun violence includes instituting a buyback program, which critics tend to label as confiscation efforts or at the very least, the makings of a gun registry.
The shot at O’Rourke’s proposal also comes on the heels of a heated exchange between the NRA and O’Rourke’s campaign. According to Daily Dot, the NRA tweeted out a link on Wednesday to a petition called “NEVER turn in our AR-15s.”
The petition allowed pro-gun supporters to send a message to O’Rourke that assured the Democratic candidate that he will “never, ever take away our firearms.”
O’Rourke responded to the message with a tweet of his own, claiming that the NRA isn’t representative of Americans and posted a link to his own petition — one that supporters could sign if they support a government buyback of AR-15 rifles.
Possibly even of the year… pic.twitter.com/ESnA4Qur93
— NRA (@NRA) September 19, 2019
“Today, the @NRA sent out a petition calling on supporters to ‘tell Beto no’ to a mandatory buyback program. But the @NRA doesn’t represent the American people — and today, we can prove it. Sign our petition calling for a buyback of every AR-15,” O’Rourke tweeted.
While O’Rourke has been praised for his aggressive stance on the gun safety issue, critics have slammed the former lawmaker for his ideas. President Donald Trump slammed O’Rourke in a Wednesday tweet, claiming the 2020 candidate is making it more difficult for Congress to move forward on the gun control issue.
“Dummy Beto made it much harder to make a deal. Convinced many that Dems just want to take your guns away,” Trump tweeted.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, even some Democrats weren’t happy with O’Rourke’s word choice during the debate. Sen. Chris Coons expressed immediate concern, saying the clip of O’Rourke calling for an AR-15 confiscation will be played at 2nd Amendment rallies in the future, reaffirming the belief of some Republican voters that Democrats are only interested in taking away their guns.
Coons said O’Rourke’s confiscation call is not “wise policy.”