O'Rourke on whether mass shooters would hand over weapons: 'I expect our fellow Americans to follow the law'

O'Rourke on whether mass shooters would hand over weapons: 'I expect our fellow Americans to follow the law'
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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) on Wednesday defended his plan for a mandatory buyback program for assault rifles when he was pressed on whether mass shooters would hand over their weapons.

O'Rourke told Alisyn Camerota in an appearance on CNN's "New Day" that he expects his "fellow Americans to follow the law" if a buyback program were implemented.

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"It's pretty simple, he said. "As with any law in this country, we would expect our fellow Americans to follow the law."

Camerota pressed O'Rourke, saying, "You would expect mass shooters to follow the law?"

She added, "By definition mass shooters in Parkland, in El Paso, I could go on for 10 minutes — they don't follow the law."

The former Texas representative stood his ground, saying many proposed gun reform strategies would have prevented some of the shootings in the past.

"Would it stop every single shooting? No," he said. "But that should be no excuse to taking action, not while we have the opportunity to do the right thing."

O'Rourke added that by not taking action, politicians become "complicit in the deaths of our fellow Americans."

O'Rourke's buyback plan mirrors Australia's handling of gun reform and would require owners of assault weapons to sell their weapons to the government.

The presidential candidate has focused his campaign on gun reform after a shooting struck his hometown of El Paso, Texas, in August, killing 22 people. In the September Democratic primary debate, O'Rourke said, "hell yeah" he plans to take assault weapons back from Americans.

In last night's presidential debate, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Gabbard, Buttigieg battle over use of military in Mexico MORE (D) went after O'Rourke for his stance on gun reform, saying the former Texas representative "made it clear you don't know how" to enforce a mandatory buyback program.