Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke seizes on Texas power grid in bid against Abbott McConaughey on Texas run: 'I will let you know shortly' O'Rourke raises M in first 24 hours of Texas governor campaign MORE (D-Texas) defended his proposed mandatory buyback of assault weapons during Thursday's Democratic debate in Houston.
"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.
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."