O'Rourke at Democratic debate: 'Hell yes we're going to take your AR-15s'

Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeDeval Patrick enters 2020 race O'Rourke says he 'absolutely' plans to stay in politics Krystal Ball: Buttigieg is 'the boomer candidate' MORE (D-Texas) defended his proposed mandatory buyback of assault weapons during Thursday's Democratic debate in Houston.
 
"I am, if it's a weapon that's designed to kill people on a battlefield. If the high-impact, high-velocity round shreds everything inside of your body ... when we see that being used against children," O'Rourke said, asked if he was proposing a mandatory government buyback of certain guns. 
 
"Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We're not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore," he continued.
O'Rourke, whose home town of El Paso, Texas, was rocked by a mass shooting last month, has pitched gun reform proposals, including the mandatory buyback of assault weapons. Under O'Rourke's plan an individual who did not hand over a banned weapon would be fined.
 
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Lawmakers have been debating potential gun reforms after almost 40 people were killed in mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and Texas cities Odessa and El Paso.
 
O'Rourke, during Thursday night's debate, argued there was potential common ground on a gun buyback program. He referenced a recent trip to Conway, Ark., where he spoke with gun owners who he characterized as willing to give up assault weapons.
 
"You might be surprised there was some common ground there," he said. "Let's do the right thing but let's bring everyone in America into the conversation."