O'Rourke stands by his 'we're gonna take your AR-15, your AK-47' comment

Democratic Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke on Sunday said he stands by his controversial 2019 comment that “we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”

Asked by co-host Dana BashDana BashDemocratic caucus chairs call for Boebert committee assignment removal GOP governor says McCarthy should condemn Boebert's anti-Muslim remarks Democrats optimistic as social spending bill heads to Senate MORE on CNN’s “State of the Union” if he would stand by his vow if elected governor of Texas, O’Rourke said, “I still hold this view.”

“Look, we are a state that has a long, proud tradition of responsible gun ownership. And most of us here in Texas do not want to see our friends, our family members, our neighbors shot up with these weapons of war. So, yes, I still hold this view,” O’Rourke said.

While running for president in 2019, O'Rourke defended his proposed mandatory buyback of assault-style weapons during a Democratic primary debate. 

"Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47," he told a crowd at the time. "We're not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore."

The gubernatorial candidate on Sunday went on to say that Texans have told him that they are concerned about the bill Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottSunday shows preview: Multiple states detect cases of the omicron variant Hillicon Valley —TSA to strengthen rail sector cybersecurity When politics trump workers' health, we know who gets burned MORE (R) signed over the summer that allows for concealed carry without a permit in the state.

“We don’t want extremism in our gun laws. We want to protect the Second Amendment. We want to protect the lives of our fellow Texans. And I know that when we come together and stop this divisive extremism that we see from Greg Abbott right now, we're going to be able to do that,” he said.

O’Rourke, who previously represented Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives, launched his campaign for governor of the Lone Star State last week. He also waged an unsuccessful bid for Senate in 2018.